Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Circle of Choices

If the past year were offered me again/and choice of good and ill before me set/would I accept the pleasure with the pain/or dare to wish that we had never met? ― Augusta Gregory offers an insight into the doubts we have to fight, choices that we have to make, every day in our daily lives. We keep on checking our decisions, our wrongdoing, actions, and reactions. We keep track of all, and continuously doubt ourselves in all waking hours. To err is such a common happenstance that it is quite natural to doubt our choices especially when such choices are made by rebelling against the world. "Why did I come here? I thought. Why is it always only a matter of choosing between something bad and something worse?" ― Charles Bukowski. Is choice an easy task? What a battle that goes in our heads when we are faced with tough choices. It rips our heads apart; constant fear and doubt eat our innards. Some say it's all fate, is it? If it's fate then what about the tussle that a person has to go through while raking the brain for something that's already decided. I find John Galsworthy's idea of life and fate "Life calls the tune, we dance" little contradictory.

Sometimes choices are just thrusted upon us like a gust of storm. We aren't prepared for it. We may never be able to prepare for it. But at one point in time, such days come when you have to sit and decide, act and react to situations beyond your control. We make choices, but how far they are correct, who knows. In such circumstances, you are just struggling with all the noise "How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it and why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought by a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn't it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager—I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint?" ― Søren Kierkegaard. It drives us mad. The possibilities and probabilities are numerous. To be able to think of all, and then there's a voice in your head that will keep telling you - "Make your choice, adventurous Stranger/Strike the bell and bide the danger/or wonder, till it drives you mad/what would have followed if you had." ― C.S. Lewis, the Magician's Nephew. Making choice against the wishes of the people we love is again a battle of the highest order. The valour and courage required in such instances are beyond any measure. There are factions in our head that will keep on juggling back and forth. Deep inside it is nothing but a simmering pothole of confusion and nonsense blabber that grows into a lake of fire. Sylvia Plath's struggle within seems so relevant –"choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between."  It indeed is tough to make a choice, to assess all and arrive at a logical decision which is acceptable to ourselves. In the end, we have to live with our choices. 

When everyday tripping like a battlefield
When you’re up against your own shield
Armour’s full of dust and holes
Turn into Achilles’ heel
Running in the dark from pole to pole
Devoid of life a dying soul
Sayings numb you around
Own clan is pushing you down
Folks keen on pulling you apart
Judging top and down from afar
All ears have gone deaf and eyes blind
Love in life leaves you in a bind
Screaming voice full of craze and sound
How fast does that heart pound
Home when turns into a battleground
You are bound to lose if you win
And the other way around.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Man got to tell himself he understand.

In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence.
Bei Dao

How difficult it is to understand others or yourself? Probably, it is not as easy as the question sounds. As we grow up it becomes rather hard and inconvenient to understand a point of view which differs from your own version. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Price rightly says “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”. This complex process of following someone else’s line of thought is sometimes tiring as well as frustrating. At times it is challenging as well. Different people will have different perspective of the same thing. Ernest Baker in The Denial of Death says “When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening”. It indeed is puzzling as well as disheartening. Our mind works in mysterious ways, how and why a thought will creep in, and what kind of shape it will take, isn’t an easy thing to understand.

As far as understanding flies
As deeper as it delves
Meandering as it moves
I sit on the rooftop
Trying incessantly

Saturday, December 22, 2018

As A Ponderer Ponders

For I have always been a seeker, a dreamer, and a ponderer on seeking and dreaming...
H.P. Lovecraft,
Night Ocean et autres nouvelles

© Aleksandar Slavković
Standing tall on a rooftop
Observing city skyline
Sundown and birds flying by
Labyrinth of highways
Rush of wheeled machines
Everyone's on move
Running to somewhere
From someone, feeling
Like being in quicksand

Continuously reminding myself
Gazing at prospects
Of future to foresee
Brooding over past
and its perplexities
Where do these
Ever changing roads lead?
Forwards or backwards
Inwards or outwards
Promise and possibilities
Doubt and uncertainties
Standing tall on a rooftop
I ponder 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Uncertainty of Humanity

On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
― George Orwell

Player of cruel jokes
For a while it ponders
All wrongs and favors
Deeply it seeps, intently
Many hearts is pokes
Then, it wanders
Across wide plains
Meandering along facts
Seeking attention.
Often fizzles out
Sometimes, by choice
It just ignores

Thursday, March 29, 2018

An Instant Is Enough

Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.
Joan Didion,
The Year of Magical Thinking

They say an instant is enough
To act, commit, decide, express
Years in making
Memories of merged moments
Trickles down to a second
A tipping point
Things go either down or
Soars all the way up
Many such probable paths
Some crowded, some lonely
Ordinary instants
Endless possibilities
They say an instant is enough
To react, desist, defer, conceal
Years in making
Still, ordinarily
An instant is enough

Thursday, March 22, 2018

How many people I've looked

I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.
John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

Do I look up to you
Struggle for words
Frames and formations
Do I overlook everything else
None of me makes any sense
Nothing of you makes sense
Paucity of passions
Empty of emotions
I travel with so many
Many faces I've known
Nothing of them I know
Do you look up to me
and find words
Does a glance of me
Gives away any sense
or everything is lost upon

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Has It Always Been Like this?

We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”
Rudyard Kipling, The Light That Failed

© Paula Cortes
Has it always been like this?
Such silences seeped in between
Puzzled pause amidst breaths
Weaving of ways and means
What did you really say?
Layered hints seeped in between
Roaming in renewed realms 
Chasing pleasures she said
Has it always been like this?
Absurd demands seeped in between
Memories look so different now
As if seen from another time
Why are you not getting this?
Pure intent seems lost in between.


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