September 30, 2003

Tripwire

If Pandora's box was all yours and if the single word that would unlock it was just on the tip of your tongue, would you rather let it roll out by itself or would you let the moment pass, forget the word and forever live secluded from the results of the averted action, but always in doubt about what it could have been? Only if you had walked that extra half distance towards the known conclusion, even if is was just to prove a point. Is the responsibility towards another, as it is often claimed, or is it only towards the self? As it remains as the veiled truth. Just another of those games, that forms the part of another, patterns that refuse to take any form, like rings of smoke.

Exhaustion is a well-earned punishment. The trick is to keep you away from yourself as much as possible. Minimise the damage, restrict access and a pleasant dullness prevails as we wander over countless miles of routine and norm. Useful pollution obscuring the skies when there are no stars to be seen. What cannot be seen cannot exist. Every inch of earth has been traversed, we have studied all the patterns, we know each symptom by heart. Two ounces of shifting winds, three units of loose red soil and a bit of inexperienced rain for taste and we have cracked yet another of those 'complicated cases'. One of those must be mine. Keep searching.

As the solitary sidewinder too slithers into the unknown and yet another hot, burning day changes into some cool, airy night clothes, we master the art of walking the desert. Wherein the trick is to forget speed, irrespective of whether you run or you walk, there is always more of the same till it consumes you out of its own free will. As the dunes fall over each other, we learn to give each one a name, form associations, note patterns and learn. To unlearn all that was learnt and to re-learn it all over again. For the dunes they keep shifting, what was there yesterday is no longer there today. And tomorrow is just another mirage for the believers. Look.

Fear of reprisal. Bad karma. Unsettled spirits. What you do unto others, would some day happen to you. Nonsense. Poppycock. There cannot be ledgers large enough to keep track of all that. Why fear what will eventually happen. For it would happen anyway. Does clerically administered divine absolving defer what is on its way anyway? Or does pages and pages of scientifically interpreted phrases achieve something to that effect? What does it matter if "D" is what you get in the end, irrespective of whether you put A and B together or if it was X and Y. Are we interpreting the end from the beginning? Are we interpreting the beginning from the end?

Finally we measured the distance between us in words spoken and noted it down in units of words unspoken. The unit that had an inverse relation to what it measured was named silence. As we approached values high enough to be happy, we realised that there was nothing to be left unsaid, since we had said it all. We took down astonishingly high values of silence. And that is how we came to talking without talking, where I could say everything that I wanted to say and you could hear everything that you wanted to hear. Eventually, we could not remember if there was anything to be said, we just hoped there was. Maybe there was nothing.