Saturday, June 18, 2011

Even if that were true...

Several years ago, I decided to fast one day a week. I had heard that when you fasted one day, ate nothing, drank nothing - your body became sharper. Your mind could clear through unnecessary clutter easily. Slowly, over time, you became a more focused, vigilant person. You knew what you wanted and you could get directly in the most focused way possible. And what I wanted then, as what I want now, is a fantastic body and supreme peace of mind.

Of course, now, I have made my peace with my body. It's a good body. I don't cringe too much when I look at it, unless I see myself in some clinging lycra or something. But overall, I am pleased. Peace of mind, on the other hand, is a tough story to tell. There are spells when I do experience a stillness, a calmness - a suspension of everything that is cracked, unfulfilled or hard. But these are brief. Many times, I lose that feeling on account of an external event. Sometimes the reasons are flimsy - an incorrectly made cappuccino; sometimes they are more substantial- road rage.

But there did come a point when I was tired of all these vicissitudes. I just wanted to have something solid inside my heart - something that wouldn't sway or get broken by whatever is going on around me. And at times, this feeling has made me feel very, very lonely.

Somewhere along the way, one does reconcile to the truth that everything will move away. People will go, things will leave, feelings will pass. At some point, I did stand to wonder at what remained when all else left. And what remained was this quivering globule of yellow insecurity. It wasn't a pleasant realization. If anything, the loneliness that I felt when I first noticed this was quite devastating. It's like I could physically feel my heart get crushed and my rib cage ache. I wonder if anyone ever, ever felt this way. Because around me, no matter what my differences with people have been, they have all seemed so sorted.

In any case, this vague, painful, sharp aloneness that had once led me to fast. At the time, a couple of friends told me that I was really just using spirituality as a crutch. In fact, they still say that about me now. For the longest time, I defended myself. Spirituality was meaningful to me. Even an innocuous ritual like fasting and waiting until sundown to eat gave my wandering sense of alienation a north star. But now, I think, maybe they are right. Maybe I do use spirituality as a crutch.

But I need to. Because as of this moment, I feel broken. It hurts to walk. By myself, taking one small step ahead, taking one deep breath, heaving onwards to the next spot - physically my body can't take the weight of my mind. So yes, spirituality seems to be a crutch now. I don't see that as wrong, though.

One day, I'm sure this will heal and I won't need it anymore the way I need it now. But today, this belief in something larger, bigger, beyond - it helps me hobble along.

At least, I haven't given up walking. And that's sure to get me somewhere.


Ilango Nadar said...
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omnithere said...

ummm...i think a day's fast means not eating the whole day, wake up, don't eat, sleep at night, wake up next day, then eat. that said, the guy who took this free yoga sessions (which have left me sick btw :( ) says that fasting does NOT mean not eating at all. eat fruits... :)

wats wrong with a crutch, i say. like you said, at least you are walking.. :) use two.. :)