Suddenly he bent to his life and walked quickly out of sight. I gaped into the bleakness of my own days. I had an awful long way to go too. – JK, On the Road
Sitting on a bus you tend to have thoughts you wouldn’t normally have. (And staring out at King’s Road you tend to have thoughts you wished you’d never had). On the bus the mutual commuter misery is no longer compressed into the stale air of the tube carriage but dissipates out of the window. And too my thoughts dissipate into the city landscape and all its confused jumble of characters.
Here’s a secret no-one knows. Here’s the scary, awful truth: I have never felt so distant from my practice, from Sharath, from Mysore.
Loss. I am 15 years old again. I’m sat by the hospital bedside; I’m sinking into the wall. A part of the self dies. Where does it all go? All that love, all those memories melt without trace leaving only ghostly imprints. This is what grief does. Twisted, wretched insides burned from heartbreak and whisky: a transformation that occurs without your consent.
And once again it dawns quite bluntly that nothing is sacred. And still we decide to fall in love, make ties, attachments to one another, as though that will transcend the contingency of it all. As though in this messy search we will claw our way to that burdensome total truth. Who’s truth? I resign myself to ignorance. Where is this truth? It dissolves to dust as soon as I reach for it.
Exhaustion. I sink into the seat. 11 hour working day, 4 hour daily bus commute. Time segmented and determined, claimed by something larger than my knowing.
Every thought is so disjointed! A thorny disjuncture between the self and the world outside. This is where it all goes – a region between the two; between the sense of self and the tangible social world we live in – here falls the incomplete sentiments, here lies all that used up love, here lies all the words that were never said, here rests the regrets, here hides the truths that shape the heart of it all.
All I had was the city. But it was only grey air that filled my outstretched palms.