A very wise sage I know told me yesterday that I should write. Because I’m emotional and confused, frustrated, and hurt and very lost. What do I do, tell me! I begged him. And he said, write. Because you can’t do anything about this. Because it is your talent and your grace. Because it makes me happy to read it.

And you know, barring that post below, he’s right. Writing helps me, it always has. I’ve wondered a lot of the past year if I made the right decision making this a non-personal space. But then, reading Namaste, I realised it is possible to be personal and not at the same time, and the craft of writing is no worse off for having been executed in the articulation of something personal.

So let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, my best beloved, in a jungle far away or near, depending on where you live, there lived a clan of monkeys. Now these monkeys were like most monkeys: tails, limbs, teeth, fur, all correct and accounted for. But something made them different. They would leap and dance from branch to branch, crossing tossing jumping hooting whilring around in a flurry of partners – no one knew what would happen from one moment to the next. Most of the other clans shook their heads in bewilderment, and very rarely, once in a blue moon, a monkey gasped in awe and shyly asked if they could join the clan. Because they could see that what the monkey clan was doing was not the mad dance of a dervish, but a ballet.

When babies were born into the Ballet clan, they grew up being tossed from aunt to uncle, tree to tree, and they marvelled at how exhilarating it all was. Wheeeee I’m so glad I’m a monkey! they thought. But then, the day would come when they would have to meet other monkeys. They would leap and reach to be caught, only to crash through the branches to the forest floor. They would whirl and twirl and spin and grin, only to find all the other monkeys had drawn away in horror. Slowly, the baby monkeys learned a lesson – not everyone can dance the monkey ballet. This was the power of the clan – only they could understand that intricate dance. But this was also the curse of the clan, for they had to endure incredible hardship when they began to seek mates. Some of them learnt to forget the dance. Luckier, some found monkeys who could see the ballet and not be lost. Luckier still were those who found one who not just saw it, but appreciated it. But the rarest and luckiest of all, were those who found ones who could dance it.

to be continued…

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