Monday, May 4, 2015

Culture Corner

Yes, All My Rivers Are Lahureys
by Purna Vaidya

For the tiniest refuge,
these rivers stir. Hastily running night and day
despite jungle and hills 

Finding a place of rest
where their whole self can stay,
there, to calmly abide,
their restless waves asleep

But, in my land, (harbored and held
by mountains and icy peaks)
there is no place
           to remain

Cruel hills and steep
cliffs pushing down, allow no rest,
banishing all to the lowlands

Forced out of their native realm
for a foreign land

So, rubbing earthly dust onto their chests,
they leave their own place
exhausted in the ocean of sacrifice
for no end,
               for nothing at all

This poem was translated from the original Nepalese to English. I adored this poem and thought we should take a minute to focus on it, and the beauty of Nepal's landscape and culture. In commemoration of the people that lost their lives in the Nepal Earthquake. 
I love the image of a rivers stirring within a tiny refuge, as I find my own peace in the cultural mecca that is Brooklyn within some of the most chaotic places. Whether that landscape is the subway station, or Fulton Ave bustling with people, sometimes so much peace is sound in the middle of the most noise.
This poem also speaks of banishment and human/nature's dislocation. I find the last stanza so incredibly beautiful and haunting, and it resonates almost universally. The continuation of energy and love despite destruction or disaster.
I think this poet wonderfully captured a giant spectrum of visual, natural beauty, while also touching on the pain that is inescapable within the human condition.
What does it mean to be human? Does it mean to experience beauty and companionship, or does it mean to fight the world over and over again for a semblance of peace?
These thoughts are beautiful, and simultaneously terrifying to me. As is the thought of a giant earthquake in the beautiful country of Nepal, and the dislocation associated with that.
I watched footage of the earthquake within a city, and a building fell out in front of the entire bustling street. With as many people on it as on any Manhattan block.
My heart lurched with this scene,
thankfully the city is slowly rebuilding itself, as any city must do after so much destruction. I just don't understand why the cycle has to be so cruel sometimes.
Think of Nepal,
and pray for Nepal if you like
Love and Poetry Always,

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