Yes, I do have a head full of posts but I’m trying to stick with my resolution of not really blogging (alright so this is a post and I am cheating, but it’s a teeny one!). And this is what I am doing instead – reading, reading, reading.
Oh – that is other than spending time with the kids, attending concerts, shows, taking walks in the park when my knee allows it, swimming when I have time, meeting new interesting people, hosting family and friends … and still getting that sinking feeling that time is flying and my babies are just rushing by without giving me enough time to drink them up…
I am reading this book called The Hour Past Midnight by a Tamil author called Salma (English tranlsation of course!) and she’s the first Muslim woman to write in Tamil, I am told. Be it purdah or the right to write, she’s taken everything on and from her small village beyond Trichy come thoughts and words so powerful that you can’t help but be affected. The book opens with this poem and I smiled as I read it because it brought back memories of this post. I am sure plenty of mothers out there will relate to it. Me, I’m just glad the OA isn’t turned off by the lacy silver patterns that cover me from navel to thigh. I honestly wouldn’t think much of a husband and father who was…
I haven’t got in to the book yet. Am still soaking up her poetry. Zubaan publications, incase you are interested.
Here’s the poem
The Hour Past Midnight
following the children’s birth
you seek, dissatisfied,
within the nakedness you know so well,
my once unblemished beauty.
You are much repelled,
by a thickened body
and a belly criss-crossed with birthmarks,
my body though,
today, hereafter and forevermore.
My voice, deep-buried
in the valley of silence,
mutters to itself:
your body is not like mine:
it proclaims itself,
it stands manifest.
Before this too,
your children, perhaps, were born
in many places, to many others;
you may be proud
you bear no traces of their birth.
And what must I do?
These birthmarks cannot be
repaired, any more than my own decline –
this body isn’t paper
to cut and paste together, or restore.
Nature has been more perfidious to me
than even you;
but from you began
the first stage of my downfall.
than the early hours of night
is the hour past midnight
where dreams teem.
It is now, at this midnight hour
the tiger which sat quietly
within the picture on the wall
takes its place at my head