Everyone Knows What Will Happen
Too many prophets administer the countries. And that's how we have corrupted passion. There are stories which are memorable - which relate in parables how things are - beyond the horizon. Which relate in sermons how the world should be to move towards it.
Revolutions which happened were surprises. Its becoming more and more difficult to be surprised - because we all know everything about how things will happen. Analysis is astrology.
Minds have become conceptual - they can't look beyond the logic. That seems to have worked. Made evangelists out of activists.
Nothing can ever happen now. Revolutions were all about passion - our passion is now confused.
That man who sits in the chair and stares at the window. Stares at the window. And he will do nothing all day. But he may turn his head in the evening.
Concepts are / have-to be productive. Productivity can be misleading, it can establish strange benchmarks.
Liable To Forget
These days are forgettable, from the after-calm of summer, lethargy and passivity - I am choosing. The filament of my mind is already confused.
Waiting is not a primary activity - it has become a primary activity these days.
But being able to selectively withdraw - and think of something entirely different. Like writing, poetry - is so liberating.
Situations are impermanet, states of mind can become semi-permanent. They can become difficult to break out of.
I need not count metaphors, count the range of notes I can sing in. I got carried away yesterday - music entrapped by sound-proof walls. I know no one who would give beats to my paced words - give percussion till I am hopping, everyone around us is hopping and everything becomes a song.
The instruments are all there. Today maybe, I will pitch for work... "Look at me." We find it so difficult to be happy, allow ourselves to be happy - because it takes a lot.
Yesterday, I spent a lot of time at Himmat - it felt nice, except I felt that things could be happening there at much more pronounced and fast pace. Does it take wisdom to allow things to happen slowly ?
Youth and me can possibly disfigure most vision by franctic, mindnumbing enthusiasm. Look at my father - raring to go at 55. If anybody will change the world he will. Will he like to be around in the world of his design... so many details overlooked... Remarkable patience, working selflessly for a concern which is close to you...
How many days later will I count till ten and hold my breath ? Expecting the world to disappear.
Manju said spiritual emptiness felt like a potent hunger in the bosom. I said, "yes ?" So the plan of the morning was - we would first go to the temple and then we would come back home and get to work.
I am sitting in the temple now - ISKCON temple near the Fun Republic cross roads. I quite like temple spaces. They are so well-planned, the energy - everyone comes here with their most pious
selves hanging on them ? Don't know. Haven't much thought about temples. I like to go sometimes and sit - a community space we all maintain together - for a different kind of reflection / introspection. For me the temple doesn't mean religious / ideological identification at all. Sometimes some of what you do can grow beyond your smallness. This much I believe in.
She is sitting next to me, trying to fill up her emptiness, a child runs around on the marble floor.
Would it be a good idea to wear a mala of tulsi
Climbing A Slow Escalation
When does the length of a moment spread into becoming history ? I can breeze past day after day after day and I seem to be waiting for solutions to happen. Some people I meet, encourage, support - they give me hope.
But slowly I have been feeling more and more content in the patient window-watching, the patient swagger of someone has more dreams than time to live them out. Trying out so many options - what if I was still going to be left standing on the street. Being ambitious and arrogant can be dangerous, it can remove you from the danger of reality. One moment I can enjoy poetry - the next moment I can take that perfectly balanced double swing - I can risk extermination. So many web links bookmarked in my mind, everything is an option - maybe really allowing oneself to hear the creaking of the door, the ticking of the clock. There is nothing funny about not knowing how to spell tomorrow. And that's what its all about. Ask each bank account if it matters - where the money comes from. The minimum balance should be maintained to ensure the account remains open.
People I have met, drinking lemonades at the canteen, when will I meet them again ? I have let the sun dry out portraits into shrill screams, I have let the sun cast shadows on my dreams. Some people will always remember, why I met them the first time, holding an umbrella under my arms. Taking U-Turns, going past the bridge, through the under bridge - to the riverfront, looking into a dry scarce mirror.
A Nonchalant Day
Today is passing away in total disregard. I have chosen to not remind myself of anything I have to do, anyone I have to meet. I have sleptin the afternoon, calmly allowing myself to be startled awake.
In trying to speak in my own lingo - I am having to deal with things I wanted to ignore. Working within the strictures of coherence and definition. I felt I could just stage private shows - in which each of the invited would take pains to listen to me, the way I dribbled, the way I speak. No one has been coming home to listen to me, everyone isaway, at most waving at me from there, outside the fence.
I am putting up my flag today.
Where am I going, only where I am not allowing myself to not go. I am slowly sliding into the grooves. What is the story ? The story is that, time has passed without asking any of us and we have been stuck in our own rants. I can breathe. Real deep, my lungs can expand to hold everything I can see, everything I want to speak. Dance itself is motion, it can never be a metaphor - metaphors who know what they arecan sink without a trace.
I am not meeting anyone - each meeting being an interview, because sooner or later I have to allow myself to love my obese body. I have to allow myself to love the conflicting, self-conscious areas I swim in. I really cannot become anything I am not, when I am not trying anything.
The story is that the volume of each TV in each room is higher than the volume of the voice I am dying to hear - the clear, potent voice which is not bothered by either newspapers or agendas or livelihood pressures.... Imagine being poor after you've had a good time, had seven bank accounts, all loaded... Who'll want to help you ? You'll only want to time-travel.
I will not wipe my feet on the mat, see if you can stop me. Potency can be diluted by a shallow comment. Or can be ignored in view of other things. Going from swing to swing to swing. Slowly settling downby the river, playing with pebbles.
The Congress is having a great time ruling India - the ruling coalition is always in the news. The newspapers love to photograph the PM, it is good filler material. Last year it was Vajepayee, this year it is Singh. My wife switched from Express to the Times because Vajepayee was Express' favourite front page model for six days in a row ! At least times changed the semi-nudes everyday...
Looking squarely at the road ahead - I can barely keep memories away. I remember that day Amy, Anne, Paulette, Miri and I were driving to Karma Chilling. It was a good sunny day for Vermont and I was halfway between hyper and hysterical and sober / intense. I was part of this writers' reidency, Vermont Studio Center at Johnson. It was a month with a freakish freedom of being able to think only in one tongue, one language. There were no fights, induldences... which I risked falling into. Standing in the middle of a meditation room, balancing my notebook on my palm and writing poetry. Words were seeming to be neatly patterned in bits of rhythm.
Some snippets reach out to me quite intensely - our guide, Ukranian had quite a stylish slant in her smile, she was like slang rung out intemple bells. And like small child's half-smiling prayer.
Her introductory fragment in the cafe, her taking us around the centre... The room where Shambhala Budhism was born ! She saw us offto the path which went up to the retreats.
Making conversation, talking of meditation. The stupa / shrine in the middle of that forest clearing. Covered by hay, surrounded by hills. Half thawed slices of ice on the ground, small streams of waterflowing from here to there.
We walked thrice around the shrine, those of us who knew how to pray, prayed. And then we were all rushing back to our center in Amy's car. Which reminds me I haven't yet written back to her. At that moment I was feeling the sheer expanse, the scale of the silence, peace around me. Large fields strewn with small huts, converted to antique shops. Small covered bridges, dogs barking at passing cars.
At that moment, I felt I would like to come back to US some day... I still feel that.
From the room of memories
Its been a couple of weeks already since I returned from my long trip. I travelled quite a bit. I am toying with the idea of writing a travelogue... ? Writing from the experiences, the happenings, the memories of the sensory remains... ?
But I am not sure, I seem to be playing with so many ideas, actually not so many. I need to hold my hand and not let it shake under its own weight. Today, maybe I am taking decisions out of a different need.... need to slowly build a view out of the fragments and disjointed peepshows. A view which I can see calmly for some time, as I think of what to say, where to go, how to breathe.
Actually I was not very keen to go on this trip, it was going to cost much more than I could afford and I was not really sure of the logical consistency of doing so... Go to US to write poetry ? Whatever did I mean ? India has enough green space, free space.
I realize it was not about space, it was about getting away. Not just from friends and family but from my culture, country, context and everyday-grind. All the things which were slowly convincing me to be nonpluses, frozen... a mute spectator ?
I have a big problem - trying to figure out how to speak, being overwhelmed enough by impulses to speak, scream, yodel ! Not only is my culturing too politically correct, it is too perfectionist, it is too worrisome -- worried about the balloon bursting, and all the paper
snippets, all the shiny deco spilling out.
It is nearly midnight and I am realizing silence for me is not so good - as it is silence for me only means, not appearing to speak. Under my skin, behind my eyes, words are being translated to hysteria, ambition and paralysis, ruining all the dams I have built over the years.
Chasing The Concept
I wouldn't start describing this day by speaking of circumstance, my impatience or the way the world would swell up inside me and threaten to spill out. In the midst of my experience – feeling vaguely lost and listless and very charged, ready to strike at the same time, I got a vague idea of the other things which were going on in the world.
In that fantasy I believed that my friend in the drivers' seat was driving with me through life. That the roads we were crossing were only through time. We were reaching absolutely somewhere, we were going absolutely somewhere.
Today's news will not reflect my heartbroken night, the exact time when the paper was being printed across town. Today's news will not reflect any story of anyone in this city. The front page is a monument to the day in the currency of the world leaders and the wannabes. Every eye which will read the paper today will have her own story running in her head. Every eye will be a heartbroken eye.
My filament2 lighted up today - I believe - when I could string up sentence after sentence after sentence, in the waiting room as my wife saw the doctor. But I am still approaching the concept of the "filament2" - "the greater filament", I am thinking about the myriad kinds of connections, deliverances happening during the day, which lights up more of us than just a specific cubic inch in our brain.