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Uma Gupta
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Do Good. Be Happy. The Rest is Fluff
Do Good. Be Happy. The Rest is Fluff

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I wrote this poem in honor of a friend who passed away recently. It is titled, "I didn't come to stay, my dear!"

I didn’t come to stay, my dear.
I came so that someday I can leave quietly at the dawn of Grace
and the twilight of wisdom.
I came to meet you, to hold you, to love you, and to live through you,
but I didn’t come to stay.

I came to learn what it means to be Me,
dressed in my power, strength, and courage,
through You, and with You.
But I didn’t come to stay, my dear.

I came to stretch my soul, to crumble and to rise again
through the clutches of disappointment, pain, loss, and agony.
I came to live through you
But I didn’t’ come to stay, my dear.

I came to understand that I don’t always understand because
it was never meant to be understood.
It was meant to be only experienced.

It was not meant to be analyzed, dissected, argued,
studied, theorized, and presented.
You experience life, and then you leave -
for neither you nor I came to stay.

Life is its own game with its daunting rules.
Sometimes caught in the dark chaos of what I don’t understand,
trapped in the endless circles of my false struggles,
imprisoned in the fathomless and self-inflicted pain of my own failings and failures,
I find joy in knowing that I didn’t come to stay.
I came to meet Life.

Swim - just swim - in her sweet waters, my dear.

With the passage of time, from one beautiful day to the next,
from one fleeting moment to the next,
I remind myself that I didn’t come to stay, my dear.
I came to taste life, delicious and scorching, sweet and sour,
yin and yang.

I came to experience the magic and mystery of today –
the promising sunrise that melts into the arms
of an orange and reflective sunset.

I came to watch the majestic trees that never moan or groan, weep or whine,
even as the wind strips her joyous leaves
the ones that she nurtured so tenderly in her womb.
I came to see beauty in the cycle of life.
I didn’t come to stay, my dear.

When I was young and tender, I believed I was the master of my life –
I had plans you know.
After all, I didn’t come to stay, my dear,
so I had to hurry to fulfill my plans.

I would climb this ladder and then that other tall one.
I would acquire this and then that.
I would earn this title and live in that neighborhood.
I would raise my children to wow others.
I would seek praise from this crazy world.
I will fit in, so what if I have to sell my soul a little here and a little there,
for I didn’t come to stay and
I had plans you know.

I would learn to hide my sorrows and heartaches, for I didn’t come to stay.
I was just passing through.
Take a pill. Get on with it, I would tell myself.
For after all, I was a passerby.
I didn’t come to stay, my dear.

I felt the clutches of hate, jealousy, greed,
and the heavy and dark shadows of hatred and self-doubt,
but I ignored them, for I didn’t come to stay, my dear.

But that was then, this is now.

Life gently held my hands and walked by my side,
a true friend – one that never leaves even when you try to kick him out.

Today,
I gently open my chest of memories,
new and old,
some faded, some fresh,
some that feels like it was just yesterday and
some that feel like it was before I was born,
some that feel fragrant and some that crush me,
some memories softly nourish me and
some that make me crave
for more wisdom, love, truth, clarity and You.

I know now that I came to make memories through You and with You
even if I shall not stay for long.

I came to live in the glow of the sunshine of my memories,
to learn from them,
to see beauty in them – no matter the peaks and valleys,
the tsunamis and gentle streams,
the stars and the thunderstorms.

I came so that I can understand life and its glorious moments.
Even though I cannot stay, my dear.

I see them all clearly:
the faces and the words of those who walked in and out of my life and
those who stayed by my side.

Those who left must have left for a reason.
I know not why, but they were meant to leave me
So that you could stay by me and with me

Those who stayed, - stayed for a reason.
I didn’t always know why one stayed and one left,
but now I do for I didn’t come to stay either, my dear.

I just came to learn, my dear, from You.
I came to live, to learn, to laugh,
to be who I am through You, and with You.

When my heart was broken and my dreams were stolen,
my teacher told me to stay.
A broken heart is the path to compassion and
a stolen dream is the way to a new life,
she said softly as her voice penetrated my deaf ears.

I am here to learn the majestic lessons of life every day
from everyone
– you and you and you
Even though I won't be able to stay forever, my dear.

I may come again, and you may not even recognize me.
I may look different and yet so familiar
Like a friend, once young, now old and grey and
as you glance sideways at me.
And your heart whispers, “haven’t we met before?”
Yes, yes, we have, we have, don’t you remember?
I will softly say.

Open your chest of memories and you will see me in the crumpled folds
Intact. Pristine. Wiser.
For I have lived before through You.

I am the same one
Once again with you,
to meet you, to hold you, to love you,
to learn from you,
to make memories to put in my bulging chest and
to live through you.
Once again

Love me while you can.
Hold me. Teach me.
Lean on me.
Cry on my shoulders,
Dance with me.
Watch the leaves shed their leaves with joy.
You are my love, my wisdom.
I will always carry you in my boundless heart
even though I can’t stay forever

by Uma Gupta

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