I may rarely feel it, but
I, this one puny human being
of breakable bones, tearable skin and tender heart.
An incredible amalgamation of the cosmos
reaching across space-time.
I contain remnants of long dead stars.
Am home to a vast array of microbes
that assist my digestion, my immunity
and even affect my state of mind.
My body is energised by the light of our star
and the breath of plants and plankton.
My cells are filled with the same water
that animates rivers and shapes lakes.
Even the pervasive plastics of our synthetic age,
coalescing in huge swirls of post-modernesque art
in the distant pacific,
also flow in my bloodstream.
Unknowable number of ruptures in
the seemingly established order of things
have led to my being here and now.
Somewhere, sometime aeons past
an adventurous creature or two climbed out of watery depths
seeking something new,
or seeking the light
or maybe a place to dry off.
Aeons later distant human ancestors set sail
across the Palk Strait, seeking or fleeing who knows what,
to land on that tear-shaped Island of my birth.
Some generations on, other people
moved across oceans reshaping worlds
and overstaying their welcome
on that Island of spice and gems.
And so, here I am, on another Island
across another ocean.
And even on those days when this seems
I am here,
I am alive –
Ham-sa is Sanskrit for ‘I am that’. With the ‘that’ referring to the supreme or cosmic consciousness that is within us all. It is used as a mantra with the ham repeated on the inhale and sa on the out breath.