You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.”
Jorge Luis Borges

Its strange how just a little collection of words can bring all the memories rushing back from the past. And that is exactly what I experienced as soon I stumbled across this short poem. For few moments, I was transported from the present to my past, focusing and reliving all those moments when I have had stinging broken-hardheartedness and hopelessness but I have lived through those. I have embraced incomparable pain and cried for nights but managed to leave those depressing moments behind and move on with life.

I am certain everyone on our planet has experienced similar heartbreaks, crushed desires, devastated hopes and has struggled to live life in those few moments. But the bottom-line remains, never give up. Learn and Move on. And that is exactly what we learn from this ecstatic piece of work from writer and poet Jorge Luis Borges who is one of the most celebrated poets of all times and one of my favorites. This short piece of writing is one anyone can relate to irrespective of age, gender, caste, creed and anything whatsoever.

It re-ignites that flame of self-importance and self-dignity that starts to dwindle with the passage of time and with the loads of difficult situations thrown our way by fate.

We are hurt, we cry, we curse ourselves and cry some more.

We are low, we are depressed, we confine ourselves and are depressed some more.

But the golden rule of life remains that no matter what, we live.

We endure, we live. We forgive, we live. We forget, we live. We live.

And the one thing that is consistent in the process is we learn. We learn while we live.

With mistakes, we learn.

With messes, we learn.

With shattered hopes, we learn.

With faded desires, we learn.

With losses, we learn.

With disappointments, we learn.

While everything else might seem to stop, we never stop learning and that is the only thing that pushes us ahead into the next day to live.

We learn to live. We live to learn.

-Asha Seth