What a low feels like

If you’re hoping to read a post poignant with meaning and sprinkled with metaphors and hope, look away. This is probably going to be a bare and raw write up with no artistic value or literary merit of any kind. You see, I’m at that low in a trough where you lie at the deepest point in the pit wishing you didn’t exist because you’re so tired of trying to dig your way out. But that’s the problem. You try to dig yourself out but only fall deeper and deeper. There’s no escape.

I’ve dealt with depression and dark days throughout most of my life, and honestly I thought it would get easier as I got older. It’s quite the opposite actually. And now that all I see is darkness around me because things have gone south, it just makes it all the more worse. I feel so uncomfortable in my own body, like the wind’s been knocked out of me and I’m gasping for air. My tears have found a permanent place right behind my eyes, just waiting for the slightest sign to cause a tsunami. Everything just feels so wrong and I have no idea what to do to make it right. In fact, it feel like I shouldn’t even bother trying because I’m not worth it. It’s my own fault that I am suffering the way that I am, so I probably deserve it.

There’s also an enormous sea of guilt, because my pain in the vast degree of suffering in the world is as insignificant as my existence in the universe. It makes me feel worse than I already do. I can’t remember a time in my life when I’ve experienced pure happiness. It could be because I’ve stayed in the blackness for so long, and it just keeps getting worse with every passing year. How do I make it stop. How do I make it okay. Will it ever be okay? Is that even possible? I’m scared, so so scared it’s only going to get worse, that next year this time, this pit would feel like heaven.

I want to cross my arms and fall backwards into a pool. When I’m completely submerged, I want to hold my knees so that I sink right to the bottom. And then I want to scream my lungs out.

© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.

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Illusion

The lull questions my answers.

The dark wrings out my fallacy.

And I hear the lone bird screeching in the middle of the night,

Seething wounds on the wing,

The cold a choking blanket, a fatal lullaby.

 

The setting of the sun brings the demons out alive.

 

And ever time, I give in.

And every single time I fall.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2016. All rights reserved.

Bon Voyage, Rory

My tears have almost dried and the sinking feeling in my chest is subsiding to numbness, slowly and steadily, although my heart feels as hollow as ever. The jar of peanut butter (because I was out of nutella) didn’t help me as much as I thought it would. Gilmore Girls ended. Rory left for her first job. Logan was left brokenhearted. Luke kissed Lorelei. Now what?

That’s the question that has been haunting my life over the past few weeks. It is ironic that I finished Gilmore Girls at this close in my life, this ending of a chapter, this dawning of an era. Gilmore Girls has taught me so much about love and life, about family and hope and every other thing that matters. I fell in love over and again with Dean, Jess, Logan, Luke, Christopher (until he left Lorelei), Sookie, Lane, Jackson, Zack. I fell in love with the complexity of Emily Gilmore, the complicated relationship she has with Lorelei and all that it brought with it. Richard Gilmore taught me about pursuing what you want and not letting go of opportunities. I partied with Logan and the Life and Death Brigade, fell in and out of love with him, swooned at his grand romantic gestures and most of all, appreciated him for becoming the man he grew up to be. Rory taught me that even the best of the best can have a melt down and not everything they touch has to turn to gold all the time. But getting back on track after life pushes you down is what defines the strength of your character and it is what I wish to possess.

I was at Yale with Rory, my favourite place on the planet, walking those streets of New Haven with her as I did last summer, the best summer of my life. And Lorelei taught me that sometimes the unexpected can grow to be the best thing to ever happen to you. Gilmore Girls gave me hope and courage and now that it has ended, I don’t know what to depend on anymore. Where do I run to when I want to escape?

I’m forgetting all of it. I’ve forgotten everything. Life is taking its toll on me. Lately, all I feel is the piercing hollowness of everything. The superficiality of relationships has been gripping my soul. Nothing has meaning anymore. What is anything even worth if it is just a mode of convenience for everyone, bent according to their whims and fancies and desires? My biggest problem is that when I reciprocate the same behaviour, the same fakeness they subject me to, guilt eats me alive, for that is not who I am. That is not who I want to be, although the alternative brings me pain.

Life is a conundrum I do not understand. Nothing means anything, and looking for meaning in people’s actions and the universe’s will is pure foolishness. Expecting reciprocation for your sincerity is stupid. The world is grey and I no longer have Gilmore Girls to turn to. Everything seems bleak and blank.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2016. All rights reserved.

It’s Spring (A Rant)

My google homepage no more has my blog as a shortcut and that pained me. I guess that serves me right for being too distracted by the hills and the mountains outside my window rather than my own life. So, this is me being distracted by my own life for a change.

This is going to be one of those posts that is utterly personal,(hence) deeply metaphorical and, to put it into perspective, kind of rant-y. It goes without saying that this is probably going to be a mess, and this might very well lie in my blog folder for months and months, before I decide to publish it. However, I want this post to be raw and actually communicate how and what I’m feeling at the moment. Most of all, I want to press this leaf in my diary, so as to never forget who I was and how I became my future self.

I’m at a close at my life, the end of an era, an act in a Shakespearean play of sorts to be honest. And… I do not know how I feel about it. One moment I’m drenched in pre-nostalgia, groping at every moment to stop it from flowing, or at least slow it down.  The next I’m glad that it’s finally over. I’ve swum the English Channel and I can finally catch my breath, wash off the algae and treat my wounds. So, there lies the conundrum. The only thing I pray for in that respect is that I regret nothing. I wish I miss nothing. I’ve lived in the past for too long, and it is not a good place to be in. It nearly destroyed me.

This place nearly destroyed me too. But I guess it was necessary to become the person I am today, and I for a fact am very happy with that person. I have highs and lows, but I do not feel that I’m constantly frayed in a war zone. Yes, I have my battles, but I think my armor is stronger and my reflexes are sharper than before. And that has made me comfortable, to an extent, about going to war now and then. I know how to deal with it, how to deal with my darkness. My knight in the shining armor turned out to be me myself, and that is exactly what I needed.

Moments like today, I miss Yale like crazy. It was not a cake walk to be honest, and there were times when I sat on the wooden floor staring at the fireplace in my dorm wondering whether I had done the right thing, but that all faded away with time and my summer turned out to be crazy-beautiful, rather than being the perfect-beautiful I had expected it to be. And it was what I needed. I’m doing all I can to get back there, because that is what I want.

The dirge of the dying year has lead to the advent of a new dawn. Winter has ended.

It’s Spring.

 

To every girl who’s liked a guy who hasn’t liked her back

Having spent hours trying to convince a friend going through the same ailment, I speak to you oh mighty creatures of the fairer sex. Your predicament is not an easy one; so first of all, accept my virtual hug. Your troubles may seem like the mountains and the hills, but there are few things in life that a hug at the right time can’t fix.

Now, imbibe everything I say: You are beautiful. You have a wonderful soul. You belong to the gender of Athena, the goddess of war and intellect and you cannot let the fact that you are pining over a guy let you forget that. You are an individual, with your unique sets of rainbows and thorns. Do not regret any of it. You should be your own person, and if some random guy doesn’t like you back, it says more about his own self rather than you. Not every person on this planet can read the Iliad, let alone understand or like it. Does that make the Iliad a waste of ink and paper? Does that diminish its literary marvel in any way?

You must love your own self before you expect someone else to. The contours and caresses of your soul demand that kind of appreciation, for they are you! Do not be the damsel in distress, for I say this out of experience that outside the realm of fiction, only you can save yourself. Find the strength; you possess the universe.

You may think he’s the only one you could ever love. You may believe that if he doesn’t like you, you may not be worth liking. You may not be able to stop thinking about him, day and night and day. But all of this is but a breeze blowing against you as you walk in the sand, and what you can’t see is that there is an ocean that awaits you.

 

Misfit

You trickle into my life like rain in November

and imbibe a part of my soul.

You take a hold of it, you morph into it

sometimes you call it home.

 

But remember, when you leave me,

and I say when and not if

you take that particular part of my soul with you

that’s how it is, call me crazy, condescending or childish

 

the way you take that part of my soul,

that shining shield to match your armour of gold,

it depends on how you leave me,

on the reason the salt flows from my eyes to the sea.

 

You might rip it away forcibly

or shatter the part itself as you hammer it away, while cracking and chipping the rest

or I may give it to you willingly, biting down the pain it causes me

for I have to let you go

 

A new part will grow in its wake, as it always does

the essence of time will heal the cracks, as it always does

 

That is the reason why my soul is juxtaposition of asymmetry

Tar

I close my eyes and I see the truth

I see the color of my soul

suffocating blackness

I see the filth in my words and deeds

I see the layers of tar embedding every inch of my heart,

gulping every inch of blood, muscle, vein

I see the destruction I’ve caused, the ruin, the blasphemy

I see the venom I’ve spewed,

gurgling thick black bubbling muck out of my tongue and teeth

I see the lace of needles and nails I’ve tied around the delicate ankles of every life I’ve touched

I see the thorned grapevine I’ve wrung around their necks, layer by layer

round, round, round, round round

till the last breath choked out of their pale blue-purple pulped bodies

and I’ve smiled,

smiled I have for it has satiated the rakshasa that dwells within me

and glowered in the rotting smell of piles and piles

I have seen the tar embedding my black heart

23 Poems Before I Turn 23 Challenge: A Song from the Suds

Poem number 4

A Song from the Suds by Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is among the queens of queens and I dote on her. She is one of the authors who have permanently been on my reading list and I do hope I can someday strike her name off that never ending Neverland of a parchment. I have grown up watching the Little Women anime and the 1949 adaptation has been a favourite. Although I must admit that I’ve quite forgotten the specifics of the tale since I last saw the movie 6 years ago or so. This challenge has reminded me of my teen love and I will surely fall back into its arms as soon as I get the opportunity to sweep away the mundane dust of life (which is pretty much the theme of my next poem).

The Poem:

Queen of my tub, I merrily sing,
While the white foam raises high,
And sturdily wash, and rinse, and wring,
And fasten the clothes to dry;
Then out in the free fresh air they swing,
Under the sunny sky.

I wish we could wash from our hearts and our souls
The stains of the week away,
And let water and air by their magic make
Ourselves as pure as they;
Then on the earth there would be indeed
A glorious washing day!

Along the path of a useful life
Will heart’s-ease ever bloom;
The busy mind has no time to think
Of sorrow, or care, or gloom;
And anxious thoughts may be swept away
As we busily wield a broom.

I am glad a task to me is given
To labor at day by day;
For it brings me health, and strength, and hope,
And I cheerfully learn to say-
“Head, you may think; heart, you may feel;
But hand, you shall work always!”

My Thoughts:

I adore the simplicity of the poem. The words mean what they appear to mean, yet Louisa’s art of writing is pretty evident in the crafting of her sentences: they are short, crisp and lyrical. Her sense of humour is unparalleled and philosophical, if I might call it that. Her thoughtfulness is evident, but it is the clarity of her thoughts and words that I love the most, for clarity is something I strive to achieve in my writing. I have a muddled mind and I am a frazzled human being. And anybody who is not so inspires me and captivates me and enchants me.I am enthralled by this poem.

This is going to be one of the poems I will read to my kids someday, for it is beautiful and funny. Louisa compares a washcloth, out of all the things in the word, to life! And anybody who can pick up such a mundane and common thing and find beauty and grandeur in it is gifted according to me. She reiterates my philosophy of life: make yourself so busy that you have no time to think about the dullness and trauma surrounding life. This is something I’ve been doing ever since I took a lone trip this summer to satiate my wanderlust and realized that I’ve been fooling myself into believing that I’m not a loner. I realized during my sojourn just how beautiful life is when you do not have to depend on anybody else, but march to the beat of your own heart. Relationships are treacherous; they fool you into believing that you cannot survive on your own, when in fact being your own wolf pack is spectacular (and addictive). I’ve become so involved in myself that I barely have the time to think about unnecessary complications (but I still do drown in my misery sometimes, for I too am human).

I guess Louisa has found the answer to Alaska’s question, “How do you escape the labyrinth of suffering?” Dwell on thoughts, be angry and sad and broken, but do not stay idle. Work towards something. Work for something. Goals are one of the things that breathe sensibility into human existence. And all I do to stay sane is keep my eyes on the prize, when every inch of my body wants to stand and stare.

4 down, 19 poems and 24 days to go!

© That Girl in the Fray, 2015. All rights reserved. 

The 23 Poems Challenge- Poem #1

In the wee hours of 15th November this year, I would have breathed in this world for 23 years. And while the laugh lines around my mouth and the occasional appearance of grey strands do support the very fact, my soul is still puerile. I feel younger than I have before, and I do not mean this in a I-have-discovered-the-cure-to-ageism-kind-of-way, but that the more I see the world, the more I feel that I know nothing and have done nothing worth priding over. There really are miles to go before I breathe, let alone sleep.

I don’t know why but I’ve always found something magical about the number 23. (Maybe because it was Nathan Scott’s jersey number?) So to imbibe this feeling of equal amounts of dread and quintessential enthusiasm, I have decided to read 23 poems before I turn 23 and write about each and every one of them here. A fair warning to all ye who enter, what I write here will be based purely on how I see the world, and not how the world sees the world. I can guarantee there will be plenty who would disagree with my perception, but I in all honesty couldn’t care less how politically incorrect I am. Even the poets of the poems themselves can rise from their graves and chastise me, but I will not accept that my analysis is wrong because that is the very reason I am in utter incandescent love with poetry: the beauty of the words lies totally in the eyes and minds of the beholder.

Poem number 1

How could I even think of poetry without thinking about the man who made me fall in love with words. His words. So, I have decided to begin this sojourn with my beloved poet and my spirit guide incarnate, Pablo Neruda‘s poem I Like For You To Be Still.

The Poem:

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would’ve died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I’m happy;
Happy that it’s not true

My Thoughts:

I’m reading this poem from Pablo Neruda’s book, which is one of my most treasured possessions. The book ‘Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair’ is a beacon in the darkness of my life and it has got me through some rough times. Only the caressed pages of this book know my deepest sorrows and the taste of my tears.

For me, this poem encompasses the sorrow and pain that is felt when the love of your life is going through storm and thunder and all you can do is sit and watch. Pablo, rather than jumping into the fray and interfering in her life, wants to imbibe the peacefulness of her silence. He sees beauty in her struggle and respects her decision to deal with the demons of her life on her own. He respects her independence and accepts this dark shade of her character, which is exactly what I believe love is: it is embracing the bad and the ugly, and not just the pretty hills, the blue skies and the pastures shinning green in the never ending sunshine. The sunshine will end someday and night will fall; it is what you do during the darkness that determines the strength of any relationship, whether romantic or platonic.

To paraphrase Neruda, he rather feeling deserted likes it when the woman he loves is silent and far off because she is dealing with the troubles of her life. Rather being a damsel in distress and wanting Pablo to save her, she is the sort of person to prefers to suffer in silence. He understands her and he understands and accepts this, although it breaks his heart to see her suffer alone. He feels as if his words cannot reach her soul because her eyes seem lost and she is utterly silent and distant.

Neruda feels that if his soul was filled into cups and saucers and the world itself, she will emerge from all those things because she is his soul. He channelizes the beauty of her silence and turns it into a metaphor: she is as silent and beautiful as a butterfly in a dream. I think he refers to a dream because her silence and suffering is temporary and, with time, will be long forgotten. He thinks she is like the word melancholy, sad and beautiful and peaceful all at the same time. (This is how I feel when I think of the word ‘Melancholy’)

What moves my soul is Neruda asking to be silent with her, to be a partner in her suffering rather than plunging into her battle or leaving her in this dark time. He values her bravery so much that he compares her to the stillness of the stars in the darkness. He calls her candid, because rather than pretending that everything is alright with her, she is showing her true self to him. From experience, most people leave when you bare your soul and show your true self to them but Neruda glorifies her struggle. She is a mess and he embraces and accepts that mess.

She grows so silent and distant at one point that Neruda feels that he has lost her forever. Maybe she has left him. Her aloofness and distance makes him feel that she does not exist in this world anymore. But she does come back to him, maybe just by saying a word or smiling at him and all is right in his world again.

This is exactly the kind of love I pray to find, because I identify with the woman Neruda is in love with. I’ve become so used to fighting my battles on my own, mostly without allies, that being a lone warrior is all I know. I would feel cramped and suffocated if someone tried to interfere in my life and my problems. I detest being the damsel in distress. But having someone to stand with you rather than fight for you is the most beautiful expression of love and this poem melts my heart. It takes bravery to deal with the mess of another human soul and Neruda captures that beautifully. To be comfortable in each other’s silence is a sign of true love and that is what I hope for someday.

The Raven that Flew Far and Far and Far and Far Away

A Raven once flew too far away from home

It ended up in a barren iced wasteland, all alone

Miles and miles of white devoured the black of the little being

It saw nothing for years on that icy scene

Heard no voice nor felt the beat of another heart

No one to confide to, no one to help heal its scars

no heat

no heat

No Heat

The ache of the thirst.

Fading memories of smiles laughter and mirth .

Starved of love and food

and affection and hope that never renewed

For days it prayed for its breath to stop, its blood to choke in its veins

Anything to stop the blinding tears and the endless pure honest pain

Alas, silence was all that answered its screams

it screamed and screamed

and screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed

The White haunted even its dreams

But it is all untrue.

It is all an illusion.

The battle had left her blind and deaf.