15.8.07

My glass menagerie

I used to have a glass menagerie. Little animals and birds, coloured translucent. They had been packed in cotton wool. I removed each and placed them on the shelf, arranging them as I would to save the tame ones from the tough.

The gazelle about to sprint was in a corner, a beauty in peach. The tiger was kept far away, but in its magnetic appeal I found something disturbing, as though by seeing through that glass I was wounding it with every glance. The dog followed the camel; the cat lay in repose…birds perched haughtily. I did not know what to do with the fish. The brilliant blue made me feel helpless as I thought it would die. I could not create water in the shelf. Each time I looked towards it I felt that sudden feeling of being choked. I realised that it seemed imperishable. Not every fish seems to need water.

One day the shelf that held them toppled over. They crashed to little pieces. I had these charming colours on my palms as I picked each bit. There was no blood on me. They had the grace to spare me. Or maybe they couldn’t destroy because they were dead?

Mere glass cannot imbue you with life even if it shapes you.

9 comments:

Tan said...

On the face of it, this is nothing more than a mundane episode, a trivial occurence. Glass shatters all the time...yet you've turned it into something quite beautiful. You've consciously written what is only vaguely felt...what does that imply? The initial strength of the experience, or the need to give it form, expression?

circle said...

blog
Farzana now got this blog to attract all sorts of shapeless birds and other animals with different colors and noises or voices as a small kiddie cage....

I am also one of those animals...

Shadowed Meanings said...

Somehow I have feeling that this post is more than just a narration about animal pieces and glass, a metaphor sort of.

I don't know. Is it?

FV said...

Tan:

Thanks for the perceptive comment. An experience seeks form, but its true strength lies in formlessness. Being able to 'see through' makes one the outsider as well as the one going through the experience. it is ongoing. What we preserve is a need, not a reality. Yes, giving it expression is more than catharsis; it is reliving it...glass pieces on the palm.
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SM:

And you are right...as you can gauge from what I said above.
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Circle:

What would that make me, then? The zoo-keeper? Nah. I don't imprison and I don't take prisoners. Maybe, just maybe, some of us are birds of a feather? Is it hoping for too much?

Shadowed Meanings said...

You are the David Lynch of blogs.

FV said...

Umm...that is high praise, esp. given that The Elephant man and Blue Velvet are such stupendous films.

Tan said...

As an aside, hope is the one thing of which an excess is impossible

FV said...

As in an excess is 'hoping' for too much or as in "there is nothing like a limit to it"?

Tan said...

The latter, by all means. Can't have too much of THIS good thing.