Monday Musings 214 - The raconteur's dilemma
As i see it, life makes sense only in retrospect. While its happening, the joys appear heady and unreal while grief, to borrow a phrase from someone i know, is like 'undergoing an operation without anasthesia'. One is so engrossed in dealing with both that making sense of it is the last thing on our mind, not that even if we tried it will truly make sense in most cases.
Recently i tried to make sense of my journey and here are a few things i discovered about the process in general and myself in particular. The usual asterisks apply that this may not be 'applicable to all'.
The first thing i realised is that the past looks hazy and details lost. The details i remember are only those that i have told and retold many number of times as a raconteur. Actually the version that i tell may have drifted a bit from the way things actually happened. The possibilities are both - i might overplay my struggles to glorify it or underplay it because 'i feel blessed to have overcome them'. Struggles are struggles only when we are going through them - when it all ends, they are mere memories. I realised that forgetfullness has become my ally. I wonder whether it is actually a good thing or not - for forgetfullness helps in dealing with the tribulations that left a scar, but it also makes you forget what gave immense joy and blessedness. Sometimes i envy those who remember every small thing about their growing up years or even what happened only a few years back. I have only have a vague memory, most details appear to be lost.
The second thing i realised is that my propensity to talk about it is equally appalling. Although my self view on this subject is rather flattering, because i consider myself a fairly self aware person, who can do a thing or two in reaching out to his 'real motives' in a situation, but fall short about talking about it. The reasons i attribute to this inability, is not some psychotherapy mumbo jumbo (Ok ok, its a science - happy!) but because i am convinced of its futility. Forgetfullness provides me the capability of moving ahead. I know the limitation of this stance and the good news is that i am working on it. So the agreement i have with self is that i will talk about the past like a 'commentator' or an 'observer' - as if it was a story, written by someone else or a play that someone else acted on. This way i will retain equanimity, a balanced view of the past - neither glorifying my successes not overplaying my struggles.
The third thing that i realised was how blessed i was. The story, despite its hiccups of the past has turned out quite well. Although recent scriptures say 'picture abhi baaki has mere dost', i assume they refer to only the blessings that are yet to come.