Monday, June 18, 2012

Being Single

The other day, someone asked me a question that I am sure many people have wanted to ask me but don't because of my apparent aloofness. We were talking about my being a single parent and she said "But don't you ever feel like being with someone? Why didn't you marry again?". Usually quick to respond, I floundered. I couldn't find the right words to tell her what to wanted to- that I am complete as I am and very happy too, even though my completeness and happiness is very different from hers, a happily married woman. I don't seek that kind of companionship at all, perhaps because I have other very fulfilling relationships, or because I have been burnt...who knows for sure? Whenever I have tried to say this to anyone, it tends to become a one lifestyle versus another issue, which I am not interested in.

Then last week, I read this poem and liked it for its simplicity. But it kept calling me back for some reason and I found myself reading it again and again. Today when I read it, I realized why. The poem explains my completeness in singlehood. Here's 
the poem first, then my interpretation.


Thorns are my language.
I announce my existence
with a bleeding touch.

Once these thorns were flowers.
I loathe lovers who betray.
Poets have abandoned the deserts
to go back to the gardens.
Only camels remain here, and merchants,
who trample my blooms to dust.

One thorn for each rare drop of water.
I don’t tempt butterflies,
no bird sings my praise.
I don’t yield to droughts.

I create another beauty
beyond the moonlight,
this side of dreams,
a sharp, piercing,
parallel language.

by K. Satchidanandan
from Vikku
DC Books, Kottayam, 2002
translation by author

Here is how I relate to this poem.

By being single, I created another beauty, beyond the moonlight, this side of dreams, a sharp piercing parallel language, softened somewhat by motherhood. I may not tempt the usual butterflies anymore, but I don't yield to droughts either! 
My world may look deserted, but it is clean and beautiful and harmonious. My thorns may repel, but they also preserve and protect. Poets may have abandoned the desert, but I resound with poetry. No birds sing here, but my life feels like a song- in a single mellifluous voice. 


  1. Lovely and expressive and seems you have a very vibrant throat Chakra called vishudhi. I feel so proud to be your mother.

    1. Hey Ma...aren't you the one giving Reiki to my throat chakra?

  2. Hugs...and then some more! Really beautiful..."but I resound with poetry".