I grab the car keys and rush out. The crisp cool air embraces me with full force. At the same time, I hear the crunch of gold and brown leaves as I step on them. I look around and I am struck by the breathtaking colors. It sharpens the sense of my observer self, filtering my mind with one desire, the other me wants to feel something. I am the pursuer of definitions and now it is claiming attention.
I head towards the Lodge, a short thirty-miles drive to my retreat. The rustic log cabin is surrounded by huge bluffs of sandstone dressed in lush fern, moss, hundreds of species of wild flowers, and several varieties of towering trees. The forest is flaming red during the month of November. It's pure beauty gets to me. What divine presence of the opposing impulse of living and dying! Magnificent, pristine, and surging.
As I enter the cabin and seek out my favorite alcove, I am greeted by a pair of green eyes. The same? The owner of the smiling eyes inquires. Yes, I say. She draws open the curtains, places a bottle of Chateau Meyney Saint-Estepheon the table and retreats for a while. I sit still savoring the subdued blend of Chopin's Nocturne Op 9 and my thoughts.
In quiet I feel the compulsion to reach the unknown of my becoming. Nietzsche provides a gentle reminder Life is no argument. The conditions of life might include error. My experience of pain, love, hate, confusion all create a very tuned-in sensibilities that lead to a deep longing utterly consuming. To set the mind in order I have learned to seek the bliss of solitude, a ritual of reliance. I am never lonely, but I love to be alone.
They say I am not an easy person to get along with, probably because I seek perfection, in others and myself, knowing fully well the word is a misnomer. Perhaps it has something to do with the position of Pluto, the planet of transformation and regeneration that rule Scorpio, the eight sign of Zodiac; needless to say I am a November woman.
It is that element of transformation I believed in which led me to forge my own path. I certainly do not love or allowed to be loved. Kafka's saying makes sense to me, from a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached. I thought I had reached that point until a simple story unfolded.
He: You have become my addiction.
I: Have you ever felt insane, held by boundaries?
He: I simply want to understand the depth of your mind, its reasoning.
I: The workings of my intellectual speculations?
He hummed: hum aap ki ankhon mein / iss dilko basa dein toh
(if this heart in me I immerse in the depth of your eyes…what then my love?)
I: Let me just say I rest my case, my chimeric muse!
There were the numerous conversations on the oddities of life: politics, war, death, and what not; till one day he simply wrote, "And I love you so." I stared long at those words. What was the 'and' for? Second guessing is not my style, yet there was the pause. Ah yes, love...the most lovable, hateful, criticized, underrated, overrated complex word to define, and to understand. They say one cannot avoid this turbulent emotion. Have I been at standstill for too long? Was I looking for complete attainment, I wondered.
I am wired to those who take initiative, he was one of them. The conversations thus became rapturous in its sentiment. And I failed to notice! Seems, we are ever-in-need of unknown moments bound within the parameters of minds. I guess one cannot outlaw a feeling, a feeling just is, it is not right or wrong. In all this the heart cannot but not throb, for to pause would be the death of all that is beautiful in life.
Yet in my course of life I had lost living. Long ago I titled it as commitment to a life partner, which is not a formal imperative but comes from within oneself. It grows from the foundation of a relationship; otherwise it simply turns into a word without meaning. And I always believed my action perfects meaning. Yet, this friend of mine has become one singular enigma that threatens to change the configuration of my life. In me, I see a crowding face of someone else; the halves of two strangers. What madness! It is a story that I cannot seem to leave.
Intellectually I understand I am caught between two opposing urges, to do the right thing, whatever that is, and find that space for self to live. In my relentless pursuit to meet my reasons at the boundary of happiness and sorrow, to live without dying, without judgment, I immerse myself in music, find beauty in that which is innocent, read poetry with belief that poets interfere the arrangements of meaning, be with books as if it is the only delight I own. Such is the adjustment of alternatives to live life.
Yet, there are days when I wish to be held.
As I leave the lodge I see winds hasten through the woods. Few words linger…
I wish I could hear you read
It is raining and I am holding you close
I wish I could get out of life
We will make of life a beautiful experience yet
That is neither a principle nor a philosophy
Just a hard reality
Reality is what becomes philosophy!
"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." F. Nietzsche.
Ainon N writes from the USA
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