Rumination 15

     No one tells you how bright the darkest corners of your mind can be. How sweetly that voice whispers lies and doubts into your ear.
     If they were dark, you would never venture into them again. They’re enticing, bright and warm, because they’re drawing all of the light and warmth out of you.
     The colder and darker you feel, the more light and warmth you try to generate, until you just can’t anymore.
     You need more for the same high.
     The universe may be infinite; you are not.
     But you are strong, you are loved, and you are not alone. So many of us are right there with you, making more light as it is taken. Maybe one day we’ll make more than the imbalance can pull.

Stay good and keep transmitting.

-AJ Sandhu 2015

Rumination 14

Keep saying things over and over until they come true, or you delude yourself into believing them. Keep telling yourself that running in place is fine. That as long as you’re working and “moving” your fatigue and lethargy can’t catch up to you. As long as you don’t think about what what’s wrong it can’t hurt you.
Why think about the things you can’t change anyway?
After all, the things you can’t change are many.
Maybe starting over for me was easier because everything else was shrouded in the obscurity of nothingness. Or…is that another lie I tell myself to keep going?
It’s not easy to leave behind written words and created words. To never speak of them again. To remind myself they never were.
Starting over is hard. Starting over can break you. Make you wake in the morning with cold sweats over deadlines and ultimatums that never mattered. Where are those consequences now that it’s done? Is nothingness my just reward?
Jumping off the pedestal is harder. All of the praise and genuflection is impossible relinquish. What if it’s never found again? What if this is the end? What if I become another insignificant cog in the machine of the world.
You we’re always insignificant. A cog in the machine does its work and the wheels turn.
Only when the cog is gone and the machine breaks down does it learn its value. Does this insignificant cog’s value become apparent.
There is nothing wrong with insignificance.
Maybe if I say it enough…I’ll believe it.
Stay good and keep transmitting.
-A. Sandhu 2015

Another Better Me

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” -Soren Kierkegaard

     All of the work I do today is for her; the better me waiting at the end of this labor. A far off waif on the horizon that can be an ideal I see myself as to justify my procrastination, my lethargy. “What will be, will be,” Because it is so much more comfortable to think “destiny” has a route set for me. As if what I do or don’t do today doesn’t really affect that far off better version of me.
     Sometimes, like in these moments of rumination, I am hyper aware my ideal cannot be without the work I can’t seem to put in. Other, clearer times I’m able to grasp that she will be me as I am now, because I have stagnated.
     No longer bound by fear, but by inaction.
     I’m going through the motions of a changing life, but not actually doing much to change it. I’m screaming loudly to avoid toiling in silence. And I am writing admissions because I need to get these words somewhere that I am accountable for them.
     Even as I stand here and scream, “All I want cannot be!” there is that part of me that sees her; the other better me. The one waiting on the horizon to read carefully the harried words of the younger stranger she once was; trying to glean how she came to be where she is.
     I need to do more and I need to do it now.
     I need to do it alone.
     Scream into the void until it starts to scream back.

Stay good and keep transmitting.

-AJ Sandhu

Lens of Doubt

“There is no cure for suspicion.”

     With anyone else I would bury the hurt and the guilt, but it’s you. It’s you and I don’t know what I did to cast a lens over every move I make. No matter how innocuous.
     I am fully aware of how bared and open this is, and I know this too will pass as all things do. But at what cost? How many times can I pretend not to notice the little voice that questions all which was once accepted with glee? There is no cure for doubt when the other party refuses to take the antidote.
     My penchant for staining the past rose-red is only hindering my forward momentum. Because of your lens, I see every grievance inflicted upon me; every broken promise. In fact, I’m not sure anymore that there were ever any kept promises now.
     A lens of doubt influences both the ones that cast it, and those on whom it is cast. If you fear me, eventually, I’ll start to fear you through no fault of my own.
     Lenses cast in lonely thought, without an outside voice to question their sanity, lenses cast by too many voices speaking too many doubts, cast by madness, cast by hatred, carve in all directions.
     What force to drive love into hatred.
     Faith, absolute faith, into doubt.
     What is the cost? How do I turn doubt back into faith?
     As I write these words I know I am saying too many of the things I keep inside; writing too many of the words I never say. But I will yell into the void as long as I am able, because one day, perhaps sooner rather than later, I will lose the chance.
     Because I can’t scream at you, lest you doubt further still. But I cannot live to do only as you say. Life is far too long and far too short to waste making you proud; I see that you never have been and you never will be. It’s like chasing the horizon on this round planet, it never comes.
     Now that they’re gone, I miss them, my rose colored lenses. But this lens of doubt, it might just save my life.

Stay good and keep transmitting

-Aman Sandhu

Reactionaries

The world collapses slowly, but it crumbles all at once. Like the tsunami that rages in from the sea. It started as a ripple from an earthquake fathoms below. A shift so massive the land must feel the sea’s fury, but not yet; not until it carries with it time and false hope that it will pass without incident.
     It is kind, the waters recede before they attack you.
     Life is not.
     Life is under no construct of physics to be rational. Not bound by alterable rules about the way things should be. 
     I talk about the day given to us by the world. Every morning a new day to do with as we would. But the day is not ours alone. It belongs to everyone. So, the relevant carve out time that is remembered in the over 7 billion days happening all at once.
     You, do what you will in yours?
     And I, in mine?
     Unfortunately, our time occupies the same space. Perhaps what you do in yours forces me to react in mine. Now extend that, billion-fold.
     It’s lovely rhetoric, to say the day is ours to do with as we please. To imply that we are anything other than reactionary, and reactionary alone.
     Everything we do is a reaction. We react to tiredness with sleep and the sun in the morning elicits wakefulness.
     I’ve been holding words best left in the past too closely to my heart; that the world is ours to do with as we please. The world, is ours to react to as we please.
     So caught up in my grief, I failed to see that any idea can and should be challenged. Progress cannot end in death. If we temporary creatures hold the thoughts of other temporary creatures as eternal truths only because questioning them becomes sacrilege on their memories, then we’re giving up on them. To hold only the profundities and claim them truths is to deny the mind that had them the immortality of evolution.
     There is no shame in questioning the wisdom of the dead.
     There is no sacrilege in finding them lacking.
     There is no courage in holding them upon pedestals and inventing fictions in your mind of what would have been. Nor any comfort, other than the temporary.
     We are reactionaries.
     And that is why the world crumbles.
But we don’t have to be.

-Stay good and keep transmitting.

Disconnect

There is refuge in unwritten words still draped in the golden glow of magical possibility. A story in the mind is perfection, untainted by the imperfect words needed to craft reality.
How many wonderful worlds become contaminated by the disconnect between mind and hand? I can regale you with a dozen or more imaginings perfect and pure, until tested by the litmus of reality.
I’ve written before of ideas that ravage through like aches; stories that so thoroughly disconnected me from reality, I awoke weeping over the banal mundanities of a world without magic.
I create so I can escape from what I cannot control.
Finding release in my mind from what I cannot yet be free of in reality.
So consumed by the worlds over which I reign, I forget to paint them with the brush of truth. Falling to traps of perfect heroes without consequence. Heroes always in the right place at the right time with the right words. Never a moment, or even days, too late. Never human.
Doing so would acknowledge the faults I see in reality.
Sometimes words aren’t enough. No apologies or validation strong enough to ease the hurt. Sometimes you can be and are too late. If I refuse to show such human error in what I write, how can I expect to change reality?
It complicates the narrative, but I’ve been running from complication all of my life. If my escapes don’t teach me to cope, nothing will.
My characters, like myself and the people I’ve chosen to surround myself with, cannot put out all of the fires; cannot contain all of the damage. But we can learn to repair that which is in our power.

So can the people in my mind, if I would just give them the chance. 


Stay good and keep transmitting.

Vice of a Million Faces

When do people blur into numbers? Where exactly is the tipping point that turns good intentions into could-have-beens?
There is a limit to how many individuals one human can imagine. Call it a flaw in our evolution. Never in our history have we needed to comprehend the value of numbers greater than those in our physical proximity.
It stands to reason, the smaller our personal circles, the less we understand. Simply “growing” these circles cannot prepare us for the sheer number of people there are. Cannot stop us from categorizing and labeling in ways that strip the individual from the digit.
There is no cure for that.
It compounds itself exponentially when those massive numbers, an unfathomable group, declares itself a collective, or is declared such. A collective is easier to imagine than a million faces. Easier to control.
And simultaneously, harder to live up to.
Especially when this group is yours. Parades the name you chose for yourself as it’s moniker of community. How does a person become an idea?
What was done to those millions of faces is done to you by them.
The leader, the only measure for a group, becomes a symbol.
Unfortunately, humans are fallible. Humans can’t be symbols.
If you want to change the world, you have to wander it. In silent acts of kindness and courage. In whispered rumors and gossip.

A thief in the night will do more for change than a good person in the sun’s light.

Stay good and keep transmitting.

Rumination 13

Constrained and managed lives are difficult to lead. Entire industries are built around the projection and public cultivation of image. The higher you go, the greater the spin. Eventually your individuality, your humanity is stripped away and only a caricature of a person remains. You find yourself defending the idea of what you should be.
You don’t know why you don’t want to give it up.
The faster the ascent; the more basic the idea.
It doesn’t have time to form. No chance to cultivate in heartbreaking anonymity. Its black and white; no range to be a vice you can live with. Anything that flies in the way, any small indiscretion is an attack on the image itself. It starts to suffocate.
So, how do you escape? How do you stop hiding in front of the world?
You don’t.
If you want out, you have to burn it to the ground. Even if it is everything you have ever built over the course of your consciousness. Your whole life.
Even if it burns you in the process.
Start a fire and raze the foundation.
Then on the blackened ground where your life used to shine, build it again. Slower this time. Of your own volition. Take the old lessons. The immature missteps, learn from them.
Move forward.
Sometimes the life you should save is your own.

-Stay good and keep transmitting. 

Catharsis

This should be Rumination 13, but hey, like much else in my life; we all know how that will go.

I will start by admitting I don’t exercise this catharsis as much as I used to; unfortunately, there have come to be a greater number of eyes on these places than before. I would chalk it up to anxiety, however, even I remember those days before, when this space was more frequented than ever. 

So, let’s dive in.

I’m in a rather strange place. A few interesting turns of events have somehow dropped me into the midst of people I never knew about and somehow now do. More personal attacks have put upon me choices I have dreaded for longer than I remember. The last eight months have dredged up memories I would rather leave in the past.

Until a few months ago, I would have called this the worst year of my life, no matter how adamantly I attempted to salvage it.

I can’t now. Too much has happened. To call it the worst would mean there was nothing to be learned from the fires burning around me. To label it so would be giving the world too little credit. And blatantly denying the fact there are four whole years of my life lost to God knows what, because I just CAN’T REMEMBER.

I have met, in this three quarter done year, the strongest and hardest working people I will ever know. I have met people who’ve told me that a stranger has given them a bit of happiness. I’ve re-introduced myself to everyone that once knew me. Lost something and someone I’d held very dear, but didn’t treat as if they were dear to me. Lost something I hated and, for some reason, feel it’s void more strongly than anything else.

I opined about two pink totes and a suitcase. Begged for the chance to live without ties to anyone or thing. Labored over my life’s work. Now I’m sitting at a keyboard struggling my way through a rumination that would have once taken maybe twenty minutes.

I’m still excited. I’m still crazy enough to believe I can do those wonderful and crazy things I’ve always imagined. I know I can’t do them alone. But I know that if I keep screaming into the void long enough, someone out there will hear me. And one voice will become two, until the voices become so deafening that I won’t need to scream anymore.

See, wanders like me, we’re temporary. We show up to tell you the tide can be changed, but you do the changing; in the process you change us. We’re not the leaders, those are born among you.

So, until next time, stay good and keep transmitting.

Rumination 12

WHY. Why do I have so much stuff? I used to be able to fit my life into 2 pink totes and a suitcase. Now I have a whole house worth of things without a whole house to put them in.
I have TWO cupcake makers. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND NEEDS TWO CUPCAKE MAKERS? Like 10 different candy molds, a cake pop maker, (have I ever even used it? WHAT?) FIVE CUSTOM CAKE MOLDS. The one that is shaped like a book fits into a tote and it will be mine forever. I will be buried with it.
I have 3 sets of GOBLETS? THREE? Buffet patters (I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER THROWN A PARTY. EVER.) AN EIGHT PERSON CUTLERY SET. WHAT? (Edit: I just looked at the box, it’s from Macy’s; it was $80) When am I going to use these? A SPICE RACK?!?!
The note cards and journals. I love them, I really do, but they only add to the clutter around me. Journals, I intend on slowly giving away to people I find fascinating. I’m going to miss them, but I know I would much rather they find use and not storage. There are journals that are nearly 15 years old.
The note cards will always find use. I have so many people to thank, and there will only be so many more.
I just can’t find it in me to throw anything out. Even when it’s obvious I don’t need it. I’m holding on to things better left in the past. Sure, I might get my own place again one day. But today isn’t that day. I can sit here letting the toxicity of this place ruin me, or I can venture out and find that forever I’ve always dreamt of.
I won’t let depression keep me. I won’t let my mistakes define me. There are symbols in this hoard of the person I was expected to be. Someone I never was, no matter how hard I tried.
I can’t sit still. I need the quiet comfort of lonely wandering. It’s maddening to think I can’t just be a wander. I can’t just pack up and hop a plane to nowhere. I don’t want the things everyone around me wants. I don’t want to get married, I’ve been on this Earth a while now and I’ve yet to find someone I could even fantasize a family with. I don’t want a place to which I am bound.
It’s lonely I know. But I crave the silence of a long drive. I yearn for the books read on wordless flights. I ache for places I’ve never seen.
I’m not naive enough to think two lives can run parallel eternal, but for the times some will run next to mine, I will offer the one eternity I can give; a space in my heart.
I am selfish, there is no defending that. I will wear it proudly. I am selfish. I think of my own happiness before progeny. I am selfish, because I want that which is most difficult to give. I want a space in your memories. I don’t want any more to be a passing glance on a sidewalk or a subway. Sad eye contact until the next bus stop.

I want to arrive at my death with open arms. Welcome embrace from a friend foiled twice. There will never be enough time; I just want to do enough in my time.

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