Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On A Starry Night

There is something about shadows cast by moonlight that makes you wonder if the night really is the opposite of day.

It took 1600 miles of travel, some forceful mind-shut, handful of friends and a starry night to make me realize that I need to change something about the way I live. Recently I had the privilege to walk on sand sparkling under moonlight, laughing among friends while the great arid expanse of earth watched. I stared in calmness at the stars while they seemed to be peeping into my soul. It struck me that the time is now, that life had to be lived daily and not on walks with friends on starry nights twice in a year.

Smelling hydrogen sulfide is not a pleasant experience in most situations. It certainly was not back when I was still actively learning chemistry. Smelling it on top of a mountain with colored crystals and thermal micro-organisms around was not unpleasant. I think it was wide blue sky and the laughter that really made the difference.

Attending meetings, sitting on a chair for most of the day, walking on human contrived spaces makes you forget how it feels to walk on sand, on mud, on twigs and on mountains. It takes water spraying out from the bare ground below your feet to really make you realize that you walk upon an alive ecosystem. 

I spend most of my time on things I do really like doing; called ‘work’. It is enriching and intellectually satisfying for the most parts. I am achieving my goal of learning. Except that lately, I have begun to learn the harder lessons of life – having to say No, not overworking, setting the correct expectations et al. These are difficult and boring lessons to teach and I think that’s why I never learnt them like I learnt TCP. But like most difficult and boring things, they are of immense importance. 

I traveled 1600 miles, touched and explored 5 states in 4 days with a few folks who form my family here. It made me realize that I’m not entirely wrong in the way I live my life, just that I have strayed a few units on the spectrum. A few units that seem like they will quickly catapult into me running off the line very quickly.

As I write this, I feel like a sportsman who goes into a practice session after a long injury. The limbs ache, the words are not as good as they can be. But I think I will get there if I keep living daily and not during walks on sparkling sand under starry nights, laughing and crying.

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