Things are Falling Apart

Original artwork superimposed over a random hourglass image from Google.

I was born in 2000, the year that marked a new beginning.

2000 was also the year at the wide end of the gyre; when things were supposed to fall apart.

Maybe they did.

I don’t particularly like my life. I have a roof over my head, good food, and people who (I think) care about me. But I hate my life. It’s going nowhere. I’m paralysed. This place is to me what Dublin was to Joyce. The difference is that I can’t leave. The fact that I’m the person standing in the way of me leaving doesn’t make it any better.

A few posts ago, I wrote about how it feels like there’s a storm trying to suck me into the narrow middle of an hourglass and how in that horrible place I can choose whether or not to stop the sand from falling(https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2021/08/04/why-i-even-try/ ). I was talking about not wanting to live. I don’t think anybody got that. Well, nobody really understands anything I say most of the time. To stop the sand is to stop time. At a deeper level, it is to destroy unity.

The hourglass has a form that has great significance in history. Two triangles meeting at their vertices. It is a symbol that appears in so many cultures. Here’s a link to a page that lists a few: https://hillerdrygoods.com/blogs/news/the-leone-blanket-story

Wherever it appears and in whatever form, this symbol always has something to do with unity, balance, and the like. Being stuck in the middle of an hourglass is about the disruption of balance and unity for me; when things get so dark that you are able to see how time could potentially stop. It was about things falling apart.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

-The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats

If you go through Yeats’s notes, you’ll find all kinds of diagrams with gyres intersecting at all kinds of angles. One such illustration that is often referenced in the analysis of ‘The Second Coming’ is an illustration of two intersecting gyres. Read more about it here: https://yeatsvision.com/geometry.html

In the context of the poem, the gyre could be seen as representing a period of 2000 years. Yeats believed that at the end of every 2000 years, at the wide end of a gyre, there would be a drastic change. One system would fall and another would rise (the origin of the new being the narrow end of the gyre). In the poem mentioned above, Yeats anticipates things falling apart. Right after the First World War, with the end of the millennium fast approaching, Yeats asks the question of what lays ahead for man. He is not naively optimistic about the future. He asks the question and he does not expect the answer to be pleasant.

When I look at the hourglass, I’m reminded of the intersecting gyres. I was born in 2000. Whether or not what Yeats says/believes in/concocted has any validity, I don’t particularly like the new beast. Confusion and panic reign and I’m a part of it. In a way, it is through me that it has become part of reality. I hate that.

I feel grounded in time only when I’m the author; when I create. That’s the other thing about the hourglass symbol. Two triangles meeting at their vertices looks like two mountains meeting at their tips.

My last post was about how mountains signify clarity and authorship for me.

The mountaintop is where you experience the satisfaction of feeling like the author- the person who knows what’s on the next page. The author is the one who knows what the book is really about. In the experience of that entity is where God meets man. The Sermon on the Mount, The Fire Sermon, Mount Sinai, Mount Carmel, Pisgah, Mount Moria, Mount of Olives, Mount of Transfiguration, Golgotha…the list of mountains that have great religious and mystical significance is endless. Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, is where the 12 gods live according to myth. In fact, in The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway, which I talked about in one of my earlier posts ( https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2021/07/10/obsessed-with-loss-of-potential-jpg/ ), the Kilimanjaro , which like the Olympus is the highest mountain in Africa has a western summit which in Masai is called “the House of God”. In the post I explain how the mountaintop has a lot to do with perspective, potential, and perfection of the artist. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is about a writer. That really makes it worth mentioning in this post. To look at the hourglass symbol and see two mountains joined at their tips is not that crazy. It makes sense to me.

What is interesting is that I am not denied authorship in the narrow middle of the hourglass. In fact, I think this is where it is the most potent. However, this is also where I can truly hurt myself. End things. As I mentioned in many previous posts, it is the void in which I burn. ‘Void’ because that is what experiencing uncharted territory feels like most of the time- reduction. Searching for meaning in the void is scary. Once in a while, you find/experience something that makes sense but the joy is fleeting. It changes you, moulds you, and motivates you but the journey breaks you. You’re flailing around in something incredibly vast and tangibly transparent. Yes, darkness is transparent. I say that because most people would associate darkness with opacity, not being able to move etc. The void is different. That’s what makes it scary.

And I am afraid; terribly so.

Clothes For My Pimples

Photo by Justin Veenema. Source: unsplash.com

Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks.

Why do we wear clothes?

Go ahead and google it. It’s amusing to see how the web manages to give relevant answers to questions like these.

We wear clothes for protection, for decoration and mostly to keep what’s private, private.

When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit. they lost the glory of God that clothed them and they clothed themselves with leaves.

I sometimes wish I had clothes for other stuff. Like pimples and scars.

My skin has a thing for pimples. Despite my mother’s incessant instructions not to pop them, I still do it. And because of this habit I had trouble walking with my head held up high when I was in school. People sometimes don’t see how much pimples can affect someone. It was torture for me. My face used to shrink to the size of a small spot. Metaphorically, of course.

Here I was, a teenage kid with a lot of potential. I had everything going for me. I mean, I did struggle a bit during high school with academics (regardless of which I ended up at my dream university) but other than that, I was doing great. I loved meeting people and having a good conversation. The only thing that kept me from enjoying every single minute of my day most days was the number of pimples on my face. That’s sad.

You do get better at living with your pimples. It gets easier. But I didn’t want to live with them. If I was not responsible for them and they were going to be a part of my life regardless, I could not afford to let them be even the slightest of my worries.

I learnt, though at a very slow pace, that nobody actually cared about my pimples. At least not as much as I thought they did. I also learnt that sometimes not every part of who you are will serve your confidence and that you have to choose what to focus on.

Me being a born-again Christian, realised that it is in God that my value is found. It is his glory that now clothed me and made me who I was. That realisation helped me a lot.

You, dear reader, have to realise that I am talking about a problem that is nothing compared to the millions of problems that are out there. But it definitely is one. Which is why I thought I should talk about how hurtful it could be when you stare at somebody’s pimple or even point it out in public. Even when it seems like it’s no big deal.

Before I go, to all my friends with pimples: Really, it’s not a big deal. Don’t worry too much. Treat it for what it is. A minute real estate on your face with very little resale value for the next few weeks. If you really want to make a mountain out of it, call them volcanoes of purity or call yourself pompously pimplified. I hope that was not gross.

Anyway, if you’ve actually read till here, you deserve an award. Please claim my respect by saying a hi in the comments. Joking. You don’t have to do that. I love you all nevertheless.

Have a blast just existing!

Witnessing Rain

This is a small piece of pure spontaneity. There’s no rhyme, no alliteration. It’s just a couple of verses that came out when I was chilling at the balcony, watching the rain. Things like this resonate with me more than the poems with rhymes and refrains. What about you?

Photo by Anna King. Source: unsplash.com

It’s raining outside. In phases.

Fast? Slow? It’s a rhythm I can’t tap to.

It smells nice. Like gentle familiar novelty.

Smell with my eyes. I smell colour.

Like colour on a fresh painting.

It’s preaching into the air.

It sounds like love.

If there is silence in between, that’s all I feel.

My arms are feeling the drops that I only see.

I’m under construction, a puzzle.

Oh, Lord, your creation is in awe of itself.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you so much for reading and have a blast just existing!

Called to Uniqueness

We are all made to function in a unique way that will nourish life in a way that is in sync with the very blueprint of life. This goes beyond all jobs that has been or will be. If needed, we must be ready to create our own job!


This was a reply I made to one of the recent comments on my post, The Right Shoes https://thefourthdimensionoflife.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/the-right-shoes/

The Right Shoes

I’m an Indian kid doing his undergraduate course in English Literature. Most people don’t know this but in India, the number of kids trying to get into Medicine and Engineering is insanely high. The competition is so high, there are literally lakhs of unemployed engineers. It is in the midst of all this that I decided to study English. When I tell people that I am studying English at college, they are mostly extremely unimpressed. And I can’t blame them, IITs and Medical Colleges rule India. I mean it does hurt sometimes. I mean, I did get into one of the best universities in India and I love what I do. I love it so much that I would rather be at college than enjoy a holiday. I would never be at such a great place in life if I had done what everyone else was doing. A lot of people go through life doing what they don’t love. Instead of their work life nourishing their personal life, it sabotages it.

A few days ago, I made a small track and wrote a small poem (though it’s not a proper poem) to articulate how hard it is to go out and ‘do your own thing’. I hope you enjoy it.

Th track is called ‘Leg-Shoe’ and I’ll share the Instagram link to the track here. You can also listen to it at my YouTube channel at Stef Guitar Geek but there’s something wrong with audio at some parts.

Here’s the poem. I don’t have a title yet. So feel free to suggest one. 🙂

I feel burnt out. Utterly inexistent

My legs have grown out of the shoes that i have come to love

 I find myself locked into a room full of old worn out shoes

And I must choose. For the world is not for a man with no shoes.

But I can’t. They stink and they are revolting to the eye.

They are torn, bleeding leather, but  they are warm

They are warm because they are worn.

Everyone wears them. They wear ’em till they die. 

Some never even take ’em off. 

They go to bed in them. They bathe in them, some even make love while still in them

They are definitely not for me. My toes want to feel a virgin pair.

So they can in time rest in a pair of their own.

A pair that has formed into the shape of my feet.

Not in worn out shoes they can’t even feel.

But I am locked in. The keys do not even exist.

I do not know how to pick a lock that isn’t there. 

So I examine the worn out shoes.

They are introduced in pairs, yet were undeniably incongruous.

But I persist. I put aside my pernicious eyes of judgement and peek into the intricacies of creation

I see where the needle cut into the leather. I look at the lines and curves.

I search for marks made by time but seldom come across one

But I come across in plenty , marks made by man. 

Marks made in his haste to conquer, but sometimes because he lacked succour.

For years I’ve been dragging my shoeless feet, leading my eyes onto more worn out footwear.

My mission is to make my own worn out pair, a pair that Iooks like my feet.

I pick up the pieces of leather falling off the shelves, I bring them together with the threads that survived. 

I sew them over my feet. Sometimes, I feel a prick or two but never in the same place.

Like the men with the worn out shoes whose toes feel pain again and again.

I really hope this inspires you and encourages you to go out there and do what you love to do. God has a plan for all of us. So be brave!

And as always, have a blast just existing!

I’m Aching To Be Out There

Metamorphosis Behind A Window. Photo by Suzanne D. Williams. Source: unsplash.com

I’m a butterfly. I used to be a caterpillar. Before that, I was an egg. But you don’t know me. Yet. But I know you. I see you through the transparent chrysalis that envelops me. In time we’ll meet. I’m nearly there. I’m a complete butterfly inside a cocoon. How did I get here? It was inevitable. It had to be done. That’s how God made me. It was important for me to shut myself in a cocoon so that I could develop into a butterfly. But now, it’s nearly done. I don’t understand why I have be here anymore. I’m complete. But all in time. But make no mistake, I’m aching to be out there.

Metamorphosis Behind A Window is one of the tracks I made during this summer holiday. I’ll link it at the end of this post if you guys want to listen to it. I couldn’t upload it.

What inspired me: I had been stuck in my room for the past 1 month. Only going out on Sundays to attend church. After going to college, I had a really vibrant social life and being back home and not even going out, I felt trapped. I was looking out of my window, seeing all the cars honking at each other, a sight quite normal to the average Indian citizen. We spend a lot of time in cars stuck in traffic. I was looking out and seeing all this activity and I was back home, stuck in my room. No one shut me in. I just had nothing to do outside. I didn’t have many friends from school that I could go meet. But i had my passion for music. I spent the last two months in my room, playing my guitar and experimenting with music. It was from this, that the track came.

Now, through this track I wanted to convey a message. Here is a butterfly, fully formed, inside a transparent cage( The chrysalis of a butterfly, is usually transparent). Just before it comes out, it has the same potential as it will have when it has come out. I would imagine a butterfly really struggling to come out, considering how it must feel, knowing that it’s complete and yet not being able to go outside. But if you actually look at a butterfly coming out of it’s transparent chrysalis or cocoon, regardless of the amount of movement you see, it looks graceful. It looks like the cocoon and the butterfly are working together to create a release of potential into nature. That inspires me.

We are all undergoing a metamorphosis of our own and there will be times when we feel like we have reached our ultimate potential but are being caged by systems. It’s hard. Because we know what’s out there and we know we are meant for it, just like the butterfly in the transparent chrysalis. But like the butterfly, we must learn to work together with the chrysalis to release our potential.

God loves us. More than we could ever imagine. And sometimes, he gives us cocoons to develop in. We must learn to use it to vitalise our potential. This has a place in every situation in life, be it work, study, or personal development. I believe it is key to enjoying life and reaching great heights at the same time. And I hope that you never ever forget to enjoy life.

Do check out the other tracks and tell me what you think. I really appreciate it. Thank you once again for taking time out of your life to read the stuff I write. It means more than you know. God bless you!!!!

My Instagram page is over at @stefguitargeek

You can listen to the track mentioned in this post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxxArFJDY70/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Some of the tracks are also there on YouTube at Stef Guitar Geek

Silence Is A Perfect Sound

Shhh…..

Silence. In some cases, we strive in our efforts to push it out of the picture. But in others, we love it, are amused by it and find solace and comfort in it.

It’s morning. The sun just peek-a-booed into the sky. The tree leaves moved gracefully in the wind. The branch of a crooked coconut tree  was  somehow serving as an  eyebrow to the sun. The face of the earth was dipped in yellow. A yellow that smelled of novelty, hope, victory and simply colour. It was raining too. But the skies were clear. It always confused me when that happened.

There is a silence in my room. I shift inside my blankets to try and sleep some more but end up just lying there, my eyes squinting into the sunrise. The silence is loud. Outside  the window of my room, the signs of life are so evident, it’s loud. It’s waiting to enter the silence in my room and break it. Not that it is evil. The loudness outside is very beautiful, extremely calming too, ironically. But letting it in, would mean giving up the silence. I would be giving  up a  perspective of reality inside the boundaries of my room. One that I was starting to enjoy.

Silence seems to add an iridescent beauty to all movement. It does so by just existing in a world of inactivity. The only thing that let’s us know it’s there, is time. But when it takes over, it lets you know that it is not brining about a cessation to activity, but rather adding meaning to it. In other words, it is a pause. And I find that so beautiful. If you follow this blog, you would know how much I love playing the guitar. A good musician has to know when to let his instrument speak and when to keep it silent. I would spend hours and hours, honing my skill of knowing when to allow silence to take over.  When silence takes over in the middle of a song, it’s definitely not a cessation of activity. On the contrary, it feels incredibly similar to standing still while your heart is beating like it’s on a rollercoaster. It is according to me, the best example of inertia, but one on an abstract level. And that silence, I find to be an ephemeral display of amazing.

Almost everything I have has some kind of cartoon or doodle. If you look at my laptop, among all the crazy things I’ve drawn on it, you’ll see this:   Silence is a Perfect Sound.  And I hope that today, I have given the world, a muddled up, arcane reason why it’s there. And if you didn’t understand this post, don’t worry. I’m still learning how to put silence in the right places.

 

Never Cliché

kate-williams-92906-unsplash

Dear …………………………,

I saw a great movie today. A beautiful one.

The sun’s almost down here. The birds are all returning to their modest abodes. If every day was a movie, then this would be a very clichĂ© ending. But yet this is beautiful. Every day is filled with ephemeral clichĂ©s that we seem to enjoy with a satisfaction that makes no sense at all. Stefan, haven’t you gotten tired of seeing the sunset, the flying birds, and the full moon? You’ve been loitering on this earth for 18 years. But no, you still enjoy them. They still make sense to you.

The movie I saw today ended with a clichĂ©. And yes, I would have liked it to surprise me, but it didn’t. But yet, it was beautiful, full of meaning. Today, films are trying to survive. Everything is becoming clichĂ©. Around a lakh movies are made every year. New clichĂ©s are made every day. Playwrights and directors are rocking their brains left and right to find something new.

Why do I never stop loving a good sunrise? Why do I never get bored with nature?

Is it the acceptance of my unawareness of many of the delicate details I have yet to see? Maybe.

I have a feeling that a cliché becomes annoying only when you are aware of a better possibility. If this is indeed true, then it is the limitations of my imagination that makes me fall in love over and over again with nature, love, beauty and another human being.

And that, I find extremely beautiful. In a world that keeps changing in time, I find it comforting to think that my sheer oblivion to an alternative for many things and my sheer inability to form one, makes what is there everlasting and beautiful.

God, you have indeed painted your glory in the skies and in the most minute vestiges of nature. I can’t find anything to replace it.

Yours,

Stefan

 

 

 

A great quote

Hey guys,

Just wanted to drop in and share with you a great quote I just read over at the blog of one of my dear friends, Stuart L. Tutt. It just brightened up my day 🙂

‘You will also realize that despite the fact you can’t find pants that actually fit you, your body size is perfect. It is exactly that way God designed you to be. You will eventually come to terms with it.’ – Stuart L. Tutt

Go check out his blog at https://stubaby777.wordpress.com/

I’m sure you’ll be inspired. God bless you all! 🙂