I really should get more disciplined. I have this age-old habit of taking on more than I can chew and it’s awful…I just can’t do it all, and whatever I finish, I feel that I could’ve done better. I suppose it stems from some kind of insecurity that time is running out, and unless I grab each and every writing opportunity that comes my way, I’ll miss that important pulse. Of course, the pit of my tummy and the core of my heart tell me that I have enough to just sit back and relax and absorb it all. But I can’t get over this feeling that my days are shaped like an hour-glass and every minute, every second, every tiny slant of temporal vapidness, grains of sand are shifting down and my time will be up.
I can’t bear to sleep. I have come to regard it as such a waste of time. I just want to get over my share of experiences in the next hour – sunset, wounded knee, twisted heart, crappy travel stories - and then get on with my life. My life with my chosen, scripted experiences. Like I want to find a luxurious cave and live there for eight months, only reading Salman Rushdie. And write a long, rambling poem on the third star to the south of the moon on a Sunday night.
A couple of years ago, I wanted to sit still and live each moment. I lived to suck the honey out of every precious experience and I loved it all.
I still have a voracious appetite for stories, and to me an experience is just that. It doesn’t matter what happened, I will remember it differently, once several twilights have receded across the cosmos. But now, it’s this gaping hole. I wonder why I haven’t floated down the Amazon yet and why, just why I am not doing something more…I don’t know…`creative’ doesn’t begin to describe it. I want to do something that involves, engages, and thoroughly instigates every one of my faculties. I can’t begin to understand or explain this urgency.
All this pent-up ‘get-up and go’ is knotted in my veins and tires me beyond exhaustion.
And today, this urge comes with a razor-sharp urgency. I only need to think about tomorrow and my teeth and fists clench and I want to DO something now. I have so much inside me that is misdirected. It’s a major character flaw that I have not learnt how to pick my battles. I have given the best of my self to unnecessary lousy choices. Not that I am complaining, but I can’t seem to benefit from hindsight. I just keep going down that same road again and again. I don’t know why I respond to imagined cries for rescue – whether it is a job or a person. As long as I feel that it is up to me to salvage a person or a situation from dire circumstances, I am all alive and fabulously zoned in. But once that passes, I just…wither away. I think I am good to have around during crises, but not otherwise.
I should just consciously be less stupid. If I go over any of the situations in my life that have given me grief, I can safely say that those were the times when I was unintelligent. Why can’t I learn that there are people who will say things they don’t mean? They will talk only what they feel I like to hear? Why can’t I learn something that is so fundamentally simple? I mean, if I could learn to reverse and park a vehicle, surely there must be some atom of smartness somewhere in my dull head that gets that. It amazes me, sometimes, this abject refusal to see things for what they are. My take on such people is that they meant what they said then. But I don’t think it’s quite correct. There are people who will compulsively talk to please and to keep appearances. Of course, I get angry when I think I get fooled by the lot time and again, but it’s not their fault. They do their best in a given situation. Why do I have to be such a sucker?
This last month, I have berated myself so much. I wish I could harden myself to stay guarded and not succumb easily to sweet talk. But…fundamentally, I can’t balance things out in my head. On one hand, I think it’s tragic – dead tragic – if we cannot listen to a person with an open heart, with belief, and assumption of truth. On the other hand, a lifetime of experiences of feeling let down in various degrees has not taught me anything. That you must choose reserve in some situations with some people, and complete absolute trust with some others.
From this moment on, I need to learn this lesson well, and once and for all. Because something in my bones tells me that soon, there will be a time of reckoning. I remember having this sense of ‘time running out’ just a few weeks before my grandmother expired and before my marriage took an unexpected turn. I know that this feeling is not going to go away unless and until whatever it is foreboding has come to pass.
But this doesn’t worry me. I know I will get through this too. Years ago, I had read an article on Ross Perot in the Time magazine. Perot was described as the guy “..who knew more about returning from the dead than to actually live.”
This may be the most accurate description of myself yet.