Monday, May 23, 2016

Beyond the Point of No Return

When I turn to leave
The glimmer that rises and falls
In your eyes -

Make me wonder
If there is still hope;
If there is a door... at the end of the tunnel.

I go forward; every step
Making it difficult to
Ever turn back.

If we retrace our steps, far enough
We would encounter ourselves
Making the same mistakes

That would one day lead
to today, but nothing
would we change, nothing.

For what is destined,
has to happen, no matter
Which route is taken.

The vacuum grows, that
No voice will ever penetrate
No cry for help will ever be heard.

A growing chasm, like
An apology that has become
Impossible to make;

When I sped away
The light that rose and fell-
I know now - it was relief...

There is no answer.
There is no door.
It was all over long ago.

It is only human to pretend
That at the end of a dark road
There's a sunrise, waiting.

It is our strength, this hope;
Also our undoing; nonetheless
It exists; and so we do.

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Purpose to Our Days

In Being Mortal, Atul Gawande writes about a woman who had been living independently for years and who in her old age, was forced to move to a nursing home. "The things she missed most, she told me, were her friendships, privacy, and a purpose to her days."

The reference to Being Mortal is by the way. Apart from the fact that it is a brilliantly written book that everyone should read, I have nothing to add. But Dr Gawande's phrase 'a purpose to her days' clung to me and refused to leave - as though it was the precise phrase I had been searching for, for a long time.

It is not only about the old woman in a nursing home counting her last days. We are all consciously or unconsciously seeking a purpose to our existence. When we are young and busy, this search is outside our view. Our mind is clouded by the daily routines, priorities and hurries. As we grow older, we let go of some of those activities, give more importance to the real priorities in life and then the road springs to view.

Where are we headed? Why are we headed that way? Which of my activities have some meaning to me? Which of those are my mere duties to others? Which of my life's purposes have I sacrificed? Why am I here?

What thought excites us when we wake up in the morning? What will happen if nothing I do comes to fruition? What if none of my dreams ever come true?

Why do I get up each morning and make sure my family is on their way to attain their priorities and happiness? Why do I sit before my work and strive to derive some satisfaction from it? Why do I dream about miracles that may never take place? Why do I look at the road less travelled and tell myself, 'No, I am not at liberty to pursue it today'? What if tomorrow when I am ready for it, I am not healthy enough? What if one day I find that I have nothing to wake up for?

What is the purpose of my days?