...I wonder about when there’s nothing else to do
How is buying books, ‘owning’ hundreds of books piled up here, there and everywhere in the house, not a form of consumerism?
How do you answer certain questions without tearing down someone’s cherished ideas about human society and human aspiration?
For example: ‘why do you watch birds? What do you get out of it?’
How can people not be amazed at the life of a bird? Any bird.
Yet how melancholy we become at the changing of the human made landscape, the passing of things– that Café now a pharmacy; that rundown empty warehouse now an apartment complex. (Never mind that once that Café was a clump of trees on a cliff; that warehouse, a river’s bed.)
How it makes us mourn.
Our memories and aspirations are imprisoned within things.
Without books we have no knowledge, without that Café and that warehouse we have no memory. Without these few object– books and other ‘memorabilia’ we surround ourselves with– things we can’t live without, we are nothing.
In the absence of our material world we are nothing.
That is what every wise person since time immemorial has been trying to explain.
Kuch pane ke liye, kuch khona padta hai (roughly it means to get something, you lose/give up something)
Writing. Walking. Watching birds is an exercise in giving up a sense of self– the one that is bound by memories and aspirations.
What is gained is nothing.
When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.