She’s Leaving Home

Last week a good friend of mine sent me the message below. How is it that friends –even the most recent ones- can see things that close relatives cannot?

Curious how certain patterns, certain things become relevant in one’s life. ”She’s Leaving Home” has been a background piece several times in my life, all of them crucial occasions. It perfectly apprehends my run-away-bride behaviour, my always-radical departures.

My first attempt to leave the house occurred at the age of 4; it didn’t take long for my father’s driver to follow my trace and bring me back home. My first solo adventure lasted only few precious hours but it tasted like heaven. Ten years later I escaped from a hideous -girls only- board school in San Antonio, TX and hitchhiked my way to Dallas. Back home and forever grounded my mother asked why I behaved so thoughtlessly. No word came out of my mouth; I felt guilty and confused. At that time I couldn’t clearly understand myself let alone what others expected from me. It seemed that everything I was or wanted was the exact opposite to what adults had planned for me. My parents divorced short after that incident so their wild cat ended up living in the North of Europe with a French aunt I had seen twice in my whole young life.

Uncertainty was never a problem since it is in my nature to take risks and rise to the occasion; however it was my infinite need to be free and discover the world and myself what kept me going. Marriage was never in the original plan of course, but a home. My daughters became my home; I created what it was denied to me for so many years. Thus when I realised that my multiple attempts to save my former husband were completely futile and that his mental illness was threatening not only his but our lives; I took my girls, jumped into my van and left. No certain destination. No hesitation whatsoever. Behind me bombs hit, showering debris from all sides in the darkest night of my life. In front of me a thick cloud of dust, a suffocating forest of poisoned smoke. Failing was not an option, so I gave gas.

All supposedly friends with no exception shook their heads and asked why do you behave so thoughtlessly? What could those people possibly know? No word came out of my mouth. This time though I felt no guilt, no confusion. For the first time in centuries I could see clearly. I saw so much bullshit all around me. I saw horrible realities, realities those friends and relatives had chosen to ignore. I could no longer relate to the aspirations they had for creating a wealthy, comfortable and pleasant life for themselves.

Thankfully my former husband never asked, he was an utterly clever and sensitive man; I guess he knew from the bottom of his heart that he had blew it, he knew he had lost me for good. We were headed in totally opposite directions and we could never hope to turn those around and go back towards a point in the past where we had something in common.

Yet I cared till the bitter end, my love for him never died. I loved him for the good times and all the lessons learnt together in the far past. It was just that my love for life, other people and purposes had far exceeded it. And I was brave enough to stand up for my values and genuinely, yeah, perhaps recklessly, acted accordingly.

Among the ruins, midst in the misery of an apocalypse’s-like scenario, and right in the core of nowhere, freedom was mine at last.

Advertisements

Love not Money

13133317_1010104375733921_8030968533210041183_n“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” This Mark Twain’s well-known remark about the weather is something he actually never said, but what the heck! What native San Franciscan hasn’t heard this clever quip served up by a shivering, Bermuda-shorted sightseer on a fogbound Golden Gate Bridge?

The Flower-Power city is always a visit worth. San Francisco embraces me with an indescribable warmth even when usually windy, rainy and extremely cold in February. Glacial, fresh air turns me on though, it has the same effect as swimming underwater, it relaxes yet invigorates body and mind, so much that breathing turns into a sensual delight. Thus I normally wake up there craving for just one thing: run, run, run along my personal Vitaparcours by Fort Mason.

During my usually short but intense runs I analyse stupid things like for example, how horrifying TV content is in the US. This time I got to watch a site about a bunch of assorted ladies finding the right dress for their weddings. Since I’ve have designed some bridal stuff, the subject obviously interested me. Dresses were crappy ALL of them, it was more the wives-to-be’s attitude which caught my attention.

Tying the knot is an important event in someone’s life, I fully agree, but it seemed to me that those TV women tended to visualise the wedding as being far more relevant than the marriage itself. In fact, they seemed to be oblivious of the true meaning of a loving bond -any- and frivously talked about marriage as a form of achievement. Gown’s prices therefore went from 3,000 to 25,000 USD. Whole lotta bread.

My first thought was ‘Mimi, what the heck have you been been doing? Any of yours costs a fraction of it!!’ But while running I said to myself, Mimi, stick to your values gal, you design for people in love, you design for people who are able to commit; you design for intelligent people who care about healthy finances and have their priorities correctly settled and hopefully will get rid of the damn dress as soon as possible getting hot and heavy and passionately naked somewhere. Yeah, that’s what I envision, my whole clothing line dispersed on the floor of the couple’s nest. Love, not money.

I do hope to soon attend an Indian wedding, my best girl-friend there will possibly marry this year. Thrilled to be part of the entourage and perhaps be able to design something royal, classy, genuinely sensual and colourful for the most gorgeous bride ever. As for me, I’ve worn a number of such beautiful dresses, but never married in one of them. Effectivement, les cordonniers sont toujours les plus mal chaussés.

Through Love’s Great Power

vikrams-poem

prev6On March 20, 2014, The New York Review of Books published this poem with the article “India: You’re Criminal if Gay,”. The article was written by the poet’s mother, retired High Court Chief Justice Leila Seth. The trigger was the Indian Supreme Court’s killjoy re-instatement of a colonial anti-sodomy law that had been revoked in 2009. Vikram calls this “to undo justice.” His mother affirmed her love for her bisexual son and wrote: “The Supreme Court judgment means that he would have to be celibate for the rest of his life or else leave the country where he was born, to which he belongs, and which he loves more than any other.” Thus Seth divides his time between Delhi and a home in England that belonged to Metaphysical poet George Herbert, whose 17th century language echoes in this poem.

I kindly ask my readers go please read the full article http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/03/20/india-youre-criminal-if-gay/

Memories

A few months ago I was asked what my biggest fear was. I answered without hesitation, losing my memory. The shrink made such a face I still laugh about it. He must have been utterly intrigued by my response since he knew many of my recollections; especially the most recent ones were hell. Yeah, I’ve stared the Devil right in the face, but you know what? I did exactly as Stagger Lee,

Then in came the Devil, he had a pitchfork in his hand. Said, ‘Stagger Lee, I’ve come to take you down’ Well, those were the last words that the Devil said because Stag put four holes in his motherfucking head.

The problem with shrinks is that they all are cut from the same cloth; stereotypically oriented by nature, too commonplace, too normal, too DO (Direct Officer) and I truly dislike being controlled by functional imbeciles. But I went there just to please a concerned someone who thought I needed to talk to a professional in order for me to come to my senses and put some order in my love life. Yeah, right.

Order? OK, but I really don’t know how much professionals of all sorts can do for me. While in India, a former friend of mine took me to a woman who supposedly read past lives. She lived far, far, far away from downtown Mumbai so my old Canon had no rest during that precious 3 hours-ride and that was the most amazing part of it because the moment I entered the session I blacked out, so much that by the end of it the sorcerer had serious troubles waking me up from a profound sleep. My Hindi is very modest; she did not speak any other language known to me, so I’m still wondering if bad karmas were removed from my current soul or are they still lingering over it. I must assume the latter is true because my love life can only be described as a fucking mess in all languages known.

Back to the story, the only thing I could think of during the way back home was how easily, how confidently I lied down on a completely stranger’s bed and comfortably slept there for hours. No worries whatsoever even though the sorcerer had previously, in a casual manner remarked that she shared her bed at night with two other young women who worked for her. Oo-key, other cultures, other costumes, I thought, not my business. You see, this is again my daredevil 7K (Seven Killings) Structure in action.

blog-memoriesAnyway, what I wanted to say is that memories as painful as they could get, are life. And by that I mean, they do not represent it, they ARE life. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing. I know that for sure since I joined for a while my former mother-in-law’s trip into a deep hole of darkness called Alzheimer. You really don’t know what emptiness means until you look into the eyes of such a patient. This shit is scarier than staring at the Devil himself; and I certainly know what I’m talking about because as previously mentioned folks, I well know that one face too.

I recall stupid me asking her gdmnd-no-idea shrink “Is it possible that she had really been de-souled by the disease?” And off he went with some kind of scientific explanation I obviously overheard. But his prolonged monologue gave me the chance to go into myself and ask again, and see, and get my answer. She was totally corroded by the disease because she had no connection to any divine force included the one within herself. She and her whole aristocratic family considered themselves high-levelled intellectuals and always denied the existence of God; which is a respectable position since no one has ever proved the contrary. But it was the lack of spirituality, which doomed her. I am certain of it; had she practiced at least one form of it, that alone could have saved the little rest of life and dignity that remained after losing almost all cognitive neuronal functions.

Spirituality and Brains and Life, that’s a subject I’ll take up later, enough for now.

Photo by Himanshu Singh Gurjar.

Dating in India

bce00764e4de2ff5810fef5d0a22c019Most Indian men are handsome in a very Yin/Yang way; they are decidedly virile, yet gentle, sweet, and caring at the same time. Intelligent, skilled, and amazingly witty they make perfect companions until they want what they cannot afford. I’ve gone through a number of, at times ridicule, situations trying to keep married guys at bay or explaining seemingly underage fellows why they really don’t want to date a woman who could be their mom.

The attention a western woman gets in India can be enjoyable at the beginning, especially because, in my case, it allowed me to participate in a conversation without reticent-me having to initiate it. Forever a nerd, my curiosity knows no limits so the first contact with singles in India was delectable, rich, and sincere. But far too many of those guys were just looking for a free ride into the Wild West; as soon as they realise white women are not that wild and that the evening won’t have a happy ending, they lose grip and turn off, apparently. They only enter in a sort of twilight time-off zone and eventually return with the argument you’ve accumulated good points by avoiding their advances. “Good, whatever you say, but what part of no, did you not understand?” It’s like if to them, our western no was that peculiar Indian head wobble -source of much confusion and wonderment among us foreigners- but in reverse.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m by all means no spring chicken or a Hollywood kind of beauty or especially gifted, therefore I assume this conduct must be somehow indigenous. The stubbornness of their crush intrigues me, an incredibly long-lasting infatuation considering that Indian men usually don’t get attached to random women -let alone foreigners- since as many as 90% of all marriages in India are arranged. In fact, dating is a very unusual and controversial practice in India due to it.

And yet, as in the famed James Bond film saga, there was a spy who truly loved me. And as it happens in any good movie, this fierce emotional experience proved to be life changing. It was through the genuineness of his feelings and the intensity of his desire that I found the secret key to decode an ancient language; it allowed me to watch the gold of India from the inside.

Men in India usually hold back physical forms of affection in public as well as verbal confirmations of love. That doesn’t mean they are insensitive, it’s just that they are used to withhold these expressions out of respect. Point acknowledged, but difficult to bear. This, along with the pressure of his family and the media due to his public persona made life a living hell. Yes, the Indian traditional culture with the perceived higher sense of family values hits a western woman like a pile of bricks making cross-cultural affaires de coeur Utopia.

But he who loves never loses. If something, we both learned that compatibility is an achievement of love, not its precondition. And no, contrary to what Indian aunties believe, love does not only come after marriage, it happens in a second, any time and despite all odds.