Thursday, July 08, 2010

the Amnesiac

What did the great sages and scribes have in mind when they sat down and painstakingly chronicled the nature of human folly; when they etched it on papyrus and couched it in so grand a setting that the stories would be told to children for ages to come. Might they have been in awe of the possibility of imagination ? To experience an entire story as if it were he in that story, he in that miserable state, he who is caught in the grips of passion and he who is enduring an ordeal so painful that it ought to have been avoided. And surely showing us the ways in which our ancestors became successful, the ways in which they failed, the things that made them laugh and the things that made them cry, would settle once and for all what each of us must do in our miniscule time on earth- rather like the stars and the galaxies had managed to settle among themselves what they need to do over and over again across millenia.

Yet. We forget. All the time we forget about our errors. And the few times we remember, we convince ourselves that we are now so practiced in erring that we are incapable of making them any longer. And all the time enemies are made for reasons that should've long since stopped surprising us but each time we are caught off-guard. Wars are fought over things we needn't desire and we never stop. And all the time we burn our fingers as though since the last time, we'd grown an entirely new kind of skin. All the time we feel hurt, pain and anguish and we promise ourselves never to let it happen again. For reasons not altogether different, it happens again. And we're shocked. Did the scribes forget man's impressive ability to forget ?

Everyday children attempt to walk after falling over and over again. They forget the pain. And everyday mothers feed their children having forgotten the need for gratitude. And in several corners of the world scientists and artists are experimenting, having forgotten the embarrassment of their last failure. And all over the world peope are learning to love again having forgotten the last time their heart was broken. And several of these children will fall again before they really walk. And mothers will cry quiet tears at night. And scientists will go drinking at bars and new lovers will sometimes never go on to become old lovers.

But when the cavemen drew gory drawings about wolves who steal his kids, we tamed the wolves into dogs. When they drew about the wrongful deaths of their brothers who asked nothing else but their fair share in the day's bounty, we came to create democracy. The scribes told us about the scary world, about the hyena ridden valleys and the cheetah's lair. And we crossed all of that and made it to the moon. And there we saw the stars and the galaxies repeating their lives all the time. But they too are moving further and further, faster and faster, in search of something. They clash, collide and bang their heads against enormous walls and seethe in fury.

Meanwhile, the universe decrees rather simply that we RINSE......
AND REPEAT.

1 comment:

loquacioustaciturnity said...

i wonder what would've been written if they were aware of man's capability to forget.