It is this Skin

It is this skin that doesn’t fit,
in fact, I can’t remember a time that it did.

it hung like a borrowed trenchcoat
the wrong colour in a summer storm
as I walked back to the beginning,
somehow, a single wordless thought
still clear on the other side of the rain,

or it was stretched too taut as we stood, tiptoe,
reaching far for a waning moon,
as if one more breath, one more poem
would rip it from the inside,
incoherent dreams spilling through the perforations,

or now, like an unstable bag on the checkout
counter, a little bit of everything inside it,
the necessary, the unfinished, the extravagant,
thing that I will never use, things I will regret,
things I pay for not understanding how

they add up in the end,
things I plan to come back for later, but never will,
things I simply forgot, things that never belonged,
it is this skin that doesn’t fit,
in fact, I can’t remember a time that it really did.

Advertisements

63 thoughts on “It is this Skin

  1. And here’s the ending of Miraji’s poem, yagaangat (oneness), touching upon identity all too stealthily, wary of the possibility of unraveling:

    ye basti, ye jangal, ye darya, ye parbat, imaarat, mujaawir, musaafir /
    hawaaeN, nabaataat aur aasmaaN per ihdar se udhar aatay huay chund baadal /
    ye sub kuchh, ye her shay meray hee gharaanay se aaee hueeN haiN /
    zamaana huN maiN, meray hee dum se un-miT tasalsul ka jhoola rawaaN hai /
    magar mujh may koi buraai naheeN hai /
    ye kesay kahooN maiN /
    ke mujh may fanaa aur baqaa donoN aa ker milay haiN ?

    Like

    1. 🙂 At the macro zamaana level, I go back to the monk who said that the manifest universe is the creation of the person who views it and the person himself is just a passing manifestation of consciousness through accrued Karma, so nothing is everything and everything is nothing 🙂 But at the micro, this is my reality, keep calm and watch netflix level, identity might still be a work in progress. 😀 ( PS: Miraji rocks though..thank you for that poem)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Precisely! Takes a byte of crass reality to destroy centuries of carefully cultivated nothingness! But more to the point, I wasn’t thinking macro philosophy when I wrote it… more at the event/emotion level. I haven’t reached the height or depth where both become the same!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, you guys. Trying to sort out this deep talk with my inferior Western sensibilities. I’ll read everything through a couple more times again to see if I can get it, but I may need a translation of Miraji’s poem. Rajani, I love your “Keep calm and watch Netflix” line. It needs to be a meme on Facebook.

    PS. The poem is wonderful, Rajani. I love the extended metaphor. Yes, my existential skin is exactly like that.

    Like

    1. Sarah, thank you. The monk is actually a reference to this book: The Monk and the Philosopher by by Jean Francois Revel and Matthieu Ricard … an interesting conversation between a father and son on religion and life and philosophy. 🙂

      Like

  3. There will always some time in our lives when we think that we don’t fit either in to the world or our own bodies, screaming what am I doing here inside or outside our skin. Hopefully that is a reminder that there is something more to life but we just don’t understand that fully just yet.

    Like

  4. One size does not fit all. I fit and am comfortable in my skin. I am not wearing anyone else’s because mine was tailor made for me. I have no desire to wear other skins and a lot of people will attest that mine is a very bad fit for others. Everyone should be happy in their own skin and if they are not then they need to read a lot of books, swim in the sea, watch wind surfers, stare into the eyes of a marmalade cat or Shashi Taroor (sigh !!! ) get their hands dirty in a garden ,listen to rain ,sing, dance, meditate on the 48 preludes and fugues and sip hot tea.:)

    Like

  5. I have felt very uncomfortable in my skin this lifetime, the skin of the oppressor of people of colour all over the world. What I learned from indigenous friends is that it is what’s in our hearts that can make us colour blind – or, alternatively, awakened. I resonate with this poem very much. Love the trench coat skin especially.

    Like

  6. That would bug the snot out of me, skin that didn’t fit. Easiest first, sleeves too long or short, ending with being too tight, I’d worry it might split open.
    I liked your idea, thinking behind the rain. In the light of the Moon only we just have to trust there is a rainbow back there, waiting for the Sun.
    ..

    Like

  7. I feel like saying,’That’s life!’ – but not in a dismissive way. Seems to me you have all the variety of life inside your skin.

    Like

  8. An excellent extended metaphor, Rajani, which fits the feeling I have had most of my life – of not fitting in. It doesn’t have to be anything tangible – there are some of us who just don’t fit into the human jigsaw puzzle. I feel more comfortable with my cats and the trees in the garden. My favourite lines:.
    ‘it hung like a borrowed trenchcoat
    the wrong colour in a summer storm’
    and
    ‘…it was stretched too taut as we stood, tiptoe,
    reaching far for a waning moon,
    as if one more breath, one more poem
    would rip it from the inside’.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A phrase pops into my head from Lucille Clifton, “you wet brown bag of a woman “! What we buy, what we forget to buy or plan to buy later–yes, identity and memory are like that. Thank you! It’s why we see ourselves so differently from how others see us, isn’t it? But here, it is only one possibility–skin too tight or too loose–wonderful! Do we live or not? Yes!
    “. . . as if one more breath, one more poem
    would rip it from the inside,
    incoherent dreams spilling through the perforations . . . ”
    Excess, a way to deal with absurdity–or call it fulfilling our God-given purpose–as if it were a matter of life and death. And somehow you took all of these concepts and fit them to a balanced three part form with refrain. Marvelous.

    Like

  10. The poem is quite a journey, from ‘wordless thought’ to the breathtaking moment of almost possible spilling of dreams (love that ‘tiptoe’ here) to having ‘a little bit of everything’ to the ‘things that never belonged’. “It is this skin that doesn’t fit, / in fact, I can’t remember a time that it did.”…Very True.

    Like

  11. wow profound loved the images; the borrowed trench coat, reaching for the waning moon and unstable bag. Maybe we can just let the bag drop and let some fall out. Or just accept life as is, never the size you want

    Like

  12. I think there may be many people in this world who don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. Sometimes I am one of them.

    Like

  13. This poem really moved me. I wonder really if there ever is a time when our skin really fits us. We try to make it so, but do we ever really succeed! I really love the way you are writing nowadays. Unique and profound!!

    Liked by 2 people

Please leave a Thot...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s