Saumya you turn 40 today. I celebrated your 30th birthday by writing something for you. I didn’t know you on your 20th or your 10th, but I plan to write you a piece, wholly dedicated to you for each passing decade. I write this for you.
A Krishna Kind of Love
I know a couple where it’s often said they have a Krishna and Radha relationship. They exemplify romantic love. It has the makings of a storybook fantasy. A young girl falls deeply in love with the man of her dreams; he falls in love with her. They get married – an arranged marriage actually – it’s a smart match.
Krishna was a rake.
I hope that doesn’t sound offensive, but evidence points in favor of my statement. All the gopis would follow this rock star around and moon after him (making cow eyes). And what does he do, sit back, play his flute and women fall at his feet, if you believe the depictions in all the art.
He also played important parts in the epics. Then there is his epic love with Radha. The love that sweeps you off your feet, floats your boat and makes you do and say all the stupid things you do when you’re in love.
I am no Krishna.
I have made a point describing many different kinds of lwa – different spirits for different aspects of humanity to be celebrated. There are different kinds of priests and priestesses that all come with different talents, areas where they can do marvelous things that others just can’t. The same principle holds true with love.
The Old Bastard
In One Thousand Nights and One Night, I declared I have Shiva in me. I have Ogou. You have always been one hell of a Shivite. Now someone might easily jump to the conclusion that you must by my Parvati, Shiva’s wife. I have respect for Parvati, know she is revered by many, but to say you are my Parvati would be wrong.
It took me a while to figure this all out, but I can now see it. Saum you are passion. That comes out in many ways. When I look at Shiva, I have to recognize that he has more than one woman in his life. There is another, and that woman is Ganga.
Ganga descended from Heaven in Lord Shiva’s hair, according to the way the stories were told to me. I’ve heard many stories of her: how she was cast out of Heaven, being a lover of Shiva, how the bend of her at Varanasi (Shiva’s city) she swings her hip at him, giving him a bump. I have yet to make the pilgrimage to her source on Shiva’s mountain.
Ganga captures more of the essence of you than any other. How she both longs for and scorns the loss of Shiva’s presence. Understand this duality and you begin to understand the relationship we have together. Our love is beautiful, complex and at times challenging. It is a relationship worth having.
Falling In Love
It took me sixteen years of marriage to figure this out. Within my beliefs, I see the divine everywhere, in everything and in everyone. When I feel my association with my met tet, I feel Ogou. When I feel the divinity of the Hindu Gods, I feel Shiva. When I look into your eyes, I see Ganga. You’ve always longed for the ocean. In your eyes I see my lover more than my wife.
On your 40th birthday, I don’t see you a year older. I don’t see any hill to go over or any new part of your life. I feel like I see you for the first time, as a new lover. It seems that our love has grown deeper than any waters. It feels like it is new and fresh from Heaven. After sixteen years of marriage, I am falling in love again.
Celebrating your 40th birthday is a wonderful point in your life – a marker on its course. I in no way mean to belittle it. But instead of feeling older, our love seems to make me feel younger, like the first time I saw your eyes. The moment I knew I wanted you, not as a friend, but as a lover, not for a night, but for a lifetime. Looking at you at 40, I am falling in love all over again.
I am fortunate. It makes me excited to see you now, no matter what your age is. You are young, beautiful and still make me pause. To stop and look into your eyes is to see the divine. Namaste.