Preface: River’s Heaven

River’s Heaven: A journey of self discovery and introspection

“The problem with introspection is that it has no end.” ― Philip K. Dick

Nearly five decades of my life have not taught me about life than 2021. Last year surprised me with a serious COVID episode, and the deaths of my two loved ones.

What life taught me was the greatest lesson — to introspect. I used to introspect, but this year combined my introspection with my evolution as a poet and author. Introspection is the deep dive into the depths of one’s inside — mind and soul. What we find there, is something we may not expect or even recognize.

“Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all.” ― Rollo May, Man’s Search for Himself

The biggest fear that everybody has is not outside, but within. This journey within was mostly in solitude, with me staring at the space, often with tears, but also sometimes with crystal clear thoughts. This journey was not only in solitude and silence but also in suffering.

“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.” ― Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

In that suffering, silence, and solitude, it was clear to me that my journey to the inner recesses of my soul was to enlighten and emancipate myself. This journey was not to run away from me but to get me closer to myself.

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.

…live in the question.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

The inward journey fueled by my curious introspection has made me realize that not everything can be answered immediately. But there is the time you go with the flow, like the river, living the question of life itself.

“A river unneeded still finds its way down to the ocean…”― Will Advise

The noise in my head, mind, and soul may not be heard outside, but there were questions within and questions from what I observed, and the answers were not there. But like the river, I flowed, till I reached a point where I saw my heaven at last. I knew that my journey would end, just like my mother’s and father-in-law’s did, where the netherworld is just a deep, salty abyss.

What is this? A River’s Heaven.

From the ocean, starts another journey of the river’s soul — as vapors into the clouds, and rains into the mountains. Then somewhere, at its origin, the river is born again.

Are our lives like the river? Will we be back to flow again in another life? What about this life?

This book of poetry explores these questions and explodes with answers. I am sure that you have questions too.

~Ashok Subramanian



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Ashok Subramanian

Ashok Subramanian

Poet and Author. Poetry and Book Reviews. Investment Banker. IIM C Alumni. Engineering Graduate.