Wednesday, July 23, 2008
It would be an outright lie to say that I am still as religious (or even close to) as I was 15 years ago. And yet, my faith in God never falters. I cannot fathom a world without His existence, and every birth, death or the smallest experience of love or pain, only confirms to me that He must and does exist. I cannot explain my faith or the reasons for believing such, but all I know is that I derive a sense of peace and unity from such faith, and that is justification enough for me….. What I wonder is how to hold onto that peace, that sense of calmness, when everything else in life is so obviously trying to uproot every fiber of calmness that one can possess? I don’t find that solace in the motions of prayer anymore… at least not the motions that I ought to follow in accordance with the religion. I find a semblance of it when I close myself off to everything else and try to think, perhaps ‘meditate’ would be the word…or pray in my own way… but it is not good enough. Peace, as I have known it, does not exist within me anymore. I can look out onto a lake, or over mountains, or upon a bridge and feel that semblance of peace again, but it is always fleeting… and worst of all, any meditation upon life leads me to become more distressed, more often than not. Perhaps that ideal of peace and calm is only a childhood ideal; perhaps as adults all we can hope for is bits and pieces of peace here and there, to be uprooted by the disaster and distress of everyday life. Or perhaps, if I were inclined to be a little more optimistic, it has been a year so very devoid of inner peace and calm that any other year that is to follow will only be better…. In any case, what I wonder is where does one turn to for that peace of mind when religion simply cannot offer it anymore, when prayer is not enough? Blasphemous these thoughts may be, but in the midst of mental turmoil, the search for oneself or for peace of mind doesn’t have room for such distinctions. They are all questions that need answering… if only I knew how to answer them.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I would have no problems with nostalgia if it didn’t have the feelings associated with it; if it didn’t have that which defines it. Why can one not listen to a song without feeling one’s insides melting vein by vein, tearing away all shreds of sensibility? Why can one not smell something without thinking of nothing but that certain someone’s fingers, entwining and caressing, tugging at the heart? Why do we fall prey to such emotions when memories are really nothing but neurons and nerve impulses? It would be pointless to wonder what our worlds would be like without memories; but what if we lived without nostalgia? Would that make us more efficient at planning our present and our future, since we would spend less time upon the past? Would it not make us happier in a way, since we wouldn’t be spending any time or emotions on feeling sad or lonely or depressed? Technically, perhaps that could be the case. But something tells me that life would lose all its hope, all its charm, all its indescribable bits of honeyed happiness that we hold so dearly to our hearts. That must be where nostalgia lies; that must be the purpose of nostalgia. To remind us, with not just a small stab at our hearts, that those fragments of memories that float to us on lonely, hot nights like tonight are actually proofs of life’s cruel beauty. They come to us to make us pause in our mindless days and nights and remember things that once made us love life, or gave us hope, or gave us the reasons that we needed to get through our days. The after-effects of nostalgia are a bit harder to deal with, but I suppose if we can sort through the collage of memories one by one, we might come to look at them pleasantly, and stow them away for another day when we might need that memory… Perhaps I can yet learn to pick and choose my nostalgia. Until then, it seems appropriate that I’ll keep echoing Pink Floyd: How I wish, how I wish you were here….