“Thou dirge of the dying year,
To which this closing night will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might, of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst”
When I first came across “Ode to the West Wind”, I too was one among those tortured souls of high schoolers who cannot fathom why Shelley had to write something so complicated and why I was being forced to swallow this circus of literary devices down my throat. But somehow, as the tide of time flowed and years went by me, I have been able to understand his sentiments, his fears, his disappointments and wistfulness that led him to create this beautiful symphony of words that I now eternally appreciate. I guess I can identify with him as I too bleed upon the thorns of my life as time escapes me on its winged chariot and I’m left frail and powerless in the face of misery and darkness. So, here I am trying to write my own “dirge of the dying year”, as 2013 comes to a close and I’m forced to turn an inward eye towards all the major plot twists and tragic endings and introspect all that is lost forever. (“Dirge” means a funeral song)
This year, I’ve lost a lot of things dear to my heart. I mourn them as I turn into a new phase, even though parts of me too have died along with those cryptic things and people I am not going to name or mention. And thus, the core of my beliefs has been shaken and I’ve been questioning everything in the universe ever since. I’ve never been so lost and filled with darkness, as I walk through this tunnel, with the light at the end ever descending, farther and farther, away and away, beyond my reach as my mind turns numb and I fall prey to my own demons. I’ve lost the ability to feel the genuine joy and peace I used to feel. Now all I ever notice is death and destruction, melancholy and darkness. Somewhere along all those bad experiences, I’ve tried to harden myself and have coated my feelings and sentiments with layers of stone, so as to preserve them from the cold attacks of this world and the bruises they want to inflict on me. In doing so, I’ve isolated them, from my own self too. I’ve grown numb to so many beautiful things that I’m scared a day would come when all that I will have left would be a barren wasteland with no sign of any light. An eternity of moonless nights, with nothing but a vacant starless sky. A hollow abyss of monsters of my own creation.
I want to bury every dark thought I’ve had this year. I want to cremate the presence all the vanity and pretentiousness around me, all my material desires and wants that have brought me to the brink of depression and all those unfulfilled unnecessary aspirations that have kept me up endless sleepless nights. I want to leave behind every bad experience and every harsh word I have ever spoken, as well as every cruel vowel and consonant ever directed at me. I want to wash away all these black and red blotches from my mind and go into the New Year in white, with nothing but peace, love, tranquility and patience.
I forgive everybody who has ever done me wrong. I burn the envious, angry and vengeful thoughts and desires in me, not holding ill will against anybody as I bask in the golden radiance of this new beginning. I forgive, but I shall not forget for that is not who I am. Though I pass all my experiences of this past year through a minute sieve so as to sort out all maliciousness from them, I do carry forward with me the lessons I have learnt and the truth that has been revealed to me. I spread this carpet of nothingness around me, facilitating the newness of thoughts, actions, words and deeds, but I will make no efforts to undo the past. What is done is done, and I will bear this in mind as I will make no effort to make amends of any kind. I’m tired of being mistreated at the hands of everybody who views me as nothing but a means to an end. I refuse to be a pawn in someone else’s game that can be sacrificed so that someone else’s chess pieces can be saved. I too am a human being. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” But no, I do not want revenge, of any sort. I free myself of the shackles of these feelings, embracing the angels of this new dawn.
Another thing that I have realized over this past year is that not everyone deserves to see behind your walls. If that makes me a loner, so be it, but I will never show my true self to anyone who doesn’t deserve me or doesn’t treat me the right way. Love, care, honour, friendship, dedication, that is all I desire in return for my loyalty, and I shall see through this resolution of staying away from people who are nothing but superficial plastic dolls, sans credibility of any kind.
In this new chapter, I will not let anybody affect me or my mind. I will dedicate 2014 to myself and live with a peaceful and open mind. I will be patient and kind to the ones I love and will absolutely feel nothing against anybody else. My indifference will be my shield in this war. I will surround myself with good people, books, music and stories that touch my heart. I know now that the world is a complicated place with an equal amount of good and evil. I will not let the dark shadow the light. Even though it may rain sometimes and the clouds may hide the golden sparkle of the sun, I will not yield.
My mind will be that undisturbed lake on a peaceful winter morning, sans ripples, a mirror to the grey silent sky, taking in all that wonder and beauty that is easily overlooked in one’s own haste, envy and pride. Pure and serene, untouched by the darkness of envy or hate. Tranquil, quiet, idyllic, calm.