Let’s Meet Halfway

Let’s meet halfway, you and I,

without my borrowed burdens, without your naked disguise

in the balmy silence that precedes the hoarse crack in your voice from not being employed,

in the moments that precede the storms in my eyes.

Let me hold your hand in the heaviness of the air right before you fall into sleep,

right before I choke on the words I keep

Halfway in between your sunlight and my ugliness.

 

© That Girl in the Fray, 2018. All rights reserved.

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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.

Escaping the Labyrinth

It is a truth well acknowledged that I usually write when I’m horribly lost among the horrible monsters that reside in my brain. So that makes it reasonably important to tuck away little pieces of sunshine so that I can dig them up when I feel like I’m floating about without a center of gravity.

Time and again I’ve been forced to acknowledge the fact that things mostly never turn out the way you want them to and more often than not disappointment is a constant comrade. As W.B Yates says, “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”

Quoting something I read recently, “The Buddha knew one thing science didn’t prove for millennia after his death: Entropy increases. Things fall apart.” I guess the only way to survive life is to accept that the world is ephemeral. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing stays the same forever. So depending on anything, or anyone for that matter, is sheer foolishness.

So how do you “escape the labyrinth” of never ending suffering and torment? To answer Alaska Young’s question, you hold on. You hold on to things of beauty, to moments of clarity, to stories and sentiments of epicness and save them in your heart forever. You etch them in your mind, save them in ink and paper, carve them, treasure them and never let them escape. When your sky is dark and the earth is shaking your bed, when your hope is at its end, you relive these moments, draw strength from them and build your broken self up again.

Half Past One on a Summer Night

I sighed a sigh on a summer night

the moon in its half innocence right in the corner of our eyes

the warmth radiating through our palms and finger intertwined

the freshly cut grass sweetly stinging my calves

we saw a firefly dissolve into the kingdom of the stars

they glistened and reflected in his eyes, his eyes that were made for mine

His coat on my shoulders, his voice humming my favourite song

I closed my eyes, I’d never felt so happy to be lost

the musky breeze messed my meticulous locks

I didn’t bother, my hands were right where they belonged

he pushed the hair out of my eyes and laughed

I smiled, knowing the universe and I were one

I was where I was meant to be

I was right where I finally belonged

 

 

 

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Sometimes in life (almost all the time for me, actually) one goes through something I like to call the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” phenomenon. It is characterized by those times when one really has two opposite opinions about something and the real test of the soul lies in the guess work involved. In recognizing the part of the split you that you should trust. Of my recent experiences, I can say that I’ve acted in haste, while being drenched in emotions and not seeing the complete picture. And I’ve failed at choosing the right way out.

What I’ve gone through, if I try and spell out those facts and circumstances in third person without any emotional involvement, it would actually seem like nothing too tragic or worthy of the million rain drops I’ve shed. In fact, any sane person would lecture me that people in the real world go through some real problems and my pain in comparison to theirs is like comparing the height of a sand castle to the John Hancock Center. But I’ve always felt that pain is subjective in nature. We measure the magnitude of our despair and cataclysms with reference to the things that we ourselves have gone through. We can empathize with the sufferings of others, but we can never truly understand the things they had to face and the monsters they had to slay and the beasts that almost trampled them. Or in fact did trample them. We can never truly fathom someone’s sorrow. So, telling someone that their problems really aren’t that big or worthy enough to get upset over is ethically wrong.

Pain has a definitive character unlike any other sentiment. It ends up deciding who you become. It defines who you are. When I am subject to pain and bleed furiously with battle scars that run deep and wide, I have the habit of shielding my soul and attacking back, even though the blows on my enemy take their toll on me too. I can never get over people who hurt me. I might forgive them as time passes and the memory of the pain fades a little everyday. But I can never forget, especially when the people who attack you were your own trusted friends. Why is loyalty so hard to find these days?

Another really important life lesson I’ve learnt recently is the dire need to get out of abusive relationships. Now, the dictionary meaning of an abusive relationship is “a state of affairs between two people characterized by wrong or improper action, either physical or verbal.” This very well includes abusive friendships. Holding on to people who have always just used you for their benefit while being malicious towards you. People whose conduct towards you has been laced with rudeness, sarcasm and taunts. People who have dragged you down, made you more depressed and darkened your soul with their apathy and cruelty. When I look back at these past months, I’m horrified at not realizing this any sooner. I had known their conduct towards me was wrong, but instead of having the courage to walk away, I started changing myself. Stopped being bothered by their snide comments. Kept my mouth shut all the time. Never shared any of my thoughts or experiences. I remember infinite instances when I began narrating some anecdote only to stop and realize that no one even noticed that I had left the story halfway. Because they treated me like garbage and had no interest in what I had to say. They were willfully committed to misunderstanding me and still are. And the honest truth is that I don’t hate them. I hate myself for ever putting up with those fiends just because I was afraid to end up alone.

I think that is the very reason people tend to stay in abusive relationships. The fear of loneliness. The fear that maybe what lies outside the relationship is much worse than the present torment. So we deny the wrongness. We justify their conduct by pointing out mistakes in ourselves. We change ourselves to suit them, to fit into their idea of right. When actually all we should have done was stepped away from such people. It requires tremendous courage to accept the truth and move on towards uncertainty and possible loneliness. But it really is worth it.

But not all of life is cruel and untrue. I really admire the people who stepped up and stood by me in my hour of self doubt. I am indebted to their help and kind words. I wouldn’t have survived this storm of my life without their love and support. Their courage and strength is a source of inspiration to me and I will do everything in my power to be there for them when they are in need of my tattered soul. It may not be much but I promise my loyalty to them.

I’m done with people who walked away at a time in my life when everything went haywire and I lost myself for a while. I’m glad to have gone through this ordeal because everything is so clear to me now. My troubles proved to be a litmus test for me and the people around. I have realized now that at the end of the day, the people who were left standing are the ones worth dedicating yourself to. It’s like waking up from deep slumber. There is just so much beauty around me and so much to take in. I may not have too many friends, but I will fight wars for those who helped me in my battle. I will ensure that from now on, my life is a reflection of the clear peaceful sky. It might take time to reach the zenith of clarity and peace, and I will  fall and stumble along the way, but I do believe that I will get there someday.

 

 

The First Time

I think one of the most magical experiences ever is time travelling to the past in the arms of a symphony that became a part of your soul when you heard it for the first time. I’d been searching for this song for a long time and I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally found it. Here is, what I thoroughly believe to be, the most beautiful symphony ever created.

(The First Time, from the series Winter Sonata)

A Letter from a Lifetime Ago

 

Coming across long forgotten words you penned down ages ago feels like a sign from the universe in its attempt to be noticed. To be precise, I wrote this letter about a year ago, to a friend who was a dear part of my soul. Or so I thought.

It’s ironic that the “change” I very boldly addressed in my awkward handwriting has turned out to be the fact that my friend and I have grown so apart that we aren’t what we once were. Maybe I need to be reminded of what it felt like before I turned into my present self. Maybe I need to be reminded of the meadows and the butterflies, the flowers, the fireflies, the stars. I need to be reminded what summer felt like, as I meander through this never ending winter. I need to be reminded of me.

So had I been blogging a year ago, I would have sounded something like this. (And people tell me time travel isn’t possible!)

“Everyday that we’re alive and breathing, we are adding new experiences to the pages of our lives. We meet new people, learn new things, explore new avenues, make new mistakes, fall, tremble, bruise ourselves, learn to stand up, fight back and repeat the entire process all over again, ever single day that we’re not dead. And after this entire circle, which people call ‘life’, it is totally and irrevocably impossible to be the same person, to be the same individuals that we were yesterday. What I’m saying is that change is inevitable. We WILL continue changing until the day we die.”

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The World Has Been Broken into Pieces

“..The world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job – everyone’s job – is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.”

“..Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces. Maybe, what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.”

Ever since I came across this quote from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and was acquainted with the beautiful philosophy of “Tikkun Olam” in Judaism, it has somehow stayed with me. They were words that don’t really reveal their true power the moment they hit you. They stay hidden in the recesses of your mind, at the corner of the thin dividing line between the conscience and the subconscience, and then somehow without actually knowing that it is actually happening, you start connecting everything that happens in your life to those words, to the powerful idea behind those words and somehow your perception about life, about love, about people, everything changes.

I believe our soul is scattered into pieces that are spread all over the world and our entire life is defined by us looking for and finding these pieces that complete us. It could be that perfect song that you hear playing in a store at the mall and suddenly, even if only for a second, life starts making sense and you’re transported to that parallel universe of utopia, a sense of completion prevailing over every dystopic sentiment your heart has ever felt. It could be a book that changes life as you know it forever, bestowing you with the elixir of a brand new perspective that you never knew existed. It could be that perfect moment when the stars in heaven are aligned in such a wondrous pattern that things that you fear have been lost forever find their way back to you in the most unexpected and magical way. Your favourite band, your favourite quote, your favourite colour, everything that in a way defines you, sets you apart and boasts of your uniqueness are all pieces to your soul that you’ve discovered in your life, as you’ve had numerous experiences and epiphanies.

It is the way I’ve come across some of the scattered segments of my own soul that enchants me. Somehow fate intertwines in my plans, or lack thereof, and sets in motion a series of events that make me stumble upon these pieces of my very own jigsaw puzzle. Or maybe it is my own subconscience that leads me right to the doors that hold my hidden self. But when this precious miracle does happen, all the voices in my dark mind quiet down, if only for a few seconds, and a glow of serenity and completeness that is utterly unmatchable to any other feeling in the world, consumes me. The world stops falling apart and somehow even the confusion in my own head makes sense. And this is what we end up doing all our lives, trying to make sense of this chaos by looking for those lost pieces in order to build our souls into whole again. Some people travel to do some soul searching, while others like me just look for signs everywhere. Every book I pick up has a story behind it and most of the times the truth is that it is the mortal book chooses me, while I stand awestruck at fate’s design.

This is also the reason all of us do not like the same things in all actuality. Our souls are thorough variants with such uncommon intricacies that at most there is one possible soul out there that does have lost pieces similar to our own. And we spend our lives looking for that special soul, who is also, in fact, a lost piece we need to complete ourselves.

So, the books I read, the music I love, the movies that inspire me, the places that give me solace, my odd habits, moments that truly move me, are all but parts of my soul. I do not care if people think I’m weird, unsociable or hate me for my lack of interest in things that are commonly acknowledged and liked. It really doesn’t matter too much that there is no one who actually understands the various pieces to my soul or shares them with me. I will always love what I love no matter how many times I’m told I’m wrong to believe in things that appear silly to the masses. I have my own universal task of completing my own soul and working towards the reparation of my own crumbling world. I neither have the time nor patience to change myself just to fit into this mould that has been crafted by the generalis that everyone seems to accept. I will not pretend and do things just to feel accepted while shutting off my own soulfulness in a metal safe and drowning it into the river. Until my last breath, I will wait for that insightful soul who will accept me for who I am rather than pointing out my imperfections and weirdness and trying to change me.

I may be wrong in believing in my beliefs and fighting against the multitude of opinions and perspectives of general conformity, but right now, exactly at this precise moment, in the midst of the ocean of all my ideas, all my thoughts, all the truths that I’ve been acquainted with, all the discoveries I’ve made, all the stories and voices I have inside my head and in my soul, as the sun sets turning the waves into molten gold, and its aurum rays sparkle at the zenith of my dreams turning the sky purple at this dusk of my life, as I hold my breath and imbibe this last vision I have before I let the water take me and close my eyes, amid all of this, I know that I’m right. And no one can take that away from me. In other words, anybody who doesn’t live inside my head has no right to say that I’m wrong.

Dirge of the Dying Year

“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.