“The present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead.”
A couple of days back I read a brainpickings article titled: The Quicksand of Existence: Sylvia Plath on Life, Death, Hope, and Happiness.
Almost every time that I have ventured into any Sylvia Plath writing, it has taken me ample amount of hours to get out of it. And I have often wondered if it is her words or the life she led (and the death she chose) mirrored in retrospect now through her words, that make it so. Jury is still out on that 🙂
But yes coming back to this article, the ideas and thoughts she presented in this collection of journal pieces (compiled by Maria Popova) created a furor in my mind.
There is a certain portion of the journal that I will re-create here first to set some precedence:
Not to be sentimental, as I sound, but why the hell are we conditioned into the smooth strawberry-and-cream Mother-Goose-world, Alice-in-Wonderland fable, only to be broken on the wheel as we grow older and become aware of ourselves as individuals with a dull responsibility in life? … * to go to college fraternity parties where a boy buries his face in your neck or tries to rape you if he isn’t satisfied with burying his fingers in the flesh of your breast. * to learn that there are a million girls who are beautiful and each day that more leave behind the awkward teen-age stage, as you once did, to embark on the adventure of being loved and petted. * to be aware that you must compete somehow, and yet that wealth and beauty are not in your realm. … * to learn that you can’t be a revolutionary. * to learn that while you dream and believe in Utopia, you will scratch & scrabble for your daily bread in your home town and be damn glad if there’s butter on it. …
Why are we conditioned into the Alice-in-Wonderland fable?
To finally learn that you cannot be a revolutionary.
Remember, remember the fifth of November!
For most of us the everyday realities and progressive death nails of practical solutions decide the faith of Alice and Revolutionary within. Moments of glory are marred by tried and tested ideas of some one else. And it is not forced on us. No. One cannot sit down and blame the world. It is a choice. That we make.
The paths are always there. The rabbit is still guarding the hole. The flags of march-past are still up high.
But the inner Alice and revolutionary together decide. Together embark on the lonesome journey to the centre of nowhere.
And what are we left with? Only the brief memory of having dreamed something. Of having an idea worth emulating inside head. Causing a smile some day. A sigh the other time.
A lot of my friends ask me. Every now and then. When? When will that complete eureka moment arrive? And I often find myself smiling, nodding or adding a witty retort in response. But truth is. Since tonight I am in that kind of mood, I shall speak.
To quote what I earlier said, the lonesome journey to the centre of nowhere that Alice and revolutionary together embark. Well, I am there.
At nowhere. A lot of things pass my mind, many missed opportunities haunt back. And yet the revoluiton has not arrived. She is sleeping perhaps- Alice, the Revolutionary. She has called it a truce with the Queen is seems and doesn’t wish to change her course any time soon. 🙂
So I am waiting and hoping for the rabbit to arrive.
But you tell me tonight, have you allowed the Alice within and her dreams to take course of your life? Have you denied the revolution?
The life I am living is not the same as the life that wants to live in me- Palmer