Monday, February 7, 2011

Embracing Imperfection

This morning after what seems to me a millennial hiatus, I stepped into my patio to inhale the fresh air and enjoy the wintry landscape for a while. In the summer I had made it a quotidian habit to sit outside every morning and write for an hour. The habit had proved extremely beneficial in that not only I observed the diurnal march of nature, but also imbibed its daily sights and sounds steeped in the hustle of work-life that surrounded it to the fullest. With the advent of winter, however, the habit had to break, and, like all broken habits, it soon ceased to bother me any longer.  I added one more leaf to my archive of forgotten habits and lived happily until today when a terrible discomfort in the being caused by the stifling conditioned airwaves inside the apartment, and the absence of my lovingly paternal spouse forever worried about by health and well-being, I decided to step out for a breather. Upholstered from head to toe in winter garments and carrying a cup of caffeinated beverage and my writing book I walked out. I cleaned my red chair littered with dead leaves and dust and sat on it and almost bewilderingly observed the changed landscape surrounding me. The green trees of summer have given way to slightly shivering nude branches with flakes of dead brown leaves clinging to them like barely-there lingerie. The uncovered few bird nests looked like once comfortable homes destroyed by some mighty storm. Still, despite it all, the whole area seemed dear and calm. Having just returned from a skyscraperized city where people diverted by industrial glitter rarely notice the constellations in the sky, this imperfect landscape of broken branches, dilapidated bird nests and cloudy skies beckoned me warmly. The warmth of the chilly winter wind soothed the sinews and the whole atmosphere felt romantically somniferous.  I closed my eyes and breathed while the voice in my head composed lines that waited to be written. 

Poetry is what I wrote today, rhymed lines dedicated to an imperfect beauty. The lines came naturally, not one artificial pressure stroke was imposed on the process of creation today--the work was natural, organic. As I wrote, I wondered about the landscape more and more: I wondered how it had looked a century back, tried to imagine its uninhabited past and pondered the essence of the industrial revolution and modern virtual insurgency that has robbed a sizable portion of contemporary human beings of the finer sense of appreciating something as organic and simple as Nature. We drive to distant lands to catch its glimpse, yet we turn a deaf ear to its knock on our own door. As I observed the gray, wintry sky with sheets of clouds blanketing it, I couldn’t help but feel contented at having retained a bit of that old romantic sense in me. I don't know how many of you can afford the simplest joys of daily life any more being so much blinded and sidetracked by your enormous web-presence where joy starts with seeing yourself under the virtual limelight, calumniating a less intelligent individual, mocking him for an advertent or an inadvertent mistake, or taking part in ceaseless discussions that never reach a saturation point. Under this wintry firmament I felt all the stress of expectation, the fear of denunciation, the need to prove my might fade into annihilation. A sense of peace overcame me richer than all the riches of the world combined, truer than even the force of true ambition. In a moment everything worldly seemed so futile; the need to present myself under narcissistic limelight, to constantly provoke arguments by words or actions, all seemed fruitless. The thought made me happy instantly; my limited resources seemed sufficient, my own imperfect, blemished face seemed beautiful to the greatest degree. Yes, in the presence of imperfection, under the hood of chill and rain, I felt beautiful and happy and found myself reciting, once again, those oft quoted lines from Wordsworth's, I wandered lonely as a cloud:
"For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils."

This morning I welcomed my philosophical didactic self to play on its pedantic music and allowed it to compose a verse that has no purpose but to please myself. And pleased I was, to the fullest, to the degree humanly possible. Today I was happy to feel that in my life I am done pleasing others, done forgetting myself in the virtual deluge of opinions and constant meaningless exchanges with strangers. Today I felt complete and happy for what I am and not what I shall be.