THE EMPIRE OF A FORGOTTEN DANCER
Here you stand at the gates of my fictitious empire. But wait, who am I?
Essentially a mass of uncast imagination, I am the myriad moulds I’ve been cast into; a mayhem of ever morphing flavors that meddle to create an abstract reality called ‘me’.
In the story of evolution, my prominent character is that of a human; the blue-green orb transfixed in space has made me a daughter of the Earth; Among the bursting diversity of the human race I am a being with a wide arsenal of interests- from writing to singing to fighting. The psychologists debating on personality theories speculate that I am an ENFP; Within my mind, however, I will always be an avid thinker and a philosopher, amusing myself with ideas. In the corridors of time, I am an ever-evolving being, constantly changing, growing increasingly complex.
But all these are just figments of imagined realities created with an effort to order the chaos and abstraction that I am. And as figments, they are only a small part of me, while like imagination, they are too temporary and transforming. In that sense, my only real identity is the lack of an identity – the acceptance of the truth that I am, in the end, just another forgotten dancer, dancing her way back to a long sleep.
So here is a forgotten dancer, and her empire built in an attempt to construct something aesthetic and grandiloquent from a medley of manifesting imaginations.
JOIN ME IN
ON AN ODYSSEY
Maybe I am dancing a very fine ledge between two oblivions and maybe all that in between is an ever-changing imagination. But that doesn’t make this life any less fascinating. Just being a figment of imagination gives me the flexibility to recast me over and over into a panorama of structures. But why would I want to do that?
Conjure up in your mind, a medieval wayfarer. The most beautiful thing about him is that he doesn’t fetter himself to the warm boundaries of his home. He wanders, from one land to another, seeking to belong to more places, seeking to unveil the dusted horizons. He may not wake up in a different land each morning. He may even adore the breaking of dawn from the same valley for years. Years when he has rented his heart to one particular city; when his legs follow the tessellations of the same bustling market streets; when his ears drink the rhythm of the same language; years in which he becomes a citizen of a place and moulds himself to fit into its requirements. But some day, eventually, he moves on – back to his own solemn path that would lead to elsewhere – the previous mould flung aside, carrying only subtle tales and imprints of the experience. And finally, when it is time to go home, he would return with scents from the entire world lingering within his heart that would empower his hands to build an eclectic empire with the bones of a thousand cities.
Similarly, my idea of who I am and what I am capable of is fettered to its cozy nook. But the sundry of things I am capable of lies veiled still, beyond the dusted horizons. To really find myself, I need to journey through deep valleys and mighty gorges, through alien citadels and bustling hamlets. I need to explore various passions. I need to play with my elasticity. Everything I come across inspires in me some new idea, unfurls some new corridor. And then, each time I leave behind a passion and continue the odyssey, I would carry within my heart, the vestige of the cities I had left behind, until, city-by-city, rises an internal kingdom that walks with me as I walk further, and grows richer and grander with each experience. And what else could that kingdom be if not for my understanding of myself and my capacities?
Hence, in this hundred years awarded to me to ‘imagine’ myself as something- to build one precious identity, I’ve decided to wreak havoc with the tenacity of my limits and ‘imagine’ myself as many things as I can- to create an alchemy of as many precious identities as possible. A wayfarer seeking to discover the wide horizons of life.
Me? Well, there are two different versions of me – one that is ultimately real and one that captures the shades that I reflect at the moment. One definition that’ll ever be true and one that’ll change every now and then.
One moment an extrovert, one moment an introvert; One moment, constructing a cascade of worldly dreams, the next, thirsting for a taste of spirituality. One moment an everyday teenager, the next moment a philosopher. A myriad palette of hues drapes this soul to life. There is no one definition to fetter me within. For I am an empty-handed wayfarer, questing through life on this mysterious Earthly realm. A huntress, in constant search of beauty, magic and meaning. And ultimately, just another Forgotten Dancer in the end of time, fascinating herself with life.
But to be more concrete, here is the me that might not be the exact same a few years later. A 16-year-old with a rapture for art and aesthetics, I love finding myself engulfed by the storms of imagination and deep thoughts. Particularly a thrall to the art of words, I am a wannabe writer, often scribbling out stories and poems that I erect in this space. Ironically yet, I am an extrovert who simply delights being in social situations and soirees. My wide arsenal of other hobbies include yoga, painting, graphic designing, reading, karate, singing, dancing, learning, exploring and creating.
Also, ”hey, this is Sahana here.”
THE STONES, SKELETON AND STRUCTURE.
This space is the home to which this wayfarer brings back the trophies and niches won from the numerous other cities. Fancifully dubbed ‘The Empire’ (by the reigns of my imagination), the skeleton of this structure is built from the delightful relics, ways and wisdom gathered in my journey to unveil the horizons. A partially filled realm, this empire is speckled with towers of so-far-non-existent dream-spires which I seek to replace with their real prototypes. A space that is envisioned to hold a taste of every flavor till its seams swell to house a miniature prototype of a megalithic world.
This ’empire’ is a fantasized menagerie fondly raised by the forgotten dancer to preserve the various trinkets and treasures amassed in her expedition to experience various identities and be more.
NESTLED DEEP WITHIN LIES A WRITER
“I am a showman by profession … and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me”. PT Barnum had said.
And so too, despite the conglomeration of flavors I amuse myself with, deep within lies a writer, who can’t be sundered from my personality. A writer, who is a thrall to the art of words and the intricate alleys of imagination that they weave to drape over mundane reality. A writer, perpetually enraptured by the powerful voice that stirs within silent words.
That’s why, of all the structures erected upon this empire, the spires of words will dominate this skyline most numerously. And when all other enchanting cabins begin to grow bitter and cold, to this home I would return and sit by its comforting hearth to recount the various forays.
So, do fare to the city of words.
FROM THE CITY OF WORDS
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THE FINAL CHAPTER – THE QUEEN WITH A SHADOW CROWN – 12
SEARCH BY DATE
AN ODE TO THE LEGACY
An acknowledgment to the unknown men behind my works
Being human. A symbol of connectivity and continuity.
A long legacy of discovery, inventions and insight has been transmitted to us. Being a human implies that we are born into that unbroken chain that has been long been furnished for millions of years. Imagine for a moment that the monumental edifice called history, carved generation by generation were to melt away and fade before us, leaving us barren in the middle of nowhere- the first ever human in the history of Earth.
We take it for granted that everything we know is our own. But in reality, all that we know today is a result of a myriad people who have chiseled this stage- this Earth, epochs before our coming and fabricated an atmosphere electrified with the multitudinous atoms of their wisdom. And it is only that fabric that we, on coming to this world, wear – believing its our own, forgetting who weaved it.
Every moment, consciously or unconsciously, we steal other’s ideas or seek inspiration from them. In that sense, how could we ever truly boast of something being our own original creation?
This dilemma often raged within my mind, reducing the creator within me to cower with guilt by abusing it of disgraceful thievery. But if originality meant structuring from the sinews and skeleton, then under the facade pf every creative artist hides a thief. Because we humans depend on the cornerstone left behind by those before us and around us to build our empire. Thus, beneath the tip of the iceberg called our creation, hides a long legacy of base work laid out by countless unknown men.
Here is an ode to that legacy; to those whose names I know not – to those awake and those asleep in the tomes of the past, who unveiled to the world, arcane secrets of diverse disciplines; to those teachers who expanded my universe by enriching it with the sparks of wisdom that others had discovered; to those others who opened my eyes to various paths and inspired me to seek them.
To these, my works I owe.
(Also, all image credits to the amazing photographers on Unsplash)
© 2018 Sahana Narendran