Collection of My Space Haikus

I love the complexity of our Universe. I am amazed by every new discovery humanity makes about our Universe. Here are some of my attempts to capture that beauty and overlay it with our daily lives. I tried to weave in another layer beneath the science. I hope you find it.

I call them Space Haikus, perhaps they are blank space Haikus, you fill in what it means to you.

Moon

New, Full, and Gibbous

I do not change one sliver

Your filters do

Gravity

I am untethered

You bend the fabric I float

Let me go big mass

 

Gravity

I have no big mass

How can I get you to slide

In my flat time space

 

Eclipse

I show all of me

Blocking shiny distraction

Yet it is all you

 

Singularity

Hey, Girl with sharp eyes

Be my singularity

Tear my time space veil

 

Duality

I reach to touch you

You are not where your light said

Bent by that Big Mass

 

Speed of Light

How unchanged you are

Near, far, still or in motion

Light in empty space

 

Blackhole

Time space warped as one

As I fall in a black hole

I’m a hologram

 

Big Bang

Velvety darkness

Time did not flow before you

Singularity

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Don’t Wilt My Wallflower

Note: This is companion piece to semi-autobiographical Tower of Sorrow of Sunaina

Tyrone

The November rain did not bother him as traffic crawled south on interstate I-880. For that matter, nothing gets Tyrone agitated. He is blessed with limitless patience and unbounded optimism. His resolve is tested sometimes when his football injury flared up. Other times he presented his calmest face to the world, a near seven-foot friendliest giant. In his late fifties, it is hard to peg his age. With his conditioning, training and maniacal workout ethics he looked younger.  When he shaves his head people pegged him at forty-five and fifty when the gray showed in his curly mop.

Tyrone let a smile escape, thinking about the day ahead. This was another Saturday to look forward to. Because of her. No more Saturdays left. At least no more Saturdays when she would be there. The girl who lit his mind ablaze, made him bound with joy and trigger the stoppered love. The two would go their separate ways after the following Tuesday, the Election Day.

He worked for a political campaign, managed an army of volunteers.  His limitless energy pervaded through the two big rooms bustling with volunteers in headsets making calls, ringing bells and freaking out when their computer crashed. He was their leader, the cheerleader, tech support, and their therapist when the polls showed their candidate down by a few points.

Tyrone was close to all at the phone bank but kept his distance. It was not because the place lacked beautiful people or any stated or unstated rules. Nor it was because he is married to his wife Bian, a Vietnamese gal he met during his army days in Texas. They both loved each other dearly and they still had more to give. For him more love to give did not mean a ticket to sleep around. It truly was about giving love. There was no one else he found that he wanted to share his unbounded love with. Being polyamorous did not mean scattering love for all.

Until he saw her in September.

After that Tuesday, Tyrone has to find a new job as well. That did not bother him. He always landed on his feet. The thought of not seeing her beautiful eyes again tested his resolve. It seeded a pain that started to sprout leaves and branches.  Eyes, her beautiful eyes, and a name that is so apt, Sunaina. A name that deserved respect and should not be insulted by anglicization or modification to Sue. Once he learned what her name meant, he could not help but call her many times, in his heart.  Sunaina.

He remembered the September Labor day weekend she walked in. The picture of a bold woman sheathed under layers of thoughts, an unsure gait that seemed to be more ready for flight than fight, and eyes that drew your attention away from everything else and announced, “I am here”.

That was an unusual election year and it brought in hoards of volunteers who had never before been involved in anything remotely close to politics. Women came in droves. Women of all background and age group. Everyone else was just another volunteer he welcomed and trained. For any other trainer, she would have been another volunteer to onboard and let loose. To be forgotten except for occasional greetings.

He leaped before the other two trainers, an older Caucasian woman and a trans girl whose age was difficult to judge,  to greet her and take her under his wings. She seemed she might find an excuse and walk out any second. He quickly took her to the very crowded and farthest part of the phone bank, so the energy in the room would ease her concern.

Yes, she heard about the phone bank from a friend.

Yes, she wanted to be involved.

No, she did not know anything about any other down-ticket candidates, she cared about just one at the top.

No, she was not comfortable talking to strangers, even over the phone.

What could you do with someone who was not interested in making calls? This was after all the phone bank.

Tyrone was in no hurry. None of the “Nos” mattered. As a trained organizer he knew he had to get her vested fast with one activity, make her own it that she would feel compelled to return.

So he sought her help with an imagined problem. The food table needed supervision, stocking it well to feed the army, keeping it safe from people trying to use bare hands and other invented problems he did not know how to solve.

She took the challenge. She would be the one to feed the army and keep it moving. She would do it better than ever before. She had one speed, super fast. One mode, full commitment. What Tyrone thought was a way to ease her way in became her cause. She went beyond keeping an eye on the food table. She inventoried, found the mix wrong and unfit for the volunteer army and had solutions to fix it. She drew up food schedules, what to buy when, what to put out, and what to ask others to bring.  She knew when the crowd peaked, and when they grew tired and needed a boost.

A simple side task transformed into something remarkable.

One thing she would continue to refuse to do, putting on the headset and making calls to convince voters. It was not for lack of trying by Tyrone.

During an afternoon lull on a Sunday he tried, “How about just once Sunaina, you are persuasive. People will listen to you”. He sat her down at one of the computers and eased the headset on gently without getting it catch her silky straight mane. His hands felt her hair and sent a gigawatt to his brain. Up close he saw her ear that peeked through her hair, it had a tiny pinch at the top. He adjusted the microphone closer to her mouth.

The computer called someone from its list and did a beep to tell her they picked up. It did not go well. No one wants to receive calls in their homes. It was a short call but one that would dissuade her forever. She did not wait for Tyrone, removed her headset so fast that it caught it caught few strands of her. Tyrone knew to back off.

She was happy to be the food czar. He would grow closer to her in such a short time. He would grow fond of her without realizing it. He would try to fill out her story because she had not shared any. She was definitely more informed than him on policies and polls. He would pose an ill-formed opinion as a question just to get her to talk. She would be rational and emotional at the same time. He was happy just to listen to her voice, those excited gestures and those beautiful eyes speaking more words than her fast-moving lips.

It would all end soon. What was the point? This connection came with expiry date marked on it, the Election Day. And it came.

She was there on Election Day even though it was a weekday because it was her cause. She wore her blue pantsuit, not white, and had her hair tied in a ponytail. During the day she would undo and redo per ponytail as it loosened from her high energy. She was doing more than food duty, she was cheerleading, she was socializing, she was hugging and high-fiving.

The evening that day became a disaster. The high excitement of the morning popped so quickly. People started leaving fast. Those who stayed were holding on to tiny hope that something would turn. So was Sunaina. Not the Sunaina of all these weekends or this morning. It was the deflated and defeated Sunaina. Tyrone kept his distance and silence.

Then came the moment when they flipped the leaderboard for Florida.

One second she was there watching the big screen, next second she was not. Tyrone caught the flash of blue darting through the back door. He did not hesitate. He did not think she might need a moment. He knew this was more than just an upset election. He had seen this before. Standing on the sidelines to let her have a good cry by herself was not an option. He knew that all too well.

Tyrone found her between the Port-A-Potty and the big dumpster. She was crying loud, her whole body shaking and her hands pressed against her abdomen as if she was stanching blood gushing out of a wound.

He tried to hold on to her hands that were pressed hard against her navel. She was heaving, her frame shaking, her nose clearing out her sinus. Her hands firmly in his grasp. Her spasms passed through her hands to his but came to a stop in his broad firm hands. She tried wriggling her hands as if she needed them to stop the bleeding.

She could not get her hands free. She threw herself into his body, with her hands awkwardly stuck between them. So close to his body she looked so small. He held her without hurting her. If she really wanted she could have freed herself.

She buried her face in his chest. His body dampened her spasms like a shock absorber would. Her hands-free, she wrapped them tightly around him as if she was holding on to a tree stump in the raging rapids. He used his newly freed hand to stroke her hair which had long ago transformed from its shiny smooth sheet into a dry frazzled mess.

Tyrone felt her skin burn. He could not help his own senses heighten and blood rushing away from his head. At her saddest moment, he could not help his arousal as her fingers dug into his back. He felt his penis grow fast into full-on erection. There was no hiding it. She clearly felt it.

He felt her breasts harden against his body, her nipples standing up on their ends pushing against him, her body burning hot as if the raging fire was real. Her breathing was the hot exhaust from the fire. All her sweat burned off by the fire and her body stopped producing any more sweat to put out the fire.

He felt a change in her body, The sorrow and anger that reverberated through his body started to subside and were fast transformed into something else. He knew what it was. Was she reacting to his erection or is he reacting to her hunger?

He was swept away by her tsunami.  The strong and sturdy Tyrone was taking orders from her body. She was inviting him. He felt that through every cell in his body. Logic and caution decided to not interfere.

He understood what was asked of him. He did not have to kiss. She did not expect him to. There was no warm-up needed as she burned full blast. The instructions communicated to him were clear.

He turned her around and pressed her against the building outer wall. There was not much room in the hiding place. She pressed the wall with her arms held up. She felt his weight press against her back but in a careful way to not crush her against the wall. His right hand searched around her pant zippers on her sides. His left hand ran inside her shirt and crushed her breast.

She had to help him with her zipper for his big meaty fingers struggled to hold on to tiny zip. The next steps were easier as he unrolled her pants and panties down. His face pressed against the side of her neck, taking small bites of her neck and her ear the one with a small pinch in it.

It took no effort to get his penis out. Guiding with his freed hand he mounted her. A million voices spoke in his ears. None of them dissuaded him.  None of them asked what the fucking hell he was doing.

He entered her with ease. She was inviting him in. He was a big man and well endowed. She was ready for him. He could feel her muscles surround his shaft and take him deep. He was careful to not crush her against the wall. He wrapped one hand around her body and let his other keep guiding his penis.

When he knew he was in he thrusted. Hard. Harder. Fast. Faster. His penis felt like a monster that ran through the walls, filled her inside and filled her cells with pleasure.

Time stopped. Flowed. Jumped back and forth. Not much he could feel how the time flowed.

He was in a trance. She had placed him in that trance.

The spell broke just in time when he pulled away from her.

Her fever broke at the same time as she quickly pulled herself from him, not with aversion but with a gratitude. All her sorrow burned through to ashes. She did not wait for him or turn around. She fixed her pants back up and dashed through the parking lot.

Tyrone stood there dazed. He felt like she left a part of her with him. It was her pain. He could feel it welling up in his body. He was her healer but his healing had come at a cost as her pain had merely transferred over to him.

Tyrone stood there forever with hot tears rolling down his eyes.

 

The Gray Matter

This post is influenced by Brianna Kienitz. A line in her post just stopped me.  She wrote this about her sexuality,

I’ve lumped myself into the grey part of the spectrum for the time being.

When I read it I had to stop and let those words wash over me. It was as if she captured my life in fourteen simple words that covers both time and space. This made me write a self-awareness post using the metaphor Brianna offered. Because  categorizations only cover a tiny sliver of humanity.

In my case, I am confused and unclassifiable in not just one aspect but in almost every practical aspect you would take for granted. If sexuality is one dimension, there sure is a vast grey zone in its spectrum. When you layer in other dimensions it gets complicated and sometimes painful. I am unclassifiable or confused when it comes to culture, chastity, sexuality, love, my career, my food preference, etc.

Scientists talk about multi-dimensional space, dimensions beyond the three (four if we included time) that we are in. They say that dimensions beyond three are curled onto themselves and not easy for us three dimensional creatures to visualize. Let me stick to simplicity and talk about my grey zone circumscribed three dimensions, culture, chastity and sexuality.

Culture

I was born in India, in a very conservative, practicing Hindu family that had strict rules even on simple things like what I can wear, when I am allowed to leave my hair untied, to where I should stand when I have my periods. It is hard to pin down one culture for a country of billion people but in one way or another the common threads are about restricting the role of woman.

I now live in the land of freedom, or that is what implied in the Declaration of Independence. I definitely have more freedom now than I ever had in my birth country.I love my adopted country more, more than anything else. I love the promise and hope it offers. This is not yet ideal but as Dr. King said the arc is bending in the right direction.

I dislike the hatred, restrictions and the social mores of my birth country. I have more freedom than before but being married into another conservative Hindu family I still have restrictions on what I can eat or whether I can drink.

Outside of home I take advantage of every chance I get to break those rules. While I was born vegetarian and still mostly is, I have eaten meat. I drink wine when  I go out with group (but I take measures to drive out wine breath before I go home). On the flip side, I dress in Saree for events, kept my hair long for a very long time,  and play  the traditional role expected of wife.

Nothing showcases this more than my pseudonym.  My parents named me for a Hindu Goddess. I decided to name myself Stacia here. Perhaps it is my home that had I been born as Stacia in this country, my life would have been different.

People tell me I am running away from my cultural roots. I say, if breaking shackles mean running away from culture, so be it. My Indian friends place me on the far side of the spectrum and my other friends see me at the near side.

I am in the grey zone.

Chastity

I am not sure if this is the right word. Perhaps loyalty is a better one to use. Let us stick with the dictionary definition of chastity for now.

Hindu mythology, no doubt written by patriarchy, is full of stories and examples on extremely chaste women. Sita, wife of god Rama, is often quoted as paragon of this virtue. Her chastity was so powerful that when she walked through fire, unscathed. Conversely, she was asked to prove her chastity by walking through fire. The moral of the story is, if your chastity is not fireproof, you are dead.

The very definition of what it means to be chaste was and is very restrictive. In one of the stories a saint’s wife saw a reflection of a minor god flying in the sky and thought to herself that he looked cute. The saint declared she lost her chastity and punished her to death by beheading (by their own son).

There are many such examples of women of high character. And there is just one about a man, Rama (his chastity was axiomatic requiring no proof unlike his wife’s).

I resent these examples and definitions. While I do not see promiscuity as a viable lifestyle for me, I do not agree that sex can be limited to only one partner at a time. I call myself non-practicing woman with lust. Another grey zone.

Sexuality

This has been a long term confusing aspect for me and still confusing as heck. When I was growing up I did not have sexual attraction for a man. Did not have a boy friend. And my first experience was on my wedding night. You can chalk all these up as artifacts of the culture since what these are true of almost every girl who grew up with me in my home country.

It is not that I had explicit likings for girls back then. Well except one. That too was almost a one sided love that burned out from my end. Since then I was scared of expressing love or making myself vulnerable. I was confused by my feelings then. I did not have have anyone to discuss why I felt attracted to her, why I wanted her to hold me in her arms and tell me she loved me too.

Now I am married to a man. I do enjoy sex with him, more in early days than now. I still have my feelings to be with a woman. I am attracted to certain women, have secret crush on some I meet in daily life. I would say I am still the non-practicing type, the one who has not acted upon her instincts, but I have come close to what you describe as flirting with some. To confuse things further, I also think certain men are cute and fantasize about wild sex with them. Yet another grey zone.

So what you find in the region circumscribed these three dimensions is me, made of grey matter, trying to manage my confusions, manage my fears and trying to live the life where I am true to myself.

Astrophysicists say most of the Universe is made up of Dark Matter, that is matter that we cannot even get any observations on to even classify them one way or another. What we can see and classify in Universe but a tiny fraction of Dark Matter. I guess the Humanity is made up this unclassifiable Grey Matter like myself.

 

When You Do Not Understand Flirting

For the past one hour I have been tearing my place apart, searching for a piece of folded paper. A simple handwritten note. I searched my purse, gym bag, my girls’ swim bag, car, washer, closet, and every place I could think of. Finally I found it, it was in the sleeve I have on the back of my phone to keep my license and cards. It is just an ordinary paper torn from corner of a notepad, but there is nothing ordinary about what is written in it. It has a name and a phone number written on it.

I did not realize it was no ordinary thing when I had absentmindedly tucked it away without even giving it a read. Something in my dream made me realize that I should look for and read the note. In my dream I was holding the paper and trying to read the numbers. You know how it is in when you are in the half-dream half-wake state, when reality and dream world get commingled? I was reading the note but my eyes were closed, something heavy pushing down on my eyelids. I force myself to open my eyes and read the note in my dream and end up waking up, realizing that was a dream.

Once fully awake, with dream fresh in my mind, I decided to find out for sure what is in that note. Searching for it was the easy part, what do I do with this note is another thing.

Let me back up.

Every weekend I take my girls for their swim class in a local academy. It is a small community driven facility with very friendly staff. While the girls practice their strokes I either immerse myself in a book or talk to the staff on classes, schedules and pool closures, you know, mom stuff.

There is one staff member, Maria (I am not using her real name), who was kind of the first among equals in the staff and has a lead role for the facility. Always cordial and high energy, Maria would walk around encouraging kids and talking to waiting parents. She also works the registration desk for future classes.

Maria, as I picture her now in my mind, is taller than I am, at least five years younger than me, has a cyclist’s body with very agile movement. She always wore the facilities tee shirt as tops but changed up bottoms for jeans, leggings or crops. She wore her hair long, it is wavy and fell past her midback. When she speaks, she sprinkles in  Spanish pronunciations of certain words, which now I think sounds so sweet.

Maria had always stopped and talked to me every time I was at the pool. She would ask about my girls, talk about her lunch plan and mostly topics completely unrelated to swimming or classes. I also remember now that when she talked she would reach out and touch my hand just a tiny bit, as if to add emphasis to her point or helping me understand what she had just said.

I was oblivious to all that until this morning. Until that dream.

Yesterday was like any other Saturday swim class. As the year winds down I had to register my girls for the next year. That meant I had to go to Maria’s desk to do it. She was in her usual cheerful self. No make up, long hair let down with a tiny butterfly hair clip on her right side. The clip was like a bright yellow butterfly lost in a brown forest. It did nothing to stop the hair from cascading forward, which she adjusted periodically by brushing back the stands falling on her face. She was typing away at her keyboard when I approached her.

Am I telling myself now that I saw her eyes widen and her smile brighter than a casual one? I am not sure. But that was the longest and slowest class registration process I have ever seen on experienced. I remember her talking about her drive to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving with her abuela, about the Zumba class she is teaching and something else. I think she also made some remarks about my fingers.  After what seemed like a long time she registered my girls but kept talking.

When I stood up to leave, she stopped me and said, “things may change or there may be closures, if you have any questions I want you to call me”. She tore the corner of notepad, wrote in bold all caps her name, “MARIA”, and numbers, folded the paper and handed it to me.

I did not bother unfolding and reading the note. I had assumed it was the facilities number, which I have on my phone contacts. I forgot about the whole thing until this played out in my dream. In my dream I felt that the area code in that note was not that of the swim academy. That was when I pried my eyes open to read more clearly.

I have in my hand this nice little note. I have read the numbers multiple times. There is no question about them. This is not the number for the facility. I could tell that just from the area code being different. I have googled the area code and it came up as Los Angeles. What I have in my hand is likely her cellphone number.

Maria has written down her name and number for me, telling me to call her.

What the heck should I do now?

Was that just a courtesy note? Then why give her personal number? Is she interested in me? She knows I am married and a mom,  she knows that I know she is a single mom. Does she know my inner me?

I have said many times in my tweets that I suck at flirting with those I have a crush on. I mess up words, sweat, mumble and quickly walk away. I think not knowing how to flirt also means not recognizing when being flirted with. If you cannot recognize flirt, you cannot flirt.

What the heck should I do? Call her? Call and say what?

I fucking do not know.

 

About My Curves

What did you think I was going write about? No I am not going to describe my body here. This is about my Fear Curve and Hope Curve.

I recently took Powerpoint class for work and I thought I will put those skills to good use by drawing the story of my life with a graph. So I sat and thought a bit about,

  1. Where I am?
  2. Why I am where I am?
  3. Where am I going to be if I did nothing?
  4. Where do I want to be?

Then things got too complicated to capture in words or in a graph. So I simplified my thinking to two forces that are acting on me, pushing and pulling me. One is my fear of leaving my current state of safety, losing my kids etc., and the other is the fear of not living true to who I am.

That made sense. Then I drew these curves.

Untitled presentation

From my early days on I have been terribly scared of the unknown and leaving the safety of shores into uncharted stormy waters. Perhaps I found excuses to my inaction but the fear is still every bit real. This fear was at its peak during my teen years and through my early days of married life but is now starting to come down. The slow decline gained momentum due to certain events like my growing confidence with my job skills and my readings. However the top Fear curve has settled into a plateau now.

On the flip side, the Fear of Not Living My True Life , which I should call my Hope curve, did not really exist in my early days as I was confused, unaware and did not know what was possible. As I gained more exposure, talked to more people and read voraciously I can see the possibilities. I fear missing out on simplest things my heart desires like holding hands with a woman, feeling her warm embrace, melting into her arms and tasting that first kiss. That fear curve is on the upward swing but has also settled into a plateau now.

If I do nothing anymore, the two fear curves will continue for ever. I read somewhere that Leonardo (da Vinci) figured out that what look like parallel lines meet at far away distance and captured that in his paintings. Alas, paintings are not real and we do not have Leonardo.

As things stand now this is how it looks like

Untitled presentation (1).png

The real everyday me is like that girl hanging on to the cliff, the cliff in this case is my  Fear of Not Living My True Life or the Hope curve. She is going to be there as long as her arms hold good. Letting go from this height is not going to be easy. When there was very little or no hope, the fall won’t be bone crushing. Now from this high point of hope, the fall could cause irreversible damage. Fortunately I can rest my arms by getting a toehold on twitter. I can keep this sequence up until the next transition.

Then there is the future liberated me who had conquered the Fear of Leaving on standing safely on the cliff. Perhaps it is not me but someone else. This girl has to give a hand and pull me from  one curve to get me on my legs on the other curve.

When will  that savior arrive?

When she does, I will have to let go of the cliff I am hanging from and reach for her hand.