Sunday, November 9, 2008

"The kingdom of heaven (and hell, i presume) is within you.."

This isn't a religious post. I personally don't believe much in religion, mainly because i find it slightly silly standing in front of a photograph / statue / engraving / book and praying for a miracle. Which doesn't mean i don't depend on miracles. Every day i get through without coming under a bus, or falling seriously ill, or getting fired - i consider that day miraculous. So yes, my life's blessed.

But coming back to the subject of my post: I just saw "Stigmata" for the 79th time. I usually watch the film to stare at Gabriel Byrne's good looking face as he plays the unbeddable priest conflicted about his faith. But this time, this line - "The kingdom of heaven is within you, and all around you..." - jumped out at me. It got me thinking about heaven, and then of hell. And then i read this:

Fathers and teacher
I ponder, "What is hell?"
I maintain it is
The suffering of being
Unable to love...
- Dostoevsky

Usually my blog is about carnality, some romance, but usually it's about when a boy met a girl, and me hoping for a romantic comedy ending instead of the usual alternative cinema "wha?" impasse and end credits. This time, however, I'm here to talk about my personal piece of hell i can't seem to put down.

Lately, i find myself unable to love. This phase began at the beginning of last month. I discovered that a supposedly benign growth in my friend's body was malignant and spreading. She had to lose her ability to bear children to save her own life. I know the choice seems like a no-brainer, but a week before the operation, she'd told me that she really hoped she wouldn't lose her ovaries. As she lay recovering under sedatives, all i wondered was what would happen to me if she died.

Then the terrorists picked that week to attack Bombay, a city I adore. Then my favorite 'father-figure' Uncle was diagnosed with a growth in his throat. And then my Boss at my event-management gig was a total prick to me. And my friend's father died after a year of suffering. Suddenly my job of planning events that would sell more FMCG products didn't seem like so meaningful after all. And i've been doing this for a year and a half now - longer than most of my long-term relationships. All of these things together have just somehow cauterised my sensory nerves, to the extent that i feel nothing really.. except maybe fatigue.

So i took a step back and took a long hard look at my life. I'm going to be 31. I'm sleeping with a 25 year old sweet boy with whom no matter how naked i get, i'm not ever intimate with. At the start of it all, he seemed to be the answer to my prayers - no strings attached fun times. But now, while the going is still good, it's.... pointless.

Everything seems just a little bit more pointless everyday. And somewhere in the middle of all this, i've misplaced my fearlessness. Every little thing strikes fear in my life - what will i do if my friend dies? Or my mom? If i die, will anyone notice me missing? Will i ever love again, like i used to? Like i used to have the energy to? Will i write that damn book or will i be the 'so much potential but all wasted' person one never hears about? I'm scared i shall never be able to love anything so deeply again that i will want to fight for it. And because of that, i shall waste away, slowly, minimally, every day, like a bit of dust blowing off the sand dunes of a desert, until there will be nothing there... and no one to even remember that it wasn't always this way.

I'm also scared that i don't know how to change this.