THE JOURNEY OF SPIRAL DOWNWARD

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The term “Spiral Downward” is used pretty often and mostly by others.

Lately, while talking to some friends about the going-ons of our lives, I heard their fears said out loud. Fear that the passion they are following may not lead them to the destiny they desire, fear of losing someone they love and coping with whatever came their way just to keep the other person in their life, fear of not knowing when the bad will end and fear that, what if this will be life from here on, forever, and that nothing will change for better. Of course, no one really says that out loud, but once we hit a stonewall of circumstances which just wouldn’t budge in our favour, we tend to topple over that edge and then starts this “Spiral Downward”. I have been there myself quite a few times and no matter how well you may know what it is in theory, it never feels the same.

The thing about “Spiral Downward” is that while we are falling into the abyss of hopelessness, at the same time there is something about the Heart that refuses to believe it. It holds onto Hope, it continues to believe that just because of the intensity of one’s passion, one’s love, one’s belief the circumstances have no choice but to change. Heart is a very stubborn piece of shit and that stubbornness is what I love the most. Heart is the only thing that challenges the Gods and the Destiny and secretly prays at the same time. And in this journey we clutch onto Hope, and rationalisation that at the end of it we will get what we want, that after all, all this is Karma, or a tale of magic that will be told again and again. While we are speeding down into the depths of darkness, Heart idiotically believes that there will be happiness and joy once we hit the ground. The only problem is that we don’t hit the ground quite so soon.

In the meantime, Mind, the sensible one, knows that the Spiral Downward has started, it keeps feeding in ideas to protect ourselves. And while the foolishness and stubbornness of the Heart may make a person think that things will change, Mind knows that they may never change and what is needed is a change within which will bring a change on the outside. Mind cannot control the Heart, but it manages to negotiate with the Heart into agreeing to make what we call, superficial changes, changes that won’t take us away from our passions and thoughts but work as stop gap solutions. And these changes , these stop gap solutions lead to healing. These changes may not take us to what we wanted, but they land us to what we needed.

Healing is nothing but getting back on one’s feet with same energy and renewed Hope. The only thing about the Spiral Downward I have observed is that while feelings overtake control of everything, we need to keep thinking. We need to keep going against the Heart a few times just to see where it takes us. And then we never know where we will find ourselves, it may be a beautiful place we did not even know existed.

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The Cornerstone Of Our Life.

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Within the span of two days I watched a documentary called “One More Time with Feeling” about a singer called Nick Cave and some episodes of Westworld.

Now, while the two don’t connect either in plots or the nature of the narrative, both of them had one thought in common which when one starts to think about, it can take us on a journey to unravel a bit about ourselves.

In the beginning of the documentary, Nick Cave had said that, “Time is stretching right now…..”, and only comes back in the end to explain what he meant, he elaborates that Time is like an elastic, and while you keep stretching and moving away, it brings you back to that one point where it is tied, that point where you are tied. And that point is usually an incident. A turning point of our selves.

In Westworld, when one of the Robots realises that the reason why despite of all his memories being erased, one memory just wont go away as that memory is his Cornerstone. It is the whole thing his story is made around. And if that Cornerstone is taken away then there is nothing to him.

Incidentally, in both the cases, real and fictional (Nick Cave and Westworld) the incident or Cornerstone they refer to is the death of their son.

And that got me thinking of the Cornerstone around which my story is made, that incident that no matter how far I go from, pulls me right back (Thankfully, it is nothing as severe as in the case of Nick Cave).

In real life as opposed to Westworld, the Cornerstone of our life tends to change us forever, in ways we never thought we would, in experiencing the feelings which we never thought we can. And unfortunately, this cornerstone is mostly not a happy reminder. I know we all have one, that one incident which can still take us to indescribable pain -mind numbing, distant, yet so close a humdrum that one wonders if it ever happened at all, yet one feels so much loss that you know it did.

And there is no comparison on whose Cornerstone is the worst. It is the worst to whom it is happening. But here is the thing, despite of all that, we live, and after a while even engage with life and its joys. And despite of the pointlessness of this exercise called “Living” we will find a way. And in more cases than not, a new way comes along and it takes us to a beautiful place. And for few moments we may even forget that incident and be blissfully happy. And that feeling, the memory of that bliss is what makes us go on, the ability to feel joy and life again. That gives us hope and no, we don’t forget or disregard that Cornerstone, because we will always remain connected, after all that is the thing around which our story is made, but at the same time we will know that there are so many more feelings thrusting their way at us and we have no choice but to give in.

So, I guess if the Cornerstone of our lives has “Loss” written all over it the one thing we can do is find out how far does the elastic time takes us.

Almost Graceful.

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“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

This quote has been all over internet for a while and while it is easy to understand, it is very difficult to practice. And especially practicing the gracefully letting go part of things not meant for one. The reason it is difficult to be graceful during that time is because when we love something so deeply, we work hard on that love, we protect it, we nurture it, we fuel its fire, we do anything to make it happen and we can do anything to make it last. But the problem arises when we see that despite of ones best efforts, passion, drive, sacrifices and love, what one wants is just not possible. Whether it is a dream we have of achieving something, going somewhere, being someone or being with someone, it’s all the same, just a dream that we saw and wanted to make it real.

So when we see that the possibility of our dream may not be a reality we imagined it to be, the first thing that leaves us is Grace.

We get angry, hurt, we are pained, and we lash out, lash out at others and ourselves. The longer the time of adjustment between reality and acceptance, the longer the time to be graceful again. So, to my mind Grace is nothing but how we behave in this adjustment period of reality and acceptance.

This random thought occurred to me on a yoga mat, between some really tough transitions from one pose to another.

I realised that the days I manage to land from one pose to another without collapsing, without wobbling, without losing my focus, despite of knowing that I am not completely there in my pose, despite of the discomfort, despite of the pain in my body, I feel, I have been almost graceful. And that is when I realised that Grace in life is also my behaviour during the transition from my reality to my acceptance of it.

Grace is holding myself straight and still, despite of the pain, despite of the discomfort, despite of the desire to collapse. Grace is telling myself in life what I tell myself repeatedly on the yoga mat, “I am in no hurry. And while today I may not be there, it is okay. Some day I will get there.”

Old books & lovers.

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I want to meet you again, with the familiarity of re-reading an old favourite book.

You know the story, the beginning, the middle and the end.

But in between the lines detail is what has been slightly forgotten.

I want to smile again. At the sentence that I have read earlier, but it feels anew.

Because, even though my mind forgot the memory of those words,

that familiar glee never fails to reach my eyes.

You may say the same sentences or different ones,

but I know that I will still smile.

Because what I remember is not what you said,

because what I will always remember is how I felt when you speak.

I just want to sit quietly and hear you say things, random things,

because I want to remember your face,

your face that you are so conscious of,

when you look away because you are feeling shy,

when you purse your lips because you don’t know what to do if I cried.

Like I hold that old and familiar book,

I want to sit across the table and hold your face with my gaze

examine if the grey hair that you have,

is more than when we met last.

I want to smile wide and honest so you can see my wrinkles.

I want to inhale that smell of you like we smell old books.

They are musty and comforting.

I may find something new in the book this time.

We may find something new in the conversation.

But the feeling of familiar, comforts me for very long.

How can something so old and so familiar still give a feeling of new, fresh excitement?

How does that feeling remain?

Is it the time, is it the distance, or is it just the memory?

Memory that misses the details but only remembers parts of elation.

The parts where words across a page made me think and re-think.

The joy that was brought by that thought.

The words that made me discover a whole new me.

The words that added to “me” being who I am today.

That is why I want to meet you again.

To just watch while you speak.

Miss the details of your words. But remember that feeling which made me find who I am today.

That feeling which nudged me to test myself and see what it really meant to love.

That feeling which makes me remember not the details of your words but the intensity of my feelings.

I want to keep you like that book I am re-reading by my side, for a while. At least, just that while.