Of tryst with the Divine
   Date :31-Mar-2020

Of tryst with the Divine_

prose_1  H x W:
By Vijay Phanshikar :
Alone I walked the ocean strand;
A pearly shell was in my hand:
I stooped and wrote upon the sand
My name—the year—the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,
One lingering look behind I cast;
A wave came rolling high and fast,
And washed my lines away.
And so, methought, ’t will shortly be
With every mark on earth from me:
A wave of dark oblivion’s sea
Will sweep across the place
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of time, and been, to be no more,
Of me—my day—the name I bore,
To leave nor track nor trace.
And yet, with Him who counts the sands
And holds the waters in His hands,
I know a lasting record stands
Inscribed against my name,
Of all this mortal part has wrought,
Of all this thinking soul has thought,
And from these fleeting moments caught
For glory or for shame.
- ‘A Name In The Sand’,
Hannah Flagg Goul
ON COUNTLESS occasions have poets
verbalised such a feeling -- of awareness how ephemeral life is and how the lines on the sands on shore of life get erased so quickly,
leaving no trace behind. From that angle, Hannah Flagg Gould has not written anything special, so to say. Yet, these lines showcase an innate faith in the scheme of the Divine. This is an endearing nuance in this poem.
... One lingering look behind I cast;
A wave came rolling high and fast,
And washed my lines away.
Yet, there is little grief or remorse -- for having written the name and the year and the day. ‘Yes, I did write those details that I felt were too important for me. But a moment later, they had been washed away...’, the poet writes.
And so, methought, ’t will shortly be
With every mark on earth from me ...
This has been ancient wisdom humans acquired ages ago. Yet, there is an effort -- of all of us -- to write our names on the sands of time on life’s shore. All of us know, a moment later, those lines will be gone, swept away by waves of a dark oblivion’s sea ...!
Yet we write those -- in an almost stupid innocence -- or ignorance, if one may say so.
But then, some of us write those lines with a faith that the Divine has recorded all our deeds, good, bad and indifferent. Many of us, therefore, write those lines for that lasting record!
This faith in the scheme Divine, this effort to enter our deeds in that lasting record, this desire to be remembered by Him, to remain cuddled in His lap, is actually the core of human virtue and value. ‘Yes, my name may get erased in a moment. Yes, others may never remember me or my work. I actually may not have made much sense out of my life. Yet, I am part of a Divine scheme that sent me to the dear earth to spend some time and energy. That little work, whatever its shape and size and sizzle, is ordained by the Divine, and I must comply with that commandment. And when I do that, He keeps that record -- for eternity -- though away from humanity’s cognisance. I never mind that. For, if the Divine is to keep that record and remember me, then why do I worry about if other humans remember me or not?!
‘This, however, is not belligerence of any kind; this, at best, is a belief that I am part of a Divine scheme and I must abide by its
‘In that sense, my name in the sand has certain eternity that I -- and the Divine -- alone know!’