Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Monday Musings 307- Of Good Days, Bad Days – and Old Monk !

Monday Musings:Of Good Days, Bad Days – and Old Monk !
(This is an ode to a 25 year old who recently told me this – ‘’I am troubled by the question if there is God; if there is meaning to everything we do, and where am I headed’’. I was amazed at his ability to ask these questions. At 25 I did not know my elbow from my knees!)
There are days when things make sense. There are days when they do not. There are days when there is absolute clarity on where are we headed and then there are days when there is clutter. There are days when we know precisely why we have a spring in our steps and then there are days when we do not know why the feet are dragging. There are days when we feel good enough to conquer the world and there are days when we feel worthless and not good enough. There are days when we feel we are meant for bigger things in life and then there are days when we are not sure if we are good enough for the things we have. Such are the binaries of human mind!
Earlier I used to believe that these binaries define my days; and that there is a clear demarcation of superiority between them - the former always better and more preferred than the later. I am no longer sure about that superiority. I am veering towards the conclusion that later is equally meaningful and powerful. They are the wombs of possibility.
Days that make sense, have inherently absolute clarity and bring spring to the feet, when I feel good enough, nay great enough are easy to understand. These days are the engines that drive life forward – give it positive momentum. Many if not all draw satisfaction and meaning out of them. Things look worth their while at least for ‘today’.
However it is the other type of days, when things do not make sense, when there is clutter and when the feet drag and when things feel directionless and the self feel worthless that are fascinating, even though excruciating. These are days the pall of gloom is all over, the soul is heavy and there is a general shadow of doubt on everything – on what I have done all these years, on how good I have been, on demons I have refused to acknowledge, on my innate inabilities, on the coarseness that lurks just beneath the sheen. These are days when I QUESTION everything – I am truly but brutally reflective. These are days when I see things as they are – not as I want them to be.
What do I do with these days? I try to do the usual thing to make things better – watch a movie, immerse in the social media, shop may be, have a drink or two with friends – the usual you know! The good news is that those days do not last more than a few minutes or a few hours may be – before we fill the vacuum with more meaningless debris, whose only role is fill the vacuum. It’s like filling a landfill- lot of activity but no real outcome.
However those days leave behind questions which if paid attention to for a sufficiently long period of time can lead to something powerful. Disturbing questions may be the power to reveal beautiful answers. I had heard a concept many years ago that comes to my mind – the concept of ‘Positive Dissatisfaction’ – that all great improvements emerge from this feeling that there is something amiss, that all meaningful build ups in life in general emerge from us being unhappy and dissatisfied with the ways things are. I may not have the clarity of what needs to be done or how things can be better or the wherewithal of making a change – but that must not be the reason for avoiding the potential thrill of positive dissatisfaction. Over time I have built a higher tolerance to these kinds of days.
However this piece is not really about good days and bad days – because this binary, like all binaries is misleading. Greater truth is either between the binaries or beyond it.
I am more worried about days that evoke nothing in me – neither joy nor dullness, neither meaningfulness nor drudgery and so on and so forth. I am scared of the days when I wake up blank – that is something I don’t know how to handle – at least yet!
It is those days that I thank whatsapp, FB and if everything else fails – Old Monk! Small Mercies. || ||

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