A Ship Called Pandemonium

I keep borrowing the next second

when all I can afford is the present

You keep forcing your rhetoric

while I fake attention, stoic.

 

Do you listen to your own advice

Of monsters and mice

painting dreams with lies

staring death down with glass eyes

 

Ants can love too you know

microscopic intimacy

minuscule proclamations

lilliputian wedding bells

 

The snake, it hisses

Life is more afraid of you

than you are of it

the snake, it kisses

 

Beech wood, teak wood

anything but driftwood

I can build a sail

but will you tax me for the wind

 

I’ll row till I’m through

far away from you

far away from a maddening

world, a saddening sight.

 

Sail your ship

they said

but always into the tide

to be swept to death

is martyrdom

they said.

 

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Why Creatives Prefer Solitude

I saw an interesting question on Quora today and I decided to answer it. The question was “Why do creative people mostly prefer solitude?”.

My answer:

There are two reasons why they prefer solitude:

  1. Because most people are not their kind of people. If you look hard enough around you, you’ll find that there are two kinds of people: those who like to think and those who don’t. The latter prefer to be fed information from whatever mainstream (or non-mainstream) sources they choose to follow without contemplation or questioning. They do not like to do research on any topic on their own and are generally loud and overbearing. Some might kindly refer to them as extroverts but I don’t believe all extroverts fall in this category. An example could be the pompous old neighbor and his wife who think they know what’s best for you and are convinced that their opinion is always right. If you don’t know any such people, you are either very fortunate or you have not lived on this planet long enough. The former category of people, the ones who like to think, are extremely rare and hard to find in most parts of the world, save some. They can be called intellectuals but they could also just be curious individuals who like to question and find out facts for themselves. I think this is where most creative professionals lie: they like to stretch and exercise their brains and they do so through their art. That is not to say that they are not skilled at logical subjects and sometimes some of the best scientists are also very creative people. As the number of people in this category is limited, most creative types are surrounded by folks who are not exactly the best company one would want when one yearns for creative or intellectual discourse and this makes them seek out solitude. Creative people like to learn about their craft and how to hone it. I think you would find that a sculptor, painter or musician prefers to learn from a master of their art rather than stay in solitude. But as long as a creative person does not feel challenged by the person they are speaking to or does not feel like they are gaining new information, they will soon lose their tolerance and seek some ‘alone time’.
  2. Because you need to be alone with just the sound of your inner voice.Ideas are formed in our minds, and the process of thinking requires utmost concentration. This is especially difficult to do when you are surrounded by other people who, no matter how much you like their company, will eventually cause you to sacrifice that undivided attention you need to give to your thoughts. When you are alone, you are most free to actually be yourself, to be comfortable in your own skin and shed any pretenses. This is what fuels original creativity, the liberty to be and to think.

Let me know if you have any counter-points to mine or any points to add. This is purely from personal experience and observations and I do not intend to vouch for the creative community as a whole.

Evolution of an Ailment

Like how some scents stick in your memory

because they remind and some because they erase

Some gestures just echo sentiment

while the limbs move to appease and reject

A constant surge of emotions like an unending

car crash with you as the windshield

Here comes plunging the plenitude of our existence

into the silent platitude of nothingness

If you can set the arteries of my city on fire

then why not the veins of Asgard with desire

I can only tell you what the constraints

of your morality will allow me to

I can only hope for the cure to lie

within your jurisdiction, for this ailment.

 

 

Sound of Sin

Sinner I am
For chasing your smile
for riding away
to dance in the darkness
I was a silhouette
you were a heartbreak
all I saw was the night sky
stars peppered it
you embodied it
you were a tightrope
I couldn’t find my balance on
I slipped and swayed
but you held me
with your voice
then let me fall
and when you told me
you’ll be leaving
I didn’t think
you’d be going
so I woke up
to my own reticence
embittered by longing
emboldened by loving
I woke up
to find you losing
your golden dreams
your twisted sins
Now I’ve learned
to avoid the chase
but when I knew you
it was never a choice.

Silence

Do you know how loud it is
the sound of silence
it deafens and drowns
each passing sound
seconds into minutes
flowing into my aging river
where you drown in my silence

I’m not unable to hear
I just hear the quiet
louder than you ever could
louder than I wish I would

You write down words
to tell me that a bell should ‘clang’
and a plucked string
should sound like the letters ‘ting’
You feel only certain frequencies
but I’m the ‘specially abled’

For me a bell can go ‘plop’
and a guitar can sound like
a warm cup of coffee
our mother’s sobs would sound
like a crumbling phoenix
that rises from its ashes
when she smiles

I could tell you
the hands of a clock
don’t tick, they sound
like my heartbeat
I could tell you
that our father’s laugh
sounds like Orion’s belt
on a clear night sky
I could tell you
if I knew how

You hear sounds
I hear silence
You hear noise
I hear quiet
You hear colours
I hear the canvas
You hear matter
I hear space
You hear riot
I hear peace
You hear me
I hear me

Sometimes my ears
hey lift their veils
and they listen to you
and the universe
they tell me you sound
like a honeybee
buzzing, prancing
from flower to flower
finally settling
in my arms

I make you scream
and touch your neck
I make you laugh
and hold your cheeks
Now I understand
the resonance of joy and pain
the vibrations of you vocal chord
how they should have been
reflected in my ears

I’m your Beethoven
your musician gone deaf
your artist gone blind
you imagination gone wild

When you sing, I hear you
I see your every inflexion
I feel your crescendos
I notice every note you hold

They pity me
that I will spend
my existence
in quietitude
these fools who fear
death and the unknown
But I shall exit
just as quietly as I came
because one of my
senses transitioned
a long time before
the rest of me
was ready.

2Q17: I learned

I learned about magnitude. I learned that there are problems I need to solve alone, that no one else can solve for me even if they tried and there are problems which I can never solve alone, no matter how much I try. I learned that in order to solve the big problems, you need to solve the little ones first, especially the personal ones.

I learned what is important to me, what I want my life to be about. I want to fight climate change and save the environment because I have seen with my own eyes the true wonder of nature. You can travel the world and you can go trekking in all four corners of the globe but you can still not have understood what nature is capable of. You need to watch plants grow, you need to see how humans depend on them, you need to see the love between animals, something a lot of us lack. You need to live it, you need to be a part of it.

I learned that touring is different from experiencing. People visit several places, they sign up for all the guided tours and book all the cruises, but they come back the same as they were before they went. They come back exactly the same but with more material possessions. They go places and see wonders that humans created but they do not want to understand or interact with the humans who built them.

I learned about inter-dependency; how globalization veiled inter-dependency by offering us means through which we don’t have to know who created the things we use. I learned how this is dangerous.

I learned about loss and how we grieve it. I learned that animals grieve too. I learned that true strength lies in acceptance; that maturity can be measured by how fast we come to terms with events that shake us. I learned to emulate the Bhutanese; death is a part of life, and we have no reason to not joke about it as we do every other part of life.

I learned that a little humour goes a long way.

I learned that materialism is the key to misery. When you are able to sustain yourself and be happy living on the bare minimum, then you realize what sustainability actually is.

I learned that love can mean different things to different people and that’s okay. I learned how to build a fortress around my heart and why that’s not a bad thing.

I learned that there are different truths: the truth, the official truth and personal truth. The second is a half-truth, used by most governments to brainwash their population. The latter is the truth about your life experiences, your beliefs and your thoughts. Do we have the right to lie about our personal life if it does not impact other people? It is a question I am still contemplating the answer to but right now, I believe we do, but only if it does not affect anyone else’s life.

I learned that consistency is better than a few strong hits amidst several misses.

I learned to cherish the energy and enthusiasm that youth brings.

I learned the meaning of the word ‘home’: it’s much more than a place or a people and it can’t be identified purely from someone’s passport.

I learned how to write less but more; less words but with more meaning. I learned to appreciate the nuances.

I learned that the world is twisted; that it all boils down to power, not just money. So I learned to stray away from the mainstream.

I learned to discern lies, to question everything and when to speak out.

I learned most about the climate; or my lack of knowledge on the subject. I learned that we have crossed several tipping points that we shouldn’t have in our goal to stay below a 2 degree Celsius increase in temperature. I learned that it’s too late. But I also learned that being realistic is the best way to adapt and that sometimes, hope is the mask of fear.

In 2017, I learned to not plan out 2018 because life will come as it wishes anyway.