Did you find it, what you were looking for, all the time you were using the perimeter of the ring, the stage, the self, the world?
What did you see after you threw yourself against the ropes, launched yourself from them? Did you find anything? Did they crawl over your wrists, the ropes, tie you in knots when your knees bent climbing them? Did you meet that other body you raged against? Were you subdued before you hung from those arms?
Did your senses return you to yourself? Did you ever reach the limits of that body?
You never forgot yourself, did you? And you wanted to, but not when the forgotten piece would become another fragment of yourself, bartered, fingered, passed from craving, crazed buyer to buyer. Teller of tales, you become coin in their tellers’ hands. (That would be cinema in this late decade.) You are still looking for something more.
Your face when you are not guarding it.
In a continuous outpouring, continuous transformation, open mouth, open belly and sex, we take and live and give and then fetishize life with our perceptions of spring and winter and birth, marriage and death. But we do not live until we learn its ragas, its music, its laws, sounds and spaces. It is the final mastery, this true submission to the laws of life, the only one we need consent to with joy.
Sometimes, when the laws we find are invisible or too unsettling, we create religions out of other structures — discourses of science, faith, society, freedom — and worship and submit to those laws instead. Familiar, loving gods are more soothing than inexorable laws of life, for we may adorn our gods and god-spaces. Those are close enough, labyrinthine and inanimate. But to know the first laws –and the many sutras of how we may unite with, love and couple with life — is the task.
There is nothing else to love, no one else to want, unless they personify Life for us. Of course, that’s when we fall in love and still live.
And before the submission, long before and long after, there is the combat, the dance, the drama that must be played out. One contending with the other, to win, to lose, with skill, without honor, with a delicate violence.
All is changed, changed utterly, and yet there is the mango tree laden with fruit and birds, there the gulmohor tree wrapt in fire and furry squirrel, here and there the markers of my childhood and youth, and just here the pillars of my mother’s world (shongshaar). I am here in Calcutta to usher you into the realm of the gods, father, so they say, for you have spent a year beyond us already, but you seem to have left these messages behind. And all day, all day, the trills and tunes of the hidden koel bring back my childhood before it is chased out of the mango tree by the crows.
She saw it and it made ashes of her heart, so she walked away and when the ruins ate her road she ran away into herself, diminishing to nothingness, and was nothing. And then the body alive, near-forgotten, became hell.
Projections and transference and all such. I call them raisins, thirst-inducing food. A little canister of rattling mockery we carry around.
Half a brick here, a scraping there –
these walls will crumble — and the little, naked,
shivering self — the world is eyes and unspeaking
mouth. I would like a silence to go away in.
When we say we wish to change the world we merely mean that we want to fix it in a form of our own making. For the world is always changing, and we enthrone shadows in the end.
All our battles of work and love come to mean the preservation of what we wish the world to be. We suspend it between this or that heaven or hell and try to chastise it into being.
When it is not to our liking, we punish it, or ourselves. We die when we punish what we love in the name of something else we would love. Utopias (nowheres) are by their definition the projections of our desires.