Bear with me the onslaught of some morose reflections.
As such, I can’t recall any particular place that has left burning in me a sense of being torn between two eyes (the nostalgic past and the relentless present). However, when I really do think about it, there exists a rather peculiar place which has blossomed out in a mockery of different facades. A place so familiar yet so strange because of the way its contents warp and morph constantly until I realize that everything around had been completely different the first time I stood where I am standing now. A few of its facades have faded and been forgotten by now, but a few still don the wings of recollection and interpose their silhouettes upon its present face, until the differences in form and perspective seem so stark- as stark as the silence left behind by a lost laughter- that all there is left is a familiar ache with a new pang.
I am asking you to relate, for this place is something we have all wandered in, something we all treasure above anything else. If you still don’t get it, it is the bizarre and bountiful stage we walk upon every day, scripting our beautiful dramas – the stage that Shakespeare once called ‘Life’ (or is it the other way around?) The stage that has grown with us until it seems to hush beneath its deluding carpet, a morass of melting melodrama that we call the past.
Sometimes, the delicate carpet, binding roof and all the concrete walls that contain the ‘present’ around me disappear like flesh under the scrutiny of the microscope, to reveal the mighty skeleton this stage has been precariously balanced upon. A wickedly growing bean-stalk that begins from beneath the surface of the carpet, to a crude spire that extends infinitely above where the roof now is. But when I zoom in again, the roof, the walls, and the carpet all appear back, the hues return to the stage and the confines of the present have cozied around me again. But then, a trace of what I perceived – I can’t help but imagine that this stage keeps climbing up the beanstalk, moving to a new sphere by meager degrees each day – oh, so meagre that we don’t even feel the change.
This life begins to seem like an archetype- a sketchy canvas which details keep crumbing and constructing. The only place where the dragging trail of facades this presents has left behind lies heaped in is the storeroom of my memory, A pile of masks worn by this place – a pile of masks from which’s eyes I perceived the world.
But when I unlock the door to that dark room and stand in front of the mountain of masks in front of me, I realize that I have changed along with my stage – tailored myself to its story and morphed ever so gradually. I look at the heap. The silence comes alive within me. I’ve learned so much now, about what to see, how to see, what to think – about the rules that govern this stage. But sometimes, I miss the simplicity and innocence with which I saw this place once. The fascination I held towards all the mysteries I didn’t know. The sanctity I used to guard in values, goodness, and opinions. I begin to miss the eyes that saw only lovely emotions and easy days. I begin to miss all those lenses which tinted the world in various enchanting ways once; the masks which lay discarded now, without even my realizing that I had worn so many. Don’t get me wrong though – I don’t hate the lens I wear now, meddled from all that had been perceived in the past. In fact, I rather adore it and gratefully think it wonderful.
However, what I do realize now is that, maybe, it isn’t this stage that climbs up the beanstalk. Maybe it is me that has grown – reforming from the ashes of the old every moment until my eyes change so much that strange scenes become prominent in a familiar haven – different layers of the archetype coming to the light. But here I lie, ever so deceived, believing that it is the stage that has changed; but oh, do archetypes ever?
© 2019 Sahana Narendran