I live in a linear city. You can get where you want from one point to another and if you crane your neck from where you are, you may see the road snake ahead as cars make hissing sounds. It feels good, like soup when you are down.
Can lives be linear? Aren’t most lives? Yes, if you think chronologically. Yes, if you have it all chalked out. Yes, if you do not venture to take a turn.
Needless to say, my life is not linear. Sometimes, I curve my way across roundabouts, and those roundabouts are not always filled with flower-beds and fences. Often the soil itself seems to have turned stagnant from just lying there in wait to be planted with seeds or even have the residue of a shrub with its furrowed brow mocking it.
How must it feel for life to feel so lifeless?
I digress. I turn those bends and find things that surprise me. Perhaps a person suddenly caught in the middle of traffic trying to cross a street that was not meant for him. That dazed look where a human being could have been killed transfixes me. I put on the metaphorical brakes. I watch as he sighs with relief and fear. Can relief and fear co-exist? They always do. We are relieved of a fear but never from fears. To some, fear is a relief -- you are so afraid that it puts you in a state of inaction and relief from several things you could do.
There are times I see monstrous buildings and, as I inch closer, I realise there are people living there….families leading lives. What kinds of life? Are they happy? What is happiness? Are buildings happy? Aren’t they supposed to be? They are the edifices on which we build what we called ’homes’ (Hey, this was a house, I made it a home, we say, as we add a few roses and paintings and TV sets and rugs and cushions and air fresheners…).
What I love best about a roundabout is when I go round and find an empty street. I can then savour it in silence and watch my surroundings. This is meditation for me. I look into the rear-view mirror, not to see what I have left behind but to meet my own eyes.
People rarely do that unless they are checking out how they appear to others. I look to see how I feel about myself. The road in lonely, but I am not alone. For, in those eyes, as in life, I see a thousand and more promises to keep, to make, to honour and to cherish those that have been made and kept to me.
Had I chosen the linear way, I would have reached a destination and been turning around to watch remnants. This is not life when you are an ’ex’ something or the other.
What are we now? I turn another Today curve and flashing before me is an eternal road.
I drink the sight. I consume life.
(This is an old post just to put forth my stance against being 'linear' in my writing!)