An Act of Letting Go

“And so Richard Parker went ahead of me. He stretched his legs and walked along the shore. At the edge of the jungle, he stopped. I was certain he was going to look back at me; flatten his ears to his head, growl. That he would bring an end to our relationship in some way. But he just stared ahead into the jungle. And then, Richard Parker, my fierce companion, the terrible one who had kept me alive, disappeared forever from my life.

After a few hours a member of my own species found me. He left and returned with a group who carried me away. I wept like a child. Not because I was overwhelmed at having survived, although I was. I was weeping because Richard Parker left me so unceremoniously. It broke my heart.

You know, my father was right. Richard Parker never saw me as his friend. After all we had been through, he didn’t even look back. But I have to believe that there was more in his eyes than my own reflection staring back at me. I know it, I felt it. Even if I can’t prove it.

You know, I’ve left so my behind- my family, the zoo, India, Anandi. I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go. But what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye. I was never able to thank my father for all I learned from him. To tell him, without his lessons I would never have survived. I know Richard Parker’s a tiger but I wish I had said, “It’s over. We survived. Thank you for saving my life. I love you, Richard Parker. You’ll always be with me. May God be with you.”

I don’t have a huge amount to say right now, but I wanted to share this with you. Life of Pi, both the book and the film, had a huge effect on me. I couldn’t even tell you what changed, but something about the story became a part of me, resounded with me. I don’t know. But it is extremely precious to me. When I saw the film the first time, I was going through a period in my life where I had numbed myself from my emotions, because things were very hard. And I just remember being sat in the cinema, crying my eyes out by the end of the film. Nothing had had such a profound effect on me in many years. it still brings me to tears.

Erin

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