You can be grateful for the beauty & also upset at the ugliness. The things that inspire these co-exist & sometimes in the same place. Why would the feelings that these bring up, not be able to occupy the same mind simultaneously? Human beings can feel more than one feeling at a time. And one feeling does not cancel out another. It just waits in the wings till you allow it to be felt.

Mumbai’s beaches are an everlasting lesson in this. I hear people say how dirty Versova is, how crowded Juhu is. Yes & so? It still is a beach. The soft place between the grounded & the flowing. A reminder that this is an island, a tropical island. An island needs the generosity of sea, the bounty of earth & the graces of the sun to exist. So it burns sometimes. It drowns & floats. It overwhelms & underwhelms, sometimes both together.

Jai Ranjit & I had a conversation about ambiguity, inspired by his painting (swipe to see). I thought the shadow represented a person on a threshold. Maybe they’re gripped by fear or trauma unable to leave. But they’re also pulled by hope & possibility. Ambiguity is that threshold, that soft place that is neither in one & both together. And maybe more.

If my island can exist in this soft place & carry so many swords, words, fragments & dreams, maybe I can learn to do so too. All I have to do is remember it’s okay to identify with neither one completely. To wait on that threshold till it’s time to take shape. To remember that no shape is permanent. We are all soft places.

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