43 to Friern Barnet

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.

Goodbye, goodbye.

All I had was the city. But it was only grey air that filled my outstretched palms.

I Don’t Live Here Anymore

So on the precipice of leaving my current life I find I am more unprepared than ever: feeling restless, being careless, and distanced from myself.

Why India? Why Mysore? Why Ashtanga yoga? Why indeed. I cannot quite explain to myself why and how, but a time comes in ones life when we can choose to listen to the heart, or continue to be dictated by the rationalizing of the brain. If you are lucky – and I feel lucky – you will choose to finally respectfully disregard the latter. And find yourself entering the unexplored territory of (your)self.

The journey is boundless. Here I will attempt to record some of the scattered thoughts I experience and through this perhaps form my own blueprint. The attempt to document the intangible, express the transitory ever changing movements of life will never quite succeed of course.

And so to get there – here – you must burn the bridges that structure your life. My vocation (academia), my job (in a bookshop), my identity (composite of the former two), my safety net (my loved ones).

What is the saying? – to reach the island you must first lose sight of the shore. And just in case you want to know how the feeling of being adrift is, I will tell you. It is akin to a permanent nausea, a nausea that somehow numbs sensations, so that in this non-place, you as a self are also non. A malleable, shapeless, faceless form, expectant and waiting, and waiting…

Those close to me exclaim their sadness at my impending farewell and I remain unresponsive and unmoved. But I just can’t get tearful about my leaving, because I already said goodbye many months ago. And since then I have been in this nauseuated shapeless space. Something has gone from inside me and I just can’t get it back.

And in coming back to zero, coming full circle once again, after screwing up another year; I am distanced from my yoga practice, falling into bad habits, lacking vitality.

The final bridge (The Past) has to undergo its necessary erosion, and it is a messy, scary process. Wading through memories, the losses pile up; the burning sensation inside the chest won’t fade; the eyes sticky with hesitant tears.

The Past is the last battle, but victory only leaves you with an ambiguous future and the haphazard, unpredictable now.

What on earth will occur – living in the hap – and no longer just writing about it?