Claude McKay once wrote a poem entitled ‘if we must die.’ In it, he shared that may our death not be like hogs who are hunted and penned down, while dogs, mad and hungry bark around, mocking us even for dying like pigs. We are better than pigs. Much more glorious. And so if death is to be ours, if all of us have to live through a last sunrise or a last sunset, then he noted that may it come nobly, so that even our living is not in vain. Yet so many people live in vain. Death will always be victorious, however you live. I know that. But try to be better than pigs even if we must die. Even Jane Goodall noted that death can be the last great adventure, the idea of what lies beyond it. Know it and you know life. All of this got me thinking of life. That and seeing a full moon tonite. So I literally penned a response to McKay and called it, “If we must live.”

If we must live, if we must do it our way, may we do it like the moon, unafraid to glow, unafraid to be brilliant. May we also live with people unafraid to dream, people unafraid to pass through uncharted territories, rugged landscapes or rough terrains because they are so drunk in their dreams. If we must live, may we be uninhibited by our dreams, drunk in them too and be with people who dream drunk. For what use is life without dreams even if the dreams are hazy and complex. All dreams are. What use is life without imagining the impossible, like reaching for the moon, touching it, knowing it’s there always, longing for it, seeing it and then somehow surpassing it. If we must live, may our dreams take us past the moon, take us to new heights that defy words. May we do so dreaming of life too beyond reaching for the moon. May we surround ourselves too with dreamers and together, may our dreams help us surpass all our hopes for life, even the audacity of surpassing the moon. For to live beyond the moon, is to be bold, audacious, and any other word that personifies daring. If we must live may we dare to dream. May we dare to be like the moon. Dare to be with people and places that take us to the moon and beyond, and keep us forever glowing in an ethereal radiance that can only come for life lived beyond the moon. So if we must live, may whatever lies ahead of us, be as brilliant as the moon and still surpass the moon’s brilliance. Imagine that, a life whose brilliance, whose glow surpasses the moon. What a life that would be, this life beyond the moon, beyond your wildest dreams. If we must live, may we do so beyond dreams that came before us, dreams that take us high through paths unknown, for whatever adventures that lie ahead. If we must live, may we go wherever our dreams take us. And may dreams light the path, however dark it may seem, for however long it maybe. And even if we must pass our last breath, pressed against death’s firm grip, may we whisper ever so softly, how we lived, because we dared to dream.

Tonite’s moon.

This dream, I dream, of life beyond the moon, is as breathtaking as a baby’s kiss, my baby’s kiss. I gave him the moon. Well at least a small glimpse of it. He kissed me right after, as if to say thank you. If we must live, may life’s many breath be the moon, be beyond the moon, and be as gentle as a baby’s kiss. I am dreaming in love. I am dreaming of my baby’s kiss. And life, is so worth living, because we, my baby and I, dared to dream.

In Religion yesterday my son learnt about God and how he created everything. Religion is the one subject that truly captivates his attention for a long time compared to other subjects. Since the start of the school year we have been coloring and learning about the 10 commandments. I honestly don’t know if he remembers any of them. But there is something about learning about God and Jesus in particular, that makes him still. His stillness with Religion (via the same technology he loathes with other subjects) is piercing. His love for religion, with word for word memorization of the Catholic mass since he was 3 for example, has been profoundly insightful to our family.

At 3, he knew how to say the Catholic prayers during Holy Communion.

Yesterday we spent time learning about the wonderful things God created. Like the moon. My son adores the planets and the moon. The picture of the moon in the chapter we read was his favorite picture. His teacher asked why the moon was his favorite? He replied, because it shines on everything. Just when we thought he had provided his answer, as his responses are often short, my son goes on to explain why the moon was his favorite.

The moon he said, shines on the trees as well as the elephant. It also shines on the grass as well as the peacocks. Even the fruits and vegetables, the horses and the butterflies and also the fishes and the birds in the sky. The moon shines on everything. I love it because of that. His teacher and I were stunned. I was also speechless. The depth of his thoughts surprises me always. Here is a boy for whom interaction can be quite a task, his responses very minimal, and his disdain for homeschooling very high. But the moon and its power to shine on everything was spectacular to him and worth underscoring how it shines on everything.

Just when I thought the class was over, his teacher asked him to draw what of all God’s creatures he loves. My son said his family. He would draw his family as that’s what he loves. He proceeded with focused and purposeful determination to draw me, his dad, himself, his sister and his brother. I was in awe. Everyday with him is different. Some days can be silent. Some days like yesterday stunning. But in the end and like the moon he continues to shine bright in ways that make me smile. Keep shining my son, as bright as the moon, shine.

Our family.