Monday, December 29, 2014

Tribulation, Avowed

I’m not going to start with my usual line. Neither am I going to whine about how my creative instincts seem to be in the clutches of despair and morbidity.

But lest I forget that I was…still am, capable of creation. Of expression. Of reaching out to the very essence of the person(s) witness to my craft.

Strange that the thought of being able to do so still drives me, in midst of being absolutely convinced that few would try and do the same with me.

It is my fault, after all. No one tries to break through a shell without a vested purpose. Or so as I believe.

Disappointment turns to disillusionment…to impassive acceptance. Reality has changed colours – from being wholesome to revealing ugly sides to going back to face-value status quo. To a numbing realization – what’s the point of it all?

Save for that flicker of hope, defying every attempt at vanishing.  A hazy thought here, a vague outline of the future there…but I soldier on, one day at a time. I’d stop and think why, but there is no answer to that.

Just as there is no answer to what awaits me ahead.

So I fly blindly, mistaking denial for equanimity. Just giving into impulse, not thinking about the consequences…relying on the sole belief that nothing earth-shattering can happen to me anyway, that as long as I don’t kill myself or jeopardize myself irretrievably, nothing else should matter.

To admit all this is to risk being called a martyr, to be held up for being insufferable. And yet, I can only write what I know, what I feel.

I would ask, but I wish for little. I would think, but it is futile. I seek to be left to myself, against the naivete of my very core, longing for affirmation.

I wait, even though it was never my wont to do so. I watch as my life unfolds and unravels.

And I dream. Not of salvation but of strength, of unbridled courage. Of renewal.  

After all, I never meant for anyone else to pick up the pieces. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stifling Abstractions

Oh, it has been a while. A long, long while indeed.

So long, that I can all but rant, unencumbered and unthinking for once, driven merely by this sense of…frustration, I suppose? This inexplicable yearning that gnaws at me, suffocating me, making me want to run.

Run and run, and not look back. Run to the very edge of the abyss and jump into oblivion.

But I can’t…I won’t. I’m here out of my own volition. I made the choice, didn’t I? Everything is nothing but my creation – the world my mirror, a painful reflection of my helpless beliefs.

Nevertheless, shadows shall follow me to the death. I cannot obliterate light; neither can I wipe away the scars of my faults from my very being, not till I give up on pulling the scabs off time and again.

Then again, patience has never been my virtue.

“I can’t write.”

It was a mere statement, made quietly but unequivocally. He looked in her direction. As always, she didn’t look up, choosing to stare away at the sight before as she sat near the window, curling up in a manner that struck him as deliberately despondent.

He shook his head. “Of course not. You mean you can’t write prose,” earning him a glare from her.

“Yes, unlike for some lesser mortals, journal entries and random scribblings do not suffice for writing, you see.”

“Now that’s more like it. Why don’t you pen that down as a line to start with?”

The intensity of her glare only grew. “Stop being a wisecrack for once, will you?”

He raised his hands in a giving-up gesture. “I’m saying nothing.”

She sighed, frustration evidently wrought in her features. “I want to write, you know? And yes, for all my eloquence, for all the words I know, this is the best I can do.” And the voice was quiet and matter-of-fact in its tone yet again.

He almost smiled. I know you’re not looking to be empathized with.

 “Say if I ask you to write a letter to me.”

“…I won’t be able to write one. It’d be half-hearted at best.”

“And why do you say so?”

“I can’t find my expression.”

“Writing is not something that can be unlearned, is it?”

“I can’t seem to remember it.”

“If you look for something that is not there anymore…but has taken on a different form, you won’t find it either way.”

She threw him a leveled yet wary look. He held her gaze. “Tell me if I’m wrong. Tell me if it is something as simple as longing for what you knew…”

“…or what had been hidden for so long.”

And just as abruptly, she walked out of the room.

He waited, knowing it wouldn’t be long till she internalized what she had otherwise been unwilling to face. You can’t expect something to come your way if you keep running away from it, can you?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Apocryphal Gleanings

 It was nothing less than a veritable storm. Amidst the howling wind and the cold rain, she trudged her way towards the cliff. ‘I’m going for a walk,’ was all she had said. Was what she would say, every single time.

No one in their right minds would choose to do so in such inclement weather. Then again, was she ever one of them?

(Times like these were when she was free to imagine and envisage everything possible about herself, including the very distinct possibility of being mad. You see, a thin line separates an oddball from a lunatic.)

But she plodded on regardless, taking a somewhat masochistic pleasure in the way the rain cut her to the bones and the wind made her shiver all over. The idea of catching a cold (much less pneumonia) was something she refused to entertain.

(Enough with the weather already, anyway)

The cliff looked over an ocean, equally restive. Nonetheless, it broke away from the constricting woods, enough to give one a semblance of a vast space. On a given day, it would be enough to remind her of the immense universe that she could glimpse through the distant horizon.

Today, even the roaring waves seemed to make her feel claustrophobic.

She walked over to the very edge, barely ensconced by the low fence, broken in various places. It was her wont to do, as perilous as it was – to stand at the edge and peer down at the sea crashing against the jagged rocks. One would think she was about to take her life…and sure enough, that would be the very thought running through her head as she would stand there. However, each time, she came back alive.

The point of this otherwise futile exercise being - to reaffirm to herself that her life was in her hands…quite literally, as long as she stood over the edge. That she was free to jump and put an abrupt end to her existence (quite meaningless in her eyes, either way) but she consciously chose to not do so.

That she further chose to get back to living, for as long as she was meant to be.

The thought both sobered and enlivened her. This little ritual, while not doing much to calm her demons, certainly reminded her of her inability to hurt herself to such an extent. That she would snatch back her power from others to whom she had unknowingly surrendered the same, from time to time, only to be affronted by her destiny.

Only to be reminded of how her own creation overpowered her. And so it was – the unceasing struggle, which she would try to defer and avoid, but never quite coming close to ending it altogether.

For, perhaps, that was the only meaning worth being pursued. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Forever Repining

I wish I could tell you…everything. Open up as you asked me to. Be the person you saw and appreciated me for.

But what do I even say?

Perhaps this and this alone… I’m not whom you’re looking for.

I have walked into a conflict of my own volition – and you stand there, waiting for my answer, believing in your convictions to persuade me to see the light, to take the step.

“But I don’t know you

…and I wish I did.”

Strike a chord within my heart. Don’t leave me cold. Make me care. Make me love you.

I’m tired of relating to people out of a sense of duty or obligation. Make me want to seek you out, for no other reason than to be with you. Make me crave your presence, feel alive in your company.

Make me leave the realm of my mind and feel what I’d been so good at imagining so far. Make me see myself for who I am.

But that’s too much to ask, isn’t it?

So leave me to pick up the pieces of my unrealized dreams, weave them into a veil, and lie beneath it, forgotten to the world.

No trail shall be left and yet there will always be signs that would lead you to me. Make me wish, fervently, that you will heed them and come for me.

You will bring me back, won’t you?

I would tear down the walls, but I won’t. I can’t.

The quiet darkness, the sedate comfort of a narrow sphere, painstakingly built with everything I knew of with certainty.

There isn’t much to go on with, in there. Make me yearn for more, to live in the thrill than in that deadening refuge.

“But you saw me for who I really was…or did you?”

“I see you for who you are. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“…and you should know, that adds all the value you could possibly want.”

“But I didn’t want any.”

They met. By the riverside, with the day dying upon them and the cool breath of night starting to blow. Water always calmed her, she said, but nothing compared to the ocean and its freeing effect. But this would have to do, she mused. For all the things that we could have done together, it will have to do.

And you think I didn’t want the same, he thought, looking at her quietly as she gazed back at him in equal solemnity.

She looked away, almost smiling to herself, “We both did.”

“Yes. But you wouldn’t let me.”

She turned to face him again, leaning in to wrap her arms around his neck. “Because if I did, it’s still not what either of us is looking for.”

“And I’d kiss you, like before, but it would…”

“Be my guest.”

He settled for cupping her face, drawing her closer. “It won’t be enough of a claim, will it now?

She smiled rakishly. “Not in a million years.”

And yet she stood before him, willingly in his hold, endless thoughts skimming before her closed eyes as she waited for one to strike her mind, pierce her heart…perhaps, perhaps succinctly pinpoint the myriad of feelings he managed to evoke in her. Then again, it wasn’t him per se – it was the idea he represented, the idea she had chased blindly for as long as she could remember.

Isn’t it said, one falls more in love with the idea of falling in love rather than with someone?

She looked at him again, taking in his presence, drawing comfort from the familiarity of his being…and yet, perhaps it does takes more than mere affection to set a heart racing. She wondered what it was and whether she would ever find it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Vexing Predicament

I have had enough.

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t think, I can’t write. I dread every day…

…of seeing you before me and being unable to do anything about it. Of knowing the effect that we have on each other, marking the air between us with palpable uncertainty.

And I brought it upon us. I refuted your affections. I doubted your sincerity. I couldn’t stand the idea of being claimed.

But you and I, we both can’t do without each other, can we? Or was it my wishful thinking all along?

You, who prevails upon my mind like a bittersweet memory, forever haunting my waking moments; you, whose image unfailingly manifests in my troubled dreams; you, who I held onto for hope, for kindness and love…you became my own creation even before I got to know you.

And to see you in person is to bring all those visions crashing down, rendering me dismayed and wondering how easily I could get carried away.

It was never about you. It was always me, my convoluted thinking, my need for dependence that you came to fulfill, my unwillingness to accept you for who you are, my indifference to your struggle to bridge the gap between us that I only chose to emphasize more and more as we grew closer.

I wish I could be more forthcoming, but I can’t. For your sake, I won’t.

Nonetheless, you meant something to me…still do, always will and I wasn’t walking away.

Is this the way it ends? Are you content to leave this behind simply because it did not culminate the way you intended it to be?

To think we got this far, to think we rushed into taking a call; I am but bound by the stand I took.

And in the throes of a dying attachment, all I can say is: don’t leave me. Come back.

For I would walk towards you if I could but I can only meet you halfway. And so it is.