Why?

Why am I lonely among so many people?
Why am I in darkness among all these lights?

Why do I feel empty when my heart is full?
Why do I feel far from home when I live right here?

Why are you still upset when you know I never meant to hurt you?
Why do I write sad things when they make my heart unconsolable?

Why does time pass so quickly when there is so little left?
Why am I still waiting when there is nothing left to wait for?

My Heart Sinks (whenever I remember my beloved) Part 2

When he sulked, time sulked, the whole universe sulked
What can I say, I have no words, this parting has beaten me down
Maybe he forgot my memories, but who can forget him?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

How do I console my heart, I can’t bear the loneliness
This is what I got in return for love, the world is laughing at me
Without him, the emptiness of the courtyard takes a bite out of me

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

If my lord returns home, I will celebrate a hundred times
Holding him in a tight embrace, I will hide him beneath my eyelids
The wise have told the truth, no one should ever fall in love

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

Original in Urdu by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Sunday Blues – Darker

Sunday Blues - Darker

Last Sunday we set the clock back one hour. The end of daylight savings time is a sure sign of the arrival of autumn. Even though there is still the occasional day where the sun feels warm on my skin, the chill has definitely arrived. The days are getting cold. The nights colder.

But it is the darkness I dread.

There are remedies for cold and wet. But none for the darkness that seems to escape its prison deep in the confines of my heart, and spread out, threatening to extend the night indefinitely. Suddenly all about me, I see the shadow that  I carry locked away inside me. And I feel it within and without.

And all the lights, become mere ephemeral spots of joy in the gloom. My Sunday blues, it seems, just got darker.

My Heart Sinks (Whenever I Remember my Beloved)

My Heart Sinks (Whenever I Remember my Beloved)

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved
My dearest lives far away, would someone bring him back?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

My heart’s desire is not with me, with whom shall I talk?
To me, nobody is like him, to whom shall I open my heart?
I keep begging but I am powerless

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

I keep going to the roof awaiting his return
If the one who left ever peeked into my sighs
he would not have left alone, who can reason with him?

My heart sinks whenever I remember my beloved

Original in Urdu by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Ved Rondane

No seer eg atter slike Fjøll og Dalar,
som deim eg i min fyrste Ungdom saag,
og sama Vind den heite Panna ‘svalar;
og Gullet ligg paa Snjo, som fyrr det laag.
Det er eit Barnemaal, som til meg talar,
og gjer’ meg tankefull, men endaa fjaag
Med Ungdomsminni er den Tala blandad:
Det strøymer paa meg, so eg knapt kan anda.

Ja, Livet strøymer paa meg, som det strøymde,
naar under Snjo eg saag det grøne Straa.
Eg drøymer no, som fyrr eg altid drøymde,
naar slike Fjøll eg saag i Lufti blaa.
Eg gløymer Dagsens Strid, som fyrr eg gløymde,
naar eg mot Kveld af Sol eit Glimt fekk sjaa.
Eg finner vel eit Hus, som vil meg hysa,
naar Soli heim mot Notti vil meg lysa.

Alt er som fyrr, men det er meir forklaarat,
so Dagsens Ljos meg synest meire bjart.
Og det, som beit og skar meg, so det saarat,
det gjerer sjølve Skuggen mindre svart;
sjølv det, som til at synda tidt meg daarat,
sjølv det gjer’ harde Fjøllet mindre hardt.
Forsonad’ koma atter gamle Tankar:
det sama Hjarta er, som eldre bankar.

Og kver ein Stein eg som ein Kjenning finner,
for slik var den, eg flaug ikring som Gut.
Som det var Kjæmpur spyr eg, kven som vinner
af den og denne andre haage Nut.
Alt minner meg; det minner, og det minner,
til Soli ned i Snjoen sloknar ut.
Og inn i siste Svevn meg eigong huggar
dei gamle Minni og dei gamle Skuggar.

Written by Aasmund Olavsson Vinje in 1860

En Route to Gaustatoppen

Gaustatoppen, considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in Norway, towers above the town of Rjukan at an altitude of 1883 meters (6178 feet). The views from the top, as well as along the route, are stunning, and on a clear day, hikers can see one sixth of Norway from the summit!

The mountain is a popular destination for Norwegians, something I got to experience a few weeks ago. There was a constant stream of people all along the route. So many that there was a queue.

Many parents had brought their children along, the youngest ones walking, only three or four years old. Many of the children were crying and begging their parents to be carried, or simply refusing to go on. Most of the parents were ignoring their cries and telling them to keep going. This is something they simply had to do, and crying or yelling would definitely not help!

So en route to the summit of Gaustatoppen, with a backdrop of majestic Norwegian mountains, I got to witness the meticulous efforts of some parents to transfer what they believe to be core Norwegian values to the next generation. It was interesting to see how parents will always choose what they think is best for their children, no matter how much the little ones oppose.

The First Day of Spring

Today, after weeks of low temperatures caused by Siberian winds from the East, the snow finally gave in to the warmth of the March sun. From afar, the droplets from the melting snow on the roof seemed to be falling lazily onto the wooden railing on top the fence below.

As March 1st, the first day of spring, was just a few days ago, I wanted to capture this sign of the coming season so I got my camera to get a close-up of the droplets hitting the railing.  What looked like a calm trickle from a distance, turned out to be tiny explosions up close. Every time a drop hit the surface of the railing, it shattered into a thousand droplets spraying the surrounding air, creating a dazzling spectacle of small eruptions of water backlit by the brilliant afternoon sun.

Sunday Blues

The last time I visited this place, was fourteen years ago, almost to the date. Standing here by the edge of the river again, nothing seems to have changed. The trees, the rocks, the water, even the shrubs, they all look the same. The sound of running water and the wind rustling the leaves. The chill of the autumn air on a clear Sunday afternoon. The spruces standing guard along the far side of the river. It all seems exactly how it was, all those years ago, just like yesterday.

Fourteen long years of my life. So much has happened, and so many things have changed. Relocations domestic and abroad, children growing up, me getting older. Sadness, happiness, and sadness. High ambitions, hard work, and lucky accomplishments. Battles fought and victories celebrated. Disappointments small and big. Contentment, and realizations of the realities of life. Some people leaving, some entering, and then leaving again. Increasing distances between hearts as well as minds. Long awaited hellos, and sad goodbyes across vast oceans and layers upon layers of space and time.

It is strange, almost unreal, to think that fourteen years have passed. For me, it feels like a lifetime. For the river, it must be like the time it takes a tear to roll down a cheek. For the wind, a whisper in its ear. The trees have grown older, but all these years are but a short moment in their lifetime of never ending cycles of the seasons. For the rocks, I am not sure it would even register on their clock, as it must be a speck of time in their eternal life among the stars.

Standing by the water, reflecting, contemplating the passing of time, I realize that life will move on, and continue to change. It is inevitable. A fact. Until that last big change. Until then, it seems, I will keep my Sunday blues.

Sad Things

Why do you write sad things? he asked. When I am here, when I love you.

Because someday, in one way or another, you will be taken from me or I you. It is inevitable. But please understand; from the moment I met you, I stopped writing for the past. I no longer write for the present. When I write sad things, I am writing for the future.

– Text from Lullabies, by Lang Leav