Sunday, December 26, 2010

Notes on a Mid-break Melting

If the test of the true princess is the pea underneath mattresses, this week, I'd have snagged myself a prince, if I could have garnered enough energy. The changing weather seems to have melted my bones, gelled around bone-sockets, and is leaking out of my nose and eyes. But this weather seems to have affected not just my skeletal framework but also the couches and beds that offer no comfort as they are filled with bolder-like peas and pins and needles from quilts I've not finished.

Actually, I must confess, I am relieved that the flu has finally descended. It has been lurking around desks, just out of eyesight, a haunting more uncomfortable because it lacked definition. I have also been relieved for this downing because it means that I don't have to worry about being a support structure; I can let go and dissolve for a bit. And as it happens with all sickness, time expands while the fever clutches. When I feel better, I am heartened to know that only a few hours have passed, not few days or weeks.

Since the fever is not serious, the melting bones feel more like an indulgence, and each sneeze feels like a catharsis of sorts. It has also lent a construct to days that are unfettered by any routines; I know the worst time of the day descends once the day gets tired, and so I have been able to sort out some bookcases; this is especially significant because bookcases in my house are worse than some people's closets. They hold many ghosts; many unfamiliar books that no one claims; many favorites that cause strife about whose shelf they should reside on; and so, like a lot of healthily repressed families, we tend to not address them. But since the only contenders I have right now are the supremely incurious cats, I have finally sorted out a few haunted corners of the house, like that bookcase behind my child's door.

For each day, I assign myself a few chores. A day I don't get to a chore or two is especially welcome. These days I feel like an inversion of a Sisyphus, who relishes every inch his rock descends as much as his doppelganger cherishes each inch the rock climbs. It is also important to remember that Odysseus relishes the feel of being in the midst of the ocean, even more than he does reaching an island.

It was a Wednesday when I'd last looked at a calender; I washed my hair today, so it must be a Sunday. The immortals must feel thus, moored serenely in the middle of a never-ending break, melting every so often, every so often sorting out a messy corner, watching absolute nonsense on an indifferent screen or page that tell the same stories and enjoying it all, always keeping within ken the dream of hectic days, with resolutely mandated wakings and dreamings, of constant heeding.

The weather has turned chilly again tonight, perfect for a melting. I shall vend towards the couch and dream of needles, peas, and books that don't belong anywhere.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Because . . .

The rain pounds on the cold windows, and for the first time in months, I am glad of it: rain brings changing weather, and I think I need it to. My grades are squared away, the madness of the most hectic quarter of the year is past, as is the holiday rush (for me). I look forward to a few quiet days of catching up with my inner self, something I've neglected this year. I have too many projects to actually appreciate a meaningful closure the end of December usually brings, but I do need some pockets of nothingness to adjust perspective.

Then again, I wonder at my need to justify this need: this blog-space affords one of the few indulgences I allow myself. I write here not because of deadlines, not because of monsters waking me up with itchy fingers, not because a theme needs more development or address, not because of any reason, just because . . . .

My father used to hate this word, this because word, which, he believed, holds many long-drawn out syllables for the sole reason of bulkily packaging lame excuses. He had a special kind of steel reserved in his eyes for when this word turned up in any explanations for, oh, a variety of situations, like why the Geography homework was not done, or the reason for the Civics grade, or how a sibling's favored toy ended up broken.

I must confess, I have to make an extra effort when I see this word in student papers: it is a good enough word and should not be mistrusted so illogically. Sometimes, I say the word out loud, drawing out the long syllable longer, to listen to myself say it, haunted with the steel from my father's eyes. Sometimes, I wonder at the hubris lurking in that elongated word: it assumes to know the bigger picture, and promises to explain the reasons behind its arrangement. So it seems fair to consider it a promising portal between multiverses that forever contradict all others, cancel each other out, and simultaneously co-exist and overlap with each other.

The rains have paused for the hour; the cats are napping in their preferred caverns; my child is out of town; and the long afternoon is still for a spell. I shall try to use this stillness to find the center of my being.

As the afternoon sinks into the evening, I scatter events of the past four or five months on my table and try to understand how their edges fit together, to realise a bigger picture. I don't know yet how these events will arrange themselves, but I do know the last piece of that picture: it is because, a word that links random-seeming events to choices of the past, to horizons of possibility, like all links, forged in steel, a word that holds a long breath in its chest that shall articulate itself as the afternoon exhales its explanations.
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