Your children are Not Your Children

Thank you to my dear friend Anu Singh for sharing this beautiful poem with me.

On Children
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

—- Poem written by Lebanese-born American artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran.

Simple Kolam to grace the Household that I grew up in

Adi is having way too much during his India trip. He has been immersing himself in the rich Indian culture that I grew up in.

Kolam is a form of drawing that is drawn by using rice flour/chalk/chalk in South India. powder/white rock powder often using naturally/synthetically colored powders. Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Decoration is not the main purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams were drawn in coarse rice flour, so the ants would not have to walk too far or too long for a meal. The rice powder also invited birds and other small creatures to eat it, thus welcoming other beings into one’s home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence. It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes. Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.  Source: Kolam

The day has finally come for Adi’s simple kolam to grace the household that I grew up in.  The kola dabba(box) is several decades years old and has been touched and used by several generations of people within the family.

Typically, the women in the family draw the kolam in the early mornings. However, Adi is an explorer. To him, the kolam is a piece of art. It didn’t matter who the artist was.

This generation is defying every boundary that we grow up with – racial and gender walls are being broken down. Are they not?