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.

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. 

Cosmic Perspective

Everything we know about anything has been discovered on this giant rocky space bucket. It orbits a massive ball of fire; located on one of the outer arms of a galaxy filled with them. All held together by a point of density so great even light cannot escape.

But it isn’t the only one.

We are one of many, lighting the infinite void of SpaceTime. And we know all of this because a speck of dust dared to defy gravity and look up.

Our first act was that of defiance.

This Game

I’ve got this little black dress
A dollar to my name
Some hope in my pocket
And I’m here to play this game
Won’t be bound by
Ghosts of our memories
Won’t be held back by
Things we used to be
(we used to be)
I’ve got this tattered black dress
A few pennies to my name.
A drop of hope in my pocket
When’d you change the rules to this game?
You can wake up
In a different bed every morning
You can tell me
It’s the play of the rich
(But shame for the poor)
Now I’ve got this torn black dress
Not a penny to my name
Spent the hope in my pocket
But at least I’ve won your game.
I’m done now
Cause I can see
People like me
Shouldn’t speak!
(I was never one of you)
I’ve got this new black dress
Don’t need the dollars that you gave
Gathering some hope in my pockets
So no one else will have to play this game.
-A.J. Sandhu 14-June-2015

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.

Rumination 11

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that one of the reasons you aren’t a part of something anymore isn’t because you didn’t like the thing itself, but because you didn’t like the people involved.
Not just because it clashed with your science or your personal research, but because people who are fanatical stop listening the moment you tell them you disagree. They are convinced you aren’t there to teach them, that you’re there to yell at them for being wrong.
I will admit I learned my extreme patience from these arguments, however, butting heads without any support is the most difficult experience of my life. And honestly, going through depression without ANY help from my “faith,” caused me to lose it. To be told over and over again that I just needed to SNAP out of it. Now, the faith itself isn’t to blame, and I need to be very clear about that.
My depression became a catalyst for the change I needed to make in my life. I was going to end up in this place anyway. Studying Astrophysics was already leading me in that direction. My faith was too small. It couldn’t stand up to the questions I had. It fell before me like all of the others when I had questioned them. For some people, faith is necessary. It is good, it keeps them good. To call it a crutch is a false equivalent and cruel. I don’t care if the fear of an afterlife is what causes you to be decent. As long as you are decent.
I was lucky enough to be raised in a religion that promoted equality of caste, gender, race, and denomination. One that was adamant “God” was the center and we were all on paths home. If anyone says otherwise they’ve made a habit of misreading the texts.
My mother explained the analogy best to me when I was 14. We were driving back home, and she decided to take the opportunity to teach us something; by taking a different road. It took a little bit longer, but we got to see another part of the landscape around our house. While driving she explained the roads were different, but if used properly, they all lead to the places we wanted to go.
That is what the faith I grew up in taught her, so she taught us. But people corrupt it and spin it into shadows of what it could be.
I don’t care to argue this. I’m not here to inform you about things I no longer practice, I just need to get the words out. Because I’m sitting alone a room, unable to do anything. This is the last I will speak of faith, or lack of, unless it is to answer a question that delves into why I am the way I am. I’m not here to tell you to believe or not believe. I write because I want you to think for yourself. Don’t let “traditionalists” get in the way of reading and learning things on your own. If you’re going to argue with people like that, you have to know more than they do.

One day you might find after you’ve learned as much as you think you can, that you don’t know anything at all. That the arguments are petty and small. That there is beauty in our insignificance. We tiny people, who may fade without a whisper, should spend the limited time we have learning and doing as much good in this world as we can. Because there will never be enough time.

Rumination 10

The past couple of years have been a trip. I still have a tough time getting out of bed in the morning, but at least I recognize that something is wrong. Before I couldn’t even manage that.
 
I don’t know what’s happened in the last two years, honestly. My old blog just has posts from 2011 and a smattering in 2012. My online accounts were basically dead.
 
I went to India at the end of 2012 and came back in 2013 with this overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way things are. Why we are willing to accept injustice just because that’s the way it’s always been. I would talk about the ancient taste in the atmosphere of India, and completely ignore the vast and equally important ancientness of the American atmosphere I was born into. How awful, to feel as if the land itself has been made to forget.
 
In India, things are the way they are because that is their tradition. The poor have always been poor, the rich are rich and the ones that inspire change. Bards are born when the land deems it so. There is so much that needs to be changed there, but much more that needs to change here.
 
I went to India and came back disappointed in the country I was born to, because we weren’t better than the worst I had seen. We weren’t better and we should be.
 
We pretend.
 
I pretend.
 
I’m so tired of pretending.
 
I am part of a land that violently stomped out the ancientness of the air and built something new upon the graves. I am born into the country of change. There is no tradition here. How can there be? Tradition is born of history, of which remains here but a few hundred years. In 1914 there were only 48 states. Even our current flag isn’t tradition.
 
In the United States, there is no such thing as all way things have always been. This is dragged me out. This thought saved me.
 
My parents did something that hadn’t been done, and if they hadn’t I wouldn’t be here. And I am living in, I was born in, one of the few places that aren’t bound to tradition.
 
I get to flail and fail, and then pick myself back up. Try again, fail better, fail harder, and maybe one day succeed. This needs to be our tradition. Because life is too rare in our present universe to waste on “the way things are.”  

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