We are a composite of things we take away from the things life throws at us

Greetings to those of you that remain. Indeed, I have been away so long in a world that moves so fast, that I may as well abscond this little corner of the Internet and retreat into whatever cavernous dwelling I have been inhabiting. Where have I been, you might be wondering (if you are of the predisposition to bother about the text displayed here), and I wish I had the answer. Answers, I have found, are few and far between in this age of questioning, and the answers that do dare to make themselves apparent are mediocre, dissatisfying, and, really, just a gateway to more questions.

Curiosity is the ill-begotten favour of a vacant existence, as it has always been. It resurfaces at moments where curiosity is most inopportune and has a way of driving sensibility from the mind. It delivers us into the hands of doubt and anxiety and takes away from us the surety that is essential for survival. Yet, curiosity is the device which allows us to ask questions, explore avenues that we may have otherwise shunned in our need to retain complacency. Somewhere between a murdered cat and the snug bed, then, lies the secret to life.

But life holds its secrets better guarded than merely an appropriate grade of curiosity. I once heard the line “the best place to hide is in plain sight” and have been caught with the sentiment of it ever since. To this end, I believe, life has bared all its secrets before us and is smugly waiting for us to take away from it what we will. While we grovel and claw through reality looking for that one crux that unifies our identity, life is standing right before us like some majestic oak with acorns ripe for the picking. And oh my, what acorns! Acorns ranging from the bitter almonds of cyanide to the sweet bite of honey, spread in equal measure, uniformly awaiting their fate at our hands.

So why don’t we pick the acorns, my dear reader? Why do we walk past oak after oak, intent upon scurrying through underground pipes we have fashioned for ourselves in an attempt to come face to face with a sunlight brighter than our own; a sunlight that simply doesn’t exist? Why are we so averse to letting ourselves be defined by our choices, by the decisions we make, by the acorns we pick? Why must our definition of ourselves be something that we’ve created from scratch, and not something that we’ve extracted from the world around us by the virtue of choice?

It just so happens that the mighty oaks bearing acorns aren’t sidelined. They aren’t mere spectators of our journey onwards, waiting at the edges of reality and sniggering at us, mocking our frailty and idiocy. These oaks are part of our journey, poised erectly on our path, set to repeat again and again like the gentle slap of a mother trying to wake her child from slumber. It is unfortunate that we have rather mastered the art of sleeping. We are entitled, nay required, to pick acorns from this tree, for they are supposed to provide us with nourishment on our journey. Instead, we choose to dig into the earth and survive on dirt and insects.

We are a composite of things we take away from the things that life throws at us, and life is throwing bitter and mealy acorns at us willy-nilly. We could avoid the acorns altogether for fear of bitter acorns, and live cautiously in the security of dirt and insects. Or, and this is the course of action that I would personally recommend, we could eat the damn acorn!

This is a realisation that struck me while having a conversation with someone I find myself irreparably attached to. Then, it was advice that I offered as it struck me, but only later did I realise the true consequence of these words, the extent of their meaning, the full impact that the simplicity of weaving a life out of existence has. I realised, then, that that is the shining beacon of knowledge that had been missing from my own life thus far. That we are a composite of things we take away seems, to me, a simple, unavoidable truth; one which I had apparently spent my entire life avoiding.

Recently, I consumed two vastly different forms of media, one soothing to the soul and the other infuriating (rest assured, dear reader; you shall, of course, be exposed to my unnecessarily verbose reviews of the two very soon). I realised, more while indulging in the abomination, that there was something to be learnt from every second that I was exposed to anything. This wasn’t a new realisation, of course, but one that reaffirmed my need to pen this post down.

We are a composite of things we take away from the things that life hurls at us. We are defined by the scars we sustain from the falling acorn. We are monuments of the acorns husks and oak leaves that stuck onto our clothing as we walked onwards and ever onwards. We are remembered by the birds perched on the oak trees that we slept under after eating our fill. We are a composite of what we take away, and not what we leave behind.

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My friend Sleep

Recently, my friend and I engaged in a most interesting conversation and, as is more often the case, the circumstance of the time of this occurrence prevented me from pondering upon it any further. However, now, with ample time on my hands, I find myself frequently going back to that fateful night.

It was in the middle of an examination period, and so naturally deep, thoughtful discussions are bound to happen, that my friend realised that sleep was an antagonistic friend, for it is irreplaceable yet harmful. The question soon arose as to the gender of sleep, and how we shall understand it were it to be personified. At the time, the conversation seemed to be stemming from an overdose of educational content and a deficiency of sleep, yet soon I came to realise that the conversation in fact made a lot of sense.

Upon careful observation of the happenings around me, it has come to my attention that we have an innate need to personify. We love to humanise things as much as possible, for reasons which I couldn’t possibly claim to understand, having received no understanding in the elusive field of psychology. Despite that, I have come up with certain theories regarding our desperation for personification; theories which I will leave for another time.

My interested is more piqued by the act of personification as opposed to the reason for it. Though the differences are subtle, there is a clear distinction between the different ways we personify inanimate objects all around us. Some objects are personified by conferring upon them the concept of gender; others are personified by being made good or evil. So why is there this difference of breathing life into things which were so graciously created with no thought of their own?

I do not know the answer, as I do not know the answer to the great many mysteries which plague not only our conscious but also our subconscious minds. However, claiming my position amongst the society of scientific and free thinking people, I chose to venture guesses, which, too, I feel unfit to be mentioned here. Not much remains to be discussed here, for the vagueness of the topic at hand makes discussion nearly impossible. But what is impossible if not possible with a little resistance?

And so, let’s get back to the original discussion at hand, the personification of sleep. I was uncomfortable with the personification of sleep, which I myself learnt while discussion the very same with my friend the other day. This came as something of a surprise to me as I am usually at the centre of the cultural norm that is personification. Of course as a minor poet, personification has come to be second nature to me, and so when I found resistance in my path of personification of sleep, I sat down to think. Needless to say the results were worth discussing.

After much thought, I concluded that we personify objects or phenomena which we don’t understand to bring them to a level where we share something with them, so as to understand them better. It’s a fairly simple logic. Sleep happens to be one of the most elusive subjects in our daily routine. We give little consideration to sleep; we rarely chose to discover anything about sleep, for it is of little importance to find out what sleep is about, and much more important to get sleep.

Trudging through piles of high stacked thought, I came to the racy conclusion which offered a gleaming doorway out of the gloom that is ignorance. An instance is all it takes to make a significant difference, be it an instance of action, or an instance of hesitation. The point of this seemingly random piece of advice is that when we personify things to make them more comprehensible, we don’t do so consciously, at least those of us who aren’t poets don’t.

In this case, sleep doesn’t receive any more importance than any of the other hundred thousand objects littering the surface of the planet and beyond. Sleep is just another phenomenon which we personify in an attempt to understand why it affects us so. Some of us classify it as evil, some as good, some as friend, some as foe, some as waste, and some as treasure. And then there are others, like me, who chose not to classify it at all, but just wish to engage in the action without consideration for whether sleep is in fact a living entity plotting against us.

However, it is not for lack of interest or imagine or curiosity that we chose not to classify sleep. I, for one, am increasingly curious about everything that I set my eyes upon. No, my reason for refusing to personify sleep is one which is, in all probability, even more senseless than this post. I refuse to personify sleep because I refuse to bring something as elusive and powerful as sleep to the level of trifle human beings. I believe that there is a certain regal appeal to sleep, one which supersedes anything that humans are worthy of associating with.

There are of course many more interesting phenomena just like sleep, which are much beyond the grasp of humans (and no, the allusion to a mythical all powerful deity is not being made), and there is no reason not to write a post about each one of them. That, of course, does not mean that I am about to write one on every elusive, fanciful and wonderful object which meets the eye. This post on sleep is something along the lines of a guideline to understanding the rest of these phenomena.

At the end of this long post, one thing is apparent: there was absolutely no reason to write this post. I gained nothing out of it, I am sure my readers gained nothing out of it, so why is this post in existence? Why am I still writing it instead of putting a stop to what is clearly a ridiculous waste of time?

No idea. Perhaps this is one of the things someone should write about.