Sometimes the thought of living fills me with exuberance. I think of poetry, art, and music, and an insatiable hunger to create seizes me. But then, sometimes the thought of existence distresses me and fills me with the dread of a pagan on Judgement day. And though I look for a balance, an Autumn that lies between Spring’s ebullience and Winter’s heartache, I never find crimson leaves.
Some say, “You need to strive for equilibrium. Meditate, be mindful and you’ll hear the murmuring creek, or feel the west wind caressing you,” but I think that’s ludicrous, because I believe fate predestines some people to live at the extremes. Some force, like a magnetic pull, draws these people to either joy or inner thunder, and cry as they may, stability eludes them like a river monster dodges an explorer.
But having said this, I ask you: “Isn’t balance overrated? Wouldn’t you rather throb with ardour or apprehension, never knowing if a friend with a smile on his face, or a foe with a dagger in his hand, awaits you at the next turn?” Some readers might now think that I’m a madman, but let’s face it, pop music is catchy and derivative. You need the dark jazz of Povarovo to fear the bogeyman, the blistering bebop of Charlie Parker to run until you collapse, the hellish riffs and double bass drumming of Baroness to make an idea burn as brightly as a wildfire.
I’ve known euphoria and bitter nostalgia; love bites and rejection; abominations that haunt and self-pity that stalks; frightening shadows and dim light; Tyson’s fury and Buster Douglas’s luck; Chernobyl and swamps; vengefulness that possesses, and the cold bathroom floor that forces you to let go; comets and wastelands; petrichor and the stench of Sulphur, and there was a time when I despised myself and screamed for freedom, but I’ve now embraced deliration.
I understand now that life is often like the technical madness of Mars Volta. It’s like genre less music and putting a label on things only limits the depth of experience. So, embrace the odd-time signatures, the bizarre guitar solos, the depressing vocals and the deranged tone that runs through it all. But then again, that’s easier said than done. Sometimes you feel you’re already burning in the abyss with centaurs screaming and trampling on you. Sometimes troubadours of darkness lament, and hounds of hell howl, and no amount of fasting and praying can help you escape the apocalypse.
But then, sometimes the richness of the earth fills you with incomparable joy. A jazz of consciousness replaces your insipid stream of thought and the words in your mind form ranks and become armies of poems. Sometimes the ecstasy that a book gives you is greater than the heat of passion. Sometimes hope materialises and becomes tangible, and you reach out, and she anoints you with sparkling stardust.