Introspection

A walk in the mountains

 

20171224_150830_Richtone(HDR)

The roads I have walked on; 24th December 2017

I believe nature has a grand door like death. You have to knock at it to start a conversation. So when you see men and women standing at dangerous edges, looking into the vast space with a thoughtfulness in their eyes, I reckon they are invited for supper by the all-seeing nature.

It must be an honor. But as a matter of fact, you don’t need to stand at “dangerous edges” to start a conversation. You might as well be walking past a garbage bin and may happen to see a tree with a color that seems rare and special and all sorts of magical and then, right then you are having what I have already called a ‘conversation’.

But it is not a conversation. It is foolish to see it merely so. It is a semiotic system rather obscure I would say. The more you are involved, the more you understand it.

On December 24 2017, I had a profound talk and I did not even need to open Tolkein or Keats–people who were much more benevolent in this discourse than I ever will be (Yes I was carrying the big mammoth Lord of the Rings on trekking!). Well, the profound talk began with a lot of cheerful cursing (in my third person monologue). You see, I am not really athletic and although I enjoy trekking, I’ve barely have had much past experience with it. But to walk alone was something brave I was doing. The ground fell miles and miles below beyond my right foot and silence was no longer a phantom as he is in the town.

It was a cloudy day and the outer anatomy of the mountain began to trace like a map in my mind. What clothes it had on? Winter. The cold brown dust and gnarling trees shooting out of the mountain like its nails, and still ever so glorious? It was strange to me. I pondered the meaning of beauty and what was my ideal for it. But it did not matter. Thoughts evaporated from my head, up beyond my woolen cap and were eaten by the sky that looked unreal. I guess, nature serves mind in its invitation. It also occurred to me that the mountains–over which I walked on and the ones in front or adjacent to it–were wrapped in ribbons, as if knitted in a sweater. On plains, the only way you reach the 4th floor of the building is by the mechanism of stairs installed inside the building itself. But isn’t it absolutely ridiculous that you may climb the sand hill beside a the mountain house and all of a sudden you are above someone’s terrace. And I kept thinking about ribbons. How the mountain lets you in. Upon it are fossils and scars of battles unknown. How long will it stand after I will die?

These are the questions, I’m sure, that you can easily pick up from a geography book but the walk, I think (in the spirit of David Thoreau) it is also about the science of interiority. What valleys run past your lungs and what river sings in your heart. So I think that the mountain is a ritual. To me it is a wall that you put your ear to, a wall thick as a world, and deep inside there is nothing but the beating heart that is life.  When you put your ear to it, your life begins to mimic it.

When I walked, I walked past the lumps in the dusty ribbon, the dangerous launch of a tongue that rolled out in a sheer power of the will of the landscape. Good small passersby who were small in an ironic comparison to the vast civilization of nature. And everything was so far but close. A man who clipped at trees for firewood, three roads below mine, was like a neighbor with a common wall. The waterfall near the dam roared at me from miles away, its icy blue like a pebble in the sand. Apart from occasional odor of watery caves and moss, there was no smell in the air at all. The cold bit the tip of my nose whenever I tried to look for it. I wanted to sit but was excited about what I may find next. Did I ever wanted to turn back?

As a matter of fact I did. The mountain behind was very primordial and my mind’s home for no man but Yetis. It was all buttered up in snow and glowed mysteriously in cloudy sunlight (sorry for unnecessary metaphorical suspense in the beginning there but that’s how I blog). It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. But sad to me (not in the poetic rumor that all beautiful things must be sad)  was the idea that I kept thinking this scene is like a drawing room scenery or an instagram picture,that I cannot translate  right there and then. Like my walk near the summer river and mild flower beds in June 2017, I  suddenly remembered having the exact same thoughts then too. A friend also echoed them without my participation. What weird urge to find something so magnificent and to somehow locate it in trivial matter of life? Yet I made peace with the urge. I tell you, you should too. You should forgive your friends who take too many pictures as you must forgive a friend who must decide to paint the land carried away by a similar urge. Thanks to my Visual Arts paper last semester, I can understand this urge better. Velasquez’s Las Meninas, for one, gave me the cleverest of all examples. Las Meninas had been a mystery to scholars for a long time. It is a painting interrupted. The painting captures the exact moment when animation of the maids, the clowns, the princess and a painting painter is brought to a sudden halt when the royal couple walks into the room. There is a mechanism to see them in this act too. Behind the subjects is a mirror which faintly captures King and Queen in this act of interruption. But wait a second, does it now? Most scholars disagree. The reflection in the mirror is the reflection of painter’s ongoing painting and NOT the royal couple. So my point is? My point (which I am borrowing from people who do long studies of paintings) is that truth is stranger than fiction. The royal couple are much more brilliant than a painter can ever paint (a painting is a mirror you see, so Velasquez is literally indicating to that) as is seen through the effect on the faces of the subjects interrupted.

Painting by Diego Velázquez, 1656

My point being? When I walk the mountains and take them away as a memory, I wish, I wish, It remained as glorious as it was when I saw it. It is a Shakespearean effort to capture the now-time.

This urge is the basis of ‘conversation’. The idea that you want to carry it in your hearts in its true form. But I think we remain what we are, foreigners. However, some people are less foreigners than us. Those who live and breathe the mountains and call it their home. Where villages have their own problems and celebrations and mountains merely happen to drop in the beverage they call life. The same is true for where you live. No wonder I love my city (in a landscape and people way) even when people escape to mountains and the problems never disappear.

My 24th December walk was profound. I encountered dangerous edges, a phantom mountain goat, hotel-running smart lady with  apple red cheeks, nice people from my own city, crunch of my own foot and the voice in my own heart. I think it is very important to hear this voice as it happens to melt into other voices and then you can’t tell which one is yours. Right now it is in the act of writing for me, but at other times it is in humming, cooking, jogging and even simply walking (not-that-simple-actually) upon the never-ending ribbons of the mountains.

 

 

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Groundwork 


There is benign strength 

In my poet’s legs

To keep my words

From falling off in a dishonest dance routine

Noted among people

Who even served worms 

in gourmet,

With candlelight.                               

                              

      
I pity 

the words stuck like phlegm 

in their throats

Dying in the purpose of throne-making 

for a self in state of decline,

Reciprocal to

Each bite in the name of ‘taste’.         

              
                
Then in death

There is always a radioactivity. 

The charged words bump against the glass

Like a moth or a housefly

Like a lover or a businessman 

And at last

The mind breaks with its own ambition. 

Introspection Today: Part 1

29-4-2016

When I look at people in a very general fashion, I cannot distrust them. It is like I have begun to run through their veins, I speak out their words and I erupt from their lips, a joyful moan. I remember reading about a girl who absolutely hated second generation middle-aged people’s butts because them, she peculiarly points out, had the potential of squeezing into every creak and corner of a jam-packed metro. I could only respond, ‘man I have no sense of private space’.

We do not, more or less think philosophically about disgust or love which we tend to feel around crowded places. But I say, the whole experience engrosses me the most. Just as I’ve loved certain smiles and conversations, on the other hand, I’ve also wished a lot of people, per say, chewing or giggling in a certain manner around me to instantly drop dead. But that is the peculiarity of society, it recognizes insanity only if it sustains through time. A little murderous or incestuous thought, here and there and I’ll tell you Freud must have had a hard time in studying the psyche and how to classify it as extraordinary. For Lewis Carroll is right, it has always been dark and as it amounts to it, ‘we all are mad here’.

If you are disgusted by my opinions, I am certain that you’re unaware of your unconscious mind. Mine used to play tricks on me all the time, until recently when I decided to give it a head on, we are on peace for now. Unconscious mind must look like your mysterious orient, against your reasonable structured mind (Edward Said will appreciate the joke) but that does not mean you must lock it away and keep it in bounds (as far as you can help it, I mean I get it that it is called unconscious for some reason). The effect is to make peace with it or simply, just let it breathe. Most people cringe at dark thoughts that ought to be associated with unconscious mind, yet it is children, Freud associates with Id…yes, our very own angels (Id derives of unconscious parts of our psyche). No wonder, my parents still don’t take me seriously.

But I must not confuse you with the binary of reasonable and unreasonable or perhaps, dark and light. It is a dangerous trap that society creates. But how can I blame you, I came out of this entanglement, very recently. I was thinking about my position in the society and found myself in the middle at almost all levels. I belong to middle class, I remain neither happy nor too sad and lastly, I am neither too masculine nor too feminine. Other trivial things I have excused. In conclusion, I realized (which is a very simple idea actually but yet simple ideas are the one which remain out of reach) that everybody ought to be at middle more or less depending upon the things they are competing with. A beggar can be richer than a person in utter debt and yet he can be poorer than his friends who perhaps, earn more than him. So ratios and numbers and other blahs that people like me try not to get entangled in, is what I finally concluded–decides the middle. You can be in middle anywhere.

But then, I asked my friend (in the worst possible articulation) as to what does she think about this whole affair?

‘Yeah but binaries are social construct’

Sure I went into a trance. It is not like I didn’t know what she was saying but she absolutely did startle my inner world. The world was new again. And I was once again, unsure of the principles I live by.

Actually, her and my thought spectrum were not as far as she had thought. For truly, I too had concluded that beggar is neither rich nor poor. And thus relativity occurs due to certain constructions in the society that must force me to see in a certain manner.

Well, I’m sorry if your head hurts. Mine hurts too but I am used to such introspections.

Unconscious minds sure are dark and mysterious places simply because they are out of reach in comparison to the conscious mind, nonetheless they are a construct and not somatic in nature, therefore, it is important for us to not categorize them as unnecessary and unreasonable.

Dreams seem unreasonable precisely because they do not work on the system of boundaries or binaries. Freud notes on Id:

‘…contrary impulses exist side by side, without cancelling each other out…there is nothing in the id that could be compared with negation…nothing in the id which corresponds to the idea of time’

For a long time, I used to wake up in dreams only to observe that the person moving with certain awareness of the metaphysicality of a dream is someone who characterize herself as me, is not actually me. I know—weird? Exactly. This person was a personification of Id that did such deeds in my dreams that my conscious mind ran away with its tail between its legs. But I am certainly not joking, I could not (with complete decisiveness) associate with that person in my dream yet I also cannot deny that the person of the dream was indeed me.

However, I did try to conciliate with this dream phantom of Id. I made a point to accept it and I kid you not, it very well worked. Now whenever, I have such dreams, I no longer feel the division. I feel completely united within my desires and reason.

As I positively look back at the history of puritanism and of all the matter that must decide my heaven-hell outgoing, I go onto give out a heartiest chuckle.

Drenched

re_carved_coin_rene_magritte_man_in_a_bowler_hat_by_shaun750-d7uuiya

When you sit at an oozy bar. The forbidden drool dripping out of your heart. Looking for a silhouette with rain slithering out of his hat. You hear the same rising sounds like a concert closing in your ears. And it is time they say It is then you start your singing.

You are dehydrated. Not a single slurr to save your throat. And you thought you have now set your throne. In a heart left to charlatan. Saints are not bought in gold.

Blood But Blood always it is.

When you sat under the shed while your father refused you all the credit. And your mother decided to smoke pennies.Then you sat outside your house, thinking.Then you opened your mouth, thinking. And you filled it all with rain. For it is better to be drowned inside the teeth.Than letting it creep out in the fields.

But the rain that has seeped inside. It became a quicksand inside your skin. And you thought it was gold.To be sold at a bar inn close

Did it help? I tell you it never helps.

If it could, Death would have been a peasant with empty harvest.

Did it pains any less?

I tell you it never does

If it could, we all would all have been selling Plenty of blood just for head-rests soon.

You can’t run from the rain. It is an immortal freight. Unless when the dread comes riding upon at the end of the tunnel.You do not blink.You slit your mouth tight. You let the rain escapes from the eyes.

Author Notes

You will never find solace in placing your pains by a stranger’s heart.