THE OBSCURITY OF EXISTENCE

Category: Pieces

An Encounter with Self

55, 56, 57, 58, 59…. The number kept changing rapidly 00, 01, 02, 03…
She kept staring at the screen, blankly, without once blinking her eye. She was oblivious to what was happening around her. Even if the world would have fallen apart around her, she would not notice, she was too enchanted by the numbers blinking on that tiny screen. If someone would look at her, they would assume that she is lost in a daydream, gazing into the future, but it wasn’t like that with her. She was focusing on that split second where the number would just change and one would never experience that second again. This moment will never return and it is just going to exist in the past, linger there forever. She thought to herself how quickly all of this would fade away, in a moment of time hundreds of cells gave up their lives, in a moment of time even she will cease to exist.

She usually wasn’t scared of these thoughts (about dying) anymore. And it took a lot of patience and self-introspection to get there. It wasn’t that she didn’t value the life she was given, but she had come to an understanding that it wasn’t in her hand to control this decision. But today a new kind of fear engulfed her. She was rather shocked at this feeling. She was afraid she didn’t believe the skin she was housing. She felt as if her body and her mind are two different entities, having troubles about coexisting together. She didn’t remember feeling like this before or even if she did, she had a very quaint feeling.

She was still reluctant to look away from the screen, she was hooked. She was worried that if she looked away, she is going to miss out on a lot of things, and she wanted to gather it all, not let her limitations stop her from experiencing the world.

The holy ritual these numbers were performing had forced herself to look beyond the obvious, things she had missed in her everyday life and commute. She was afraid of the answers, but maybe she was starting to enjoy the process. It was weird to her that she knew she was looking for answers, maybe even had the idea where she would look for one, but she was worried that she didn’t have the right questions to ask.

At that moment, she thought of something, something that she knew had helped her in the past: poetry. The whole point of poetry for her was to dig beneath the surface, to know herself a little better, dive into the deep lingering thoughts and make sense of what actually worked for her and what she believed would work for her. They were just not rhymes and sounds, it was a tool that would dig up fossils, clear them out and give them a name.

She started mumbling something, random words put together as they flew her mind, she wasn’t worried about them making sense. She was starting to believe that eventually, everything falls into place. The catch was, the universe had a big role in it and her very little although powerful. She just had to keep doing, and doing some more, and then some more till she knew she had given it all she had and then she would leave it up to the universe to make sure the pieces fit where they were supposed to fit. She knew that it is not the way she would always want, but she did not have any power over that decision.

It was something she was very new at but knew the powers were immense: the art of relinquishing control. She was getting there, getting better after all these conversations she would have with herself. She wondered if all of these really made sense in the bigger picture, but she knew she had to keep going in order to find out.

04
05
06
07
08


 

The screen went blank and all of a sudden she could not see anything. She closed her eyes and tried making sense of what was happening around her. She did not feel in control of anything — her mind, her senses, her body. They all felt different parts floating in space, like the paper that breaks down into pieces and keeps floating till you stop noticing.

The next thing she knew was her alarm ringing for the nth time.

She was anew.

Advertisements

Voluntary Sadness

He felt sad from the pit of his stomach. It started there and he could visualize it spreading throughout his body. It wasn’t a physical ache, but the pain was worse he thought. It’s the kind of pain he has been familiar with — been through this before. Although, something about this felt different, more grown up, maybe a little more intense. This time he did not want to cry about it to his friends, binge on heart-wrenching classics, not gorge on the ice-cream or anything else to substitute the pain. He wanted to feel every second of this in order to fully understand what was happening to him, no matter how painful. On one hand, he wanted to put his face in the pillow and cry his heart out and on the other hand, he was okay, tapping the keys on his laptop. If someone were to look at him, they would not even have the faintest idea of the whirlwind that was being caused inside him; the battles he was fighting and the unchartered territories he was venturing into.

What is with this pain and this life, he thought? Love felt like a complex emotion. He wanted to hold on to it even though he knew it was toxic. He ached for her, he longed for her company, but she was nowhere to be found. She was a distant dream, a melody played in the wee hours of the morning, soothing and calming, waking you up from the deep slumber.

He never realized how a relationship he held on dearly to would teach him one of the most remarkable lessons of life. It was something with that girl he met one lonely summer. There was something about those conversations, something that called out to him. He did not remember the process of falling in love. Whenever he tried to recollect the memory of how he fell in love, not one specific instant came to mind. He felt as if he was always in love.

There were all sorts of questions in his mind. He was trying to make sense of the past few weeks, maybe months. Knowing too much about something isn’t too good either. One is always so apprehensive about doing anything, he thought. Over analyzing, overthinking and prone to more damage by the things he usually would not think too much about did not work in his favor. He wanted to replay each and every moment since the inception of this relationship, not because he dearly wanted all of this back, but the thought of this not working out had never occurred to him as something sustainable. He always thought that their relationship was synergic so they would automatically be drawn to each other, but somehow universe managed to surprise him.

That’s the thing about love: you can’t deny it, you can’t escape it, you can’t stop it. It is one of the finest experiences one can have in their lifetime. The interpretations of this experience are various and probably that is the beauty of it. You get to make your own story, keep it with you and nurture it.

Somewhere he was thankful, somewhere he wasn’t. He did not know when this would fade if ever it would fade. He was just there in love, hurting and aching, but still in love, so undeniably in love. He dreamt of her, in the quieter moments of life, when no one was paying attention when he would feel the wind in his hair when he would look at a child. It would bring him extreme joy and extreme pain, sometimes more and sometimes less — that’s love, always moving, making you feel things you have never before.

Amorphous State of Existence

Have you ever been to a pottery class or, have you ever witnessed a potter in action? If you have, you might easily be able to empathize with what I am about to write. If not, I hope my words fill in those details and make the picture vivid enough for you to get the feeling of experiencing it in person.

So, the potter. It is really fascinating to see how he/she works. I think he/she is a magical being, possessing life-giving powers. When I look at the magical lab, I think it is divided into two fractions: chaos and orderly. One half of his room is occupied by clay, this lifeless matter, lying around waiting to be picked up — chaos. Another half of the room is occupied by aesthetically beautiful pots, cups, vases and everything you can imagine — orderly.

When he picked up the lump of clay and threw it on the wheel, I was almost certain that shaping this raw material and morphing into a cup will never turn out to be the same as I saw the other one lying on the orderly side of the world. I always thought he had some hidden machine which would wither into perfection, this epitome of exact measurement. But as soon as he started moving his wheel, his hands dancing around the wheel, joyfully playing with the clay, performing an art, the one that takes you into a trance. He so delicately starts giving it some form, he was very conscious about the pressure he would put on it, the rhythm of the wheel had to be in sync.

It is a very exhilarating experience to see something come to life from nothing. The idea of something or someone being born, something or someone ceasing to exist might seem like very general and obvious ideas. One might mistake them for ordinary. Unless you have seen them in action, you can’t gauge the power of such processes. Babies being born are a miracle, but it is extremely beautiful to see an idea being born as well, turning into something powerful, with deep impact. The idea of death scares us all, but watching your favorite mug turn to pieces or experiencing the pain of departing from your loved one; it changes you, from the core. They are small but powerful changes. You start appreciating the little things that you would have once failed to even notice, you might be more alert about the things you say, the places you go, the decision you make. And I mean it in a good way, you try to be more respectful towards your life.

A lot of this might seem gibberish, here and there, but do not you think that is our state of being. We are crowded with dreams, wishes, ambitions, fear and inhibitions, biases, longing, self-awareness and the list might never end. It is a big set to choose from, differs for everybody, but the list will remain, multiple threads being processed. We are always trying to make sense of this world around us, constantly monitoring ourselves to be the better version then you were a minute ago (might seem exaggerating), but in the hindsight you know that is what you are doing.
We are constantly evolving, changing minute by minute.

Our potter is the life, the experiences, the choices that we are making and I am yet to find out when the potter of my life is gonna stop and I can look at myself and feel the same calmness that I experience when I look at that cup from the other side of the world — orderly side. But I have never seen anyone so refined, so furnished ever — everyone is constantly changing, taking new shapes, coming to life in various forms and that made me question — will I never reach the orderly side of the world? Will I ever be at that stage where my brain would just take a breath and just learn to relax like me with a martini and book on a beach.

And if I do reach that point, will I still be living? I wonder what it would be like on that side of the world. Will things be calmer, quieter and soothing? Sometimes I wonder if the potter shapes the clay as he goes or does he already know what he is going to make?

Do you wonder that as well? Do you ever question: when will you stop being in an Amorphous state of existence?

Will one always be in an amorphous state of existence?

Letter to my old self

Hello dear,

I hope that you find this letter in good health and the merrier of times, because you will not like what is about to follow. I apologize for starting the letter in a rude way. It is not all bad, but it is not what you are hoping either. You might want to make your walk longer today, you are not going to get enough a while later and while we are at it, please read a book or two more because I miss smelling those old pages and taking it all in: the beauty of those long lost words.

You shall wonder what has happened after all and you should, your life depends on it. I had a peaceful day after a very long time. I had the time to sip my coffee alone and in peace, I had the chance to eat my lunch alone and I finally got my hand on The Ulysses. If I had just known how much easier it would be to not think about anyone but myself, I would have done that more If I were you.

Don’t be fooled by Beethoven when we says:

Ever thine. 
Ever mine. 
Ever ours. 

And mind that Voltaire is not going to do any good either when you will be swayed by his words: No, nothing has the power to part me from you; our love is based upon virtue, and will last as long as our lives.

Those great men with love and passion led the bravest of lives and from what I feel, misery never left their side. It is a word of caution my friend, think twice before you close your eyes and lean for a kiss, It will eventually lead you to believe in a happily ever after, but sadly none exists. You will get your heart broken over the pettiest of matters and you will let go of what you know as the love of your life. Love will consume you to the deepest of your soul. It will find you in the wilderness of the night and will sing songs to you. It will whisper in your dreams and make you see things which will forever be your fragment of imagination.

You will, my dear, have moonlit walks and dinner by the lake. You will have your share of warmth in the bed and supper in the coziest arms. But you will not be spared of the long nights spent writhing in pain, agonizing over spilled words. You will have to walk barefeet on the summer afternoon sand to known the pleasure of walking by the beach in the night. You will have to feel the burn to know the tingling feeling of sand sliding your skin.

I think I have given too much away. I do not mean to dishearten you. You will have a good life, but I have warn you of the things that lie ahead. You need to make a choice. Would you do it all over again because I know how much it means to you? Or, would you rather walk away because lonely nights have always scared you.

Be you. I do not know if this is the best of the advice, but this is all I got for you. Come reach me soon, I am waiting with a million other tales.

The Dubious Mind

The dubious mind is a storehouse of wrecked relationships. Have you ever pondered on how overthinking does a lot of damage everywhere! We don’t realize when our mind, our thoughts start becoming poison rather than a helping hand. Personal privileges have become so freaking important that we have really forgotten the simplicity it takes to be with each other. We have nothing to add, but complexities. We always use our minds to complicate the situation rather than equate it.

Everybody has been here, in these shoes.

Dearest beloved,

How did that awkwardness creep in? We were friends, lovers and family. What do we fight for? Why are we so keen on satisfying our ego?

In the end, I knew that we would lean on each other for support. It kept happening and I did nothing to stop it. 

First, the Silences were a tad awkward, though it used to turn out to be peaceful, endearing all the happiness it could hide beneath its shade with those unspoken words. I thought it was a phase, it would pass. The words would finally flow out or may be just we would start understanding each others silences. I waited, waited till I could not fathom them. They went on to be wars going deep down somewhere, it turned out to be peaceful, but with some scars and bruises. That feeling of peace was known with a certain kind of fear and anonymity.

I couldn’t decipher your eyes. They always were so innocent and your face docile; but, were they?

Your words were bitter but they did hint towards my well-being, didn’t they?

It was like an endless loop, in which we were stuck!

Could I? Should I just have trusted you?

There was this fear always at the back of my mind, What if you turned out to be totally different from what I had thought of you to be? What if, I miss out the chance of being with you because of the constant doubts in my mind!

This could be for real or just things made up in my mind. 

Duh.

It was so hard.

I don’t know when the friendly feeling vanished and was a constant towering feeling of strangeness came overpowering. I felt less like a companion. It was becoming unfathomable to even grasp the strangeness of your behaviour. 

Your awkwardness, erratic traits and clarity did tempt me at times but, then again was it just an illusion; a veil over some unknown identity of yours I didn’t know about. 

I don’t know whether I loved you or not! All I know is, I just didn’t feel like I belonged there, because I didn’t know you anymore. In the fight to find ourselves, we lost each other. I lost the track of when you stopped calling me to check if I was okay? I completely forgot about those stolen glances, hurried kisses and shared lunches. I used to see you everyday, but I just couldn’t find you. 

I don’t know whether what we did at that time was the correct thing to do. All I want to do now , is confess. I have missed you everyday from the day we last met. The image of your teary eyes keep running back to me and it hurts me. All I wish is, I wouldn’t have ever thought all of that, I would have never let such thoughts occur to me. I never should have doubted what I had with you. 

I am so sorry that we wrecked our own relationship. 

Love. 

Never let your mind come into your way of feelings! It is something else to be smart and something else to be just overtly critical of everything. This letter isn’t to show the hardship that they faced, it is about the regret that kept lingering on, that stuck like a baggage. They wrecked something so beautiful because their need to be smart, to overthink and overanalyze every situation just poisoned their minds and hearts.

Just let go of what is holding you, let it flow! This life is too simple to be critical.

Selfish

They were standing by the ocean side and the waves came hollering down to their feet. It was a wonderful evening and the sun was finding its way back home. They were taken back to the first day they met. It was the same beach, same day and the same moment 10 years ago. Jack thought about the feeling he had at that moment, a feeling of content and satisfaction. He looked at Chris, he knew what she was thinking too. Life had changed since then for both of them. They were married for 9 years now and had a small 5 year old daughter, Agatha.

When people say I am selfish Jack, I would like to believe that, I am a selfish being. You will say- it is very practical, everybody needs to be selfish and, there is nothing wrong in putting your needs before someone else’s. But, when I tell you, I am selfish that is because, I want you to love me no matter what happens to you. I want you to love me no matter what I end up doing. I may come to you, crying with a mess I created and you land up in trouble because of me, I want you to love me. That is what love is to me; selfish. I expect you to do the same, what I do for you. That is exactly not being selfish. But, then you don’t know that I do all of that without you having to explain your expectations, like I did. So, I am selfish because I make it pretty clear about my needs and expectations. Love is to me, nothing but being selfish. All of this time, these years, I kept waiting and waiting for that magic to happen. I always thought you were the one and the spark was about to happen. Even after being married for these many years, I knew something was missing. I knew we were never on the same page. Either I rushed on real fast or you never came onboard. I can not take it anymore. It’s time. We are done.

He gushed back to reality and looked at the farthest end of the ocean. It was done. They were signing the divorce paper tomorrow. The counselor tried addressing the problem, but they had come too far now and he did not want to change things. He wanted to explain that he loved her no matter how much she thought he did not. He wanted to accept that yes, maybe he is not that involved as much as she was. But, he has been with her all the goddamn time because what he feels for her was not something that he felt normally. He felt intensely, whatever that was. He still does not know if that is love. What else could be love? Staying together, sharing a house, a baby, meals, problems, happiness, life and what else could he do? He thought if he could ask what else could he possibly do to convince her that he too is involved. It was too late. He had taken way too long to realise that he missed the correct timing and it was too late to go back. He thought about Agatha, that sweet little dove. He will miss them, some good times, he thought. He will eventually get used to staying alone, having all the time to himself, sharing meals with no one, he was going to have the bed all to himself. It was done.

They turned towards each other and smiled. Somethings are just not meant to last forever. The silence persisted and no one managed to speak a single word the entire time.

She kept hoping that at least at this last moment, once and for all, he would fight for her, their love, their daughter, their home. Silence. He did not utter a word. He kept thinking how she would patch up after any fight and then things would be right, back to normal. Well, this was the new normal.

Forgiveness and other Demons

I always thought of forgiveness to be the easiest thing one would ever have to do. You just have to let things go, not hold any hard feelings inside you and there you are: Forgiveness granted. I had the perception that the person who committed any mistake must be having pretty hard time, dealing with all the situations and coping up with the mistakes, but then you realize the hardest job is the one that deals with the mistake.

Forgiveness comes at a price and that is dealing with your ego.

Forgiveness is not about letting go of some matter or may be, a deed; it is a compromise you strike with your own self. It is not just about making peace with someone but being at peace with the part of you that was bruised; it is fighting with yourself for the sake of someone who caused this in the first place.

I have seen people hold on to things and I myself have been a victim of this a lot of times. This holding-on-to-things business drags on for time immemorial. It is not about hating that person, but you get stuck with the act of mistake that happened. It keeps stinging you, eating your soul; it gets glued to your brain; forever.This might happen because it did not go as you planned it or it wasn’t expected of that person to do this to you.

It hurts your ego and we humans are really good at feeding our ego. You don’t realize that, but you constantly keep the pathway of fodder ready for the ego; unconsciously, everything we do is satisfying our ego, one way or the other.

Years down the line, you wouldn’t even remember about the mistake committed, but you would have a very vivid memory of you being hurt.

Why is it so hard to accept that mistakes happen and at the end they are humans just like you, with the same kind of brain and thought process?

You might completely understand what it must have felt like to be in those shoes, but when it comes to you all of a sudden, you just seem to forget everything.

You can’t do this to me” keeps traversing the brain.

What is that we keep so much of high regard of ourselves that we can’t even try and understand that the person who committed the mistake might not have done it deliberately or maybe it was just destined to happen!

Each and every one of them who has been in that box might have realized that holding on to it makes it no easier and yields no positive outcome out of anything. Yet, we do. We always do.

Not being able to forgive is like torturing yourself for the thing you haven’t even committed.

At the end, I think forgiveness is about helping yourself to move on.

Every time I feel like smashing somebody’s head, I say this to myself,
Yes, it is okay. You were wrong about it, so what? It is okay to be wrong; anybody could be. Don’t be hard on yourself, be at peace and look forward to other things. The mistake the fellow “X” committed wasn’t a deliberate one and even if it was, X does not deserve so much of your time, attention and importance.”

See how simple it is to satisfy your ego. Trick yourself and be at peace with it. Though, the simplest of things are always the hardest.

You might feel bad and your ego will be bruised, but you know when and how to soothe it up with a good trick.

Everybody is entangled in a loop. A loop, that goes on and on and it is programmed at making oneself happy; we, humans lay entangled in the never ending loop. We mask things and situations; we make people happy, be kind to them because we want us to feel happy; we want us to believe that we are good people. We keep trying to keep ourselves happy.

I came across a poem once that goes as follows

I forgive you
Not for you
But for me
For I fear
That If I don’t
Forgive
I will never forget
And If I don’t forget
I will never be able
To let go of
What was once us
And release myself
Of the pain
Which I have come to know
As loving you

                                                                           -Antonio M Arce

Just put this to every situation, things might get a tad bit easier.

Also, a friend of mine once told me “You are alone in this, nobody but only you can get yourself out of this.”

Yesterday and Today

“I walked over to the hill where used to go and sled. There were a lot of kids. I watched them flying, doing jumps and having races. I thought all those little kids are going to grow up some day. All those little kids will do things that we do. And they will all kiss someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t”

-Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Love Letter

Dear Aficionado,

This world is a strange place my friend and to add to it, we are here with strangeness that knows no bounds.

You and I are like those entities that can neither stand nor survive without each other. I need you not because you make me happy or you are the last true cherished person in my life. But, I need you because you make my life miserable and I like the way you do it, unconsciously being responsible for all the sadness that my life faces. Your look doesn’t give me the chills and neither do your likes. You charm with your absurdity, you make me weak in my bones with your abrupt reasons. Your awkwardness seduces me and you continue to make me fall for you in spite of the times I despise you. Your crooked smile is a lethal weapon. It kills me to not know about the mystery that your smile beholds.

Your eyes are like an open book, showcasing every facet of your life, the way you want the people to know and this attracts me to dive into those eyes and find the oyster. You are charmingly unattractive with your rudeness. You are an euphemism in yourself. The way you talk about the things you are well versed with, surprises me- how can anybody be so pretentious.

Sometimes, I wonder the relationship we promise to be in, is all a part of a big game you are playing and it excites me more, to stay with you every moment and decipher every simple thing you do that it might lead me to that mystery, to that secret, to that game you are playing. I like the stage we are in, the grey matter. Nor are we running for the black matter neither the white matter. It feels good to be stranded on this grey island and not worrying about the problems I am going to face because of you.

I want to win over you and make you my own. It is intimidating to see you so vulnerable yet poised. I want to cry, be trashed, and hurt by you and if because that is what makes me happy. I like your uncertainties, they scare me in some weird way nothing and no one else does that.

Loads of Love.