There was a phrase, a thought cluster that repeated itself all over Mysore the last month: Don’t be afraid to step into the unknown.
The only thing to say with any certainty about the process of getting older is that you become more accustomed to your edges. That is, you see the repetition of things, of your actions, and deduce that perhaps it is not simply error but what is consistent in you. Consistency becomes persona when we perform similarly enough times to have a coherent sense of who we take ourselves to be. Though sometimes what is consistent in us turns us off: bad habits, resentment, insecurities. How to remedy the gap between that which we are: problematic matter, and that which we ‘ought’ to be: in control, bounded.
Coming to the concrete realisation of being the odd one out: it’s a lesson I’m still learning. But then we are always becoming odd and becoming normal as we travel across different spaces. We’re moving targets. Failed performances start to become instructive when we see failure not as reflective of innate characteristics of our personhood but as reflective of environments that hold us or reject us. India is a place where I feel both held and rejected. It’s a space for unravelling but that unravelling rarely happens at a rate you can control. The cost of unravelling might cause you to feel violated. And it’s hard to find space for flourishing amidst violence.
How to build a world that can hold us when in constant transit, a world not centred around four walls, a world with no centre at all. When in flux what can hold us? What is lasting? Is it the practice, is it pure repetition itself. Is it love without the attachment – is it love that remedies the gap when our loves manage to hold an image of us more complete than the image we can hold of ourselves?