Between light and darkness, sandwiched between the sun and the moon, trapped within day and night lie two phenomena which has engrossed gazers and thinkers alike – dawn and dusk.
We all know the day. Its the span of the twenty four hour clock when you can see what you’re shown. When the world bustles into activity, to hustle in the tussle of individual battles. It’s when the normal people do their work, shuttling between the monotonous regimes of bounds they have twisted themselves into. It’s run by the same sun that fed your ancestor and feeds you too. The day, is the white.
Let me tell you about the night, the night I know. Its the span of the twenty four hour clock when you actually try to see things with your eyes. When the world settles into the confines of their comfy beds, aberrant people like me try to think their way out of the bounds we find ourselves in. It’s signified by the same moon which was gaped at by many a poet and lovers over generations, me included. Since you know not much about it, let’s call it the black.
But they aren’t exactly the two sides of a coin. Day and night don’t flip into each other, they transform. And the transformations are called daybreak and twilight. They are the zones, when both lose their rigid properties, and just for a while, mix into each other. If you’re normal, you often miss it. You miss the first wave of warmth after a cold night or the first cool breeze after a hot day; with the sky bearing a fantastic palette of scarlet, crimson, orange, yellow and blue; full of activities of the winged marvels. You miss the satisfaction of knowing how and when your day passed or why you are awake as the day breaks.
It’s those blurry areas between extremes, the actual spectrum between the ends of a spectrum, the swish of the pendulum. Transitions have always played an important role in every aspect of life – changing, building, growing – developing things, people, relationships and emotions.
Did I say emotions? Sure then, let’s see the spectrum of emotions.
The ends of the spectrum are pretty well documented.
The sheer force with which the tide of emotions flow in; sweeping every deed, chore and productivity in it’s path. The volume of it being so massive it renders time useless, reduced to mere tickings of the clock. The pull, which is futile to resist, easily takes you to places you left but didn’t really move out from and even more easily reopens scars mildly tapered upon. Scars which burn the more you drown in the swamp, like salt on raw, live flesh. You feel you’re holding up the sky, with your hair greying quicker than ever. You question everything you’ve done, every stance you’ve stood for, every decision taken and every reaction given. No body has time for you, loneliness vests deep into your soul. You feel there’s no bigger monster in this world than you, that everything is your fault, and that the world is a better place without you.
And then there are some days where in you release yourself from every pillar ever tied to you. The absolute feeling of carefree carelessness, when a respectful shamelessness seeps into your being. Your happiness seems ineffable, unbreakable and it just radiates off you wherever you go. You feel on top of the world, liberated from everything that ever held you back, free as a winged marvel. You just don’t care about the wrongs in the world, you don’t care if you’ve erred somebody, you don’t feel lonely because you have your time and attention for yourself. You feel there’s love, in you around you, but most vitally important, for you. The world beams of colours you’ve never seen before, sings of tunes you’ve never heard before and laughs with you to things meant to tickle forever.
But you know what both the ends are. How both feel.
Ever felt that you have neither but need either of the two ends? That you’re in such a grey that you need either the white or the black? Ever noticed that both – exhilarating happiness and excruciating pain have their own weird pulls? Ever wondered how sadness can have a pull? Ever realised, that you actually have a choice here to make? You either choose the daybreak or the twilight. Since you’re normal, you’ll choose the daybreak.
You choose happniess. You choose it in spite of the fact that it requires a certain level of wilful ignorance. You ignore the wrongs done and the bad happenings, because you know of ten more rights done and good things done. You let things go, because your soul can’t bear to be weighed down. So you approach happiness. From your monotone you cannot break out of, you seek small pleasures. You treat every small pleasure as a treasure, and you are more than willing to share your treasures. You try to make sure you have a genuine smile on your face, and you make sure to pass it on. You choose it, so you drag yourself from the shackles of the grey nothingness and scamper towards your happiness. And that is when you realise that happniess isn’t the smile on your face, it is the smile you give to someone else’s face. You understand that happiness isn’t your treasure, its sharing the treasure. You grasp that happiness isn’t end of the spectrum, it is the work towards it. Happiness isn’t the white, it is the part just before it. Happiness is the transition. Happiness, is the daybreak.
Me, however, I don’t choose happiness at times.
I often have a compelling love for the lure of sadness. The alcoholic love of pain, of desolateness, of the sad melancholy filling your ears. My soul prefers to stay down and look at things in their crudeness, rudeness and crassness. I don’t try to pull away from the grey, instead I let it slide me into shades growing darker and darker. I see things the way they are – rugged, rocky and raw. And however as much I feel like addressing them, I know it’s not going to change. The cotton can’t cut the rock, no matter how thick. And the rock can’t be sewn into cloth, no matter how slender it is. So I let the black pull me in. But it is the black for a reason, and it doesn’t take me in completely. I can only get closer and closer, but never really reach it. It’s almost like the black is a place I feel I belong, yet at times it leaves me with a pit in my stomach which yells of no belonging anywhere. Nevertheless, I look forward to darkness, yet I struggle to find it. I am trapped in twilight.
Because we don’t know what actually ‘the white’ is, but ‘the black’, is definitely death.