Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Winter bird

The winter bird is contemplative.
Unlike the bird of spring,
or even the bird of autumn
it is much less inclined to sing.

In winter there’s isn’t enough daytime to spare,
but all the time in the day to reflect. Winter is a time to prepare

For the ecstasies of spring
The headiness of summer, the enchanting rain
The mellow pleasures of autumn
Till winter comes visiting again.

And the winter bird sits down to comprehend:
Does a circle have a beginning? Is the beginning also the end?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Don't leave your room

Switch off the cell phone, turn off the television, unplug the radio, shut down the computer, pack away your books and simply wait. How many minutes did you last? How many minutes could you spend alone in your own company? Is it true that we crave social contact? Is it really necessity that keeps us ‘connected’? Incessantly seeking the company of another human being to reinforce the fact that we aren’t all alone.

Or, does this need for constantly being bombarded by words, images, and sounds reflect something else? Thoreau said, “I believe that men are generally still a little afraid of the dark, though the witches are all hung, and Christianity and candles have been introduced.”

In an age when even misanthropes become social media addicts, have we all become comfortable moving with the herd? Is it the end of solitude?

Or, may we try something different.

You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait,
be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked,
it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
--Franz Kafka, Senses

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I Am!

I am! yet what I am none cares or knows,
My friends forsake me like a memory lost;
I am the self-consumer of my woes,
They rise and vanish in oblivious host,
Like shades in love and death's oblivion lost;
And yet I am! and live with shadows tost

Into the nothingness of scorn and noise,
Into the living sea of waking dreams,
Where there is neither sense of life nor joys,
But the vast shipwreck of my life's esteems;
And e'en the dearest—that I loved the best—
Are strange—nay, rather stranger than the rest.

I long for scenes where man has never trod;
A place where woman never smil'd or wept;
There to abide with my creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept:
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie;
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.

(I Am! by John Clare)