The Possibilities that Life Throws Up

Is it that one moment, suddenly, I realised I am here?
Or did this realisation develop gradually?
Irrespective, it seems like an uncomfortable realisation to begin with...

I want to focus on that discomfort.
And call it by another name:
A problem?
A puzzle, maybe?

And it suddenly transforms into something else.
Seemingly offering more possibilities.

For existence.

I look at the dog at the traffic signal,
Just looking one day
Licking his wound another day.

He will growl if someone comes too close...
But if there is a disturbance at the corner of the road,
He sure goes to see what has happened...
What the world around him has come to now?

He seems to tell me,
"I have no control over what might happen…
I exist and I can't help that either...
But I seem to care, helplessly so..."

So is the case with the elephant in the temple.
Once roaming the jungle, making the jungle what it is
just by being a part of it.
Now tied by a chain and directed by a man (even to eat),
sometimes with a tear in her eyes.

She seems to tell me,
"It is okay...
The only question worth asking is
Do I have the capacity for kindness,
Even in this situation?
In any situation..."

The gentle smiling Buddha
Looking at me with closed eyes
From the top of the shelf
Seems to know that I have understood something, maybe
From the existence of that dog and the elephant
And my own.  

 - Swami Ganesan, Chennai

photo S. Ganesan

photo S. Ganesan