Shiva
Muthiah

2019—2021

Alone with past lives

This past year I’ve felt so alone. Suddenly all relationships lived within windows and behind screens. Without being near people, I started to wonder if I was even human anymore.
Outside, everything was on fire, but I was safe behind my screen.
Lost in dreams.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of riding a motorcycle down a quiet road in the city at midnight, roadside trees appearing and disappearing in my headlights, life itself beating assuredly underneath me and the night breeze cool on my face.

Some days I lost myself in memories.
Some days grabbed me by my shoulders and shook me into living.

Even in those moments, I knew death is never far away.
Around us are always reminders of what we’ve lost.
I made contact with a great grandfather once through a large framed photograph with small black alphabets around it. I cupped a small tumbler on top of A, one finger pressed on top of the cold metal. It moved by itself, spelling. Maybe I was just suggestible.

Or maybe I wanted so to believe.
Once after watching a scary movie, I turned off the lights. Darkness seeped throughout the room. Suddenly I sensed the inky dark corners squirm, crawl and scream. I was frozen in terror.

Until I remembered that, out there, would also be, my mother. And with her, the little boy I was.
That little boy reminds me that there are moments like this one in the swirling miasma of experiences that is life.
Sometimes there are endings. Beginnings always follow.