Of weary dreams and worn out passions

Life, when left unbridled becomes a chore unloved. One needs to keep revisiting one’s past in order to make sense of one’s present and aspire for future. The problem that I face continuously is to strike a balance between admiration of what’s gone and desire to bring it back. To be able to do it all over again. I am losing it, time is running out, I am getting old with each passing day and that scares the shit out of me.

I have made some lousy decisions in life. I started this blog ten years ago when blogging was still in it its infancy but was never regular. My younger daughter had just been born when I started this journey that I thought I’d nurture and take to new heights….. Now my son is the same age and ten years have gone by in between.

Whatever I am doing in life now does not even come close to what I thought I would achieve in these ten years. It is nothing as compared to what I could do. And it mocks all the dreams I dreamt for myself while staring out of that window in my living room. 

I was going to be a great writer. My pieces were to get published in literary magazines. I was going to master the art of writing.

And yet, ten years passed and I am still here. Still at the cross roads, never launched. What happened? Where did time—that culprit— vanish? Why did I waste it so willingly? 

These are the questions I may never find answers to, yet the only questions I’d want answered.

In a systematic manner, I brought this on myself. Yes, I do realise my mistake. I thought I had time; that I could do it tomorrow. Little did I know, then, that that perfect tomorrow would never come. 

If I really wanted to do something, I should’ve started right when it came to mind. When I had decided that I was going to be a writer. I did have the time, I do have time even now, but a sad, unproductive decade lies between the dreams when they were first dreamt and now that they have to be woken up again. 

These dreams are now frail, unsure of their strength of ever coming true. They are still there, yes, very much alive, but they’ve grown old, tired and weary. They’ve got unsure of themselves. And it is quite the task now to start from where I left.

Time will not wait for anyone, as clichéd as it may sound. This is one reality that I am aware of but have failed to understand in its entirety, no matter how much I tried. I live day in and day out thinking I’d do it tomorrow. I’d write that blog post tomorrow, I’d update that Instagram account tomorrow. I’d just sleep in today and then tomorrow will be a brand new day.

One just doesn’t realise the absurdity of time until it’s too late. And yes, age sneaks up on you when you’re least expecting it. It has this weird way of catching you off guard. And you just do not understand what really happened. 

There’s no way of understanding, you just realise one fine day that you’re getting old, and that the time to act is now. Or you’ve lost it forever.

But I do realise that I do not want to imagine myself writing another blog post like this in another ten years. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I did my best. And that is all one can do. Everything else is just life as it  happens… but you should be able to die with the knowledge that you did do your best.

So here I am, trying to wake up the dreams that were never realised, to muster up the little strength that’s still left, to reignite the passion that is now tired, and to believe in the power of love again.

 

Featured Image courtesy: HERB

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Tolkien Reading Day

“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king”

Came to know about the Tolkien Reading day that’s apparently celebrated on the 25th of March each year. Didn’t really have any idea that a day like that even existed. But I am definitely glad that a whole day is especially dedicated to reading Tolkien, the undisputed Master of all High fantasy.

Time to visit the Middle-Earth again I guess. It’s been long!

Virginia Woolf’s ‘Three Guineas’

Virginia Woolf. Three Guineas. London: Hogarth Press, 1938. Presented by Frances Hooper ’14. Dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell.

I recently finished reading Virginia Woolf’s ‘Three Guineas’, which is quite an inspiring read, to say but the least. Her famous ‘stream of consciousness’ technique of writing is something I’ve never really experienced before and is indeed enticing. I do intend to delve into more of her works this year, to get to know her a little better.

Following are a few of the many noteworthy excerpts from the essay.

“For to help women to earn her livings in the professions is to help them to possess that women of independent opinion which is still their most powerful women. It is to help them to have a mind of their own and a will of their own with which to help you to prevent war.”

“If we encourage the daughters to enter the professions without making any conditions as to the way in which the professions are to be practiced shall we not be doing our best to stereotype the old tune which human nature, like a gramophone whose needle has stuck, is now grinding out with such disastrous unanimity?”

“Think we must. Let us think in offices; in omnibuses; while we are standing in the crowd watching Coronations and Lord Mayor’s Shows; let us think as we pass the Cenotaph; and in Whitehall; in the gallery of the House of Commons; in the Law Courts; let us think at baptisms and marriages and funerals. Let us never cease from thinking—what is this ‘civilization’ in which we find ourselves? What are these ceremonies and why should we take part in them? What are these professions and why should we make money out of them? Where in short is it leading us, the procession of the sons of educated men?”

“We have already noted the fact that the profession of literature, to give it a simple name, is the only profession which did not fight a series of battles in the nineteenth century.”

And which, according to Woolf, was the only profession open to women in the nineteenth century.

“Is it not possible that if we knew the truth about war, the glory of war would be scotched and crushed where it lies curled up in the rotten cabbage leaves of our prostituted fact-purveyors; and if we knew the truth about art instead of shuffling and sham- bling through the smeared and dejected pages of those who must live by prostituting culture, the enjoyment and practice of art would become so desirable that by comparison the pursuit of war would be a tedious game for elderly dilettantes in search of a mildly sanitary amusement—the tossing of bombs instead of balls over frontiers instead of nets? In short, if newspapers were written by people whose sole object in writing was to tell the truth about politics and the truth about art we should not believe in war, and we should believe in art.”

“But as a result the answer to your question must be that we can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and following your methods but by finding new words and creating new methods. We can best help you to prevent war not by joining your society but by remaining outside your society but in co-operation with its aim. That aim is the same for us both. It is to assert “the rights of all— all men and women—to the respect in their persons of the great principles of Justice and Equality and Liberty.” To elaborate further is unnecessary, for we have every confidence that you interpret those words as we do. And excuses are unnecessary, for we can trust you to make allowances for those deficiencies which we foretold and which this letter has abundantly displayed.”