Friday, June 6, 2014


The pen, which i hold clutched in my fingertips, wavers. I shudder with forebodings and unnamed fears. I am about to do something drastic, to extricate, from my imagination, a contingent sliver of my imagination and embalm it. The incessant chatter of conglomerated thoughts in my head is distracting. I pace the room, in a state of frenetic tumult, beset by nervous energy. My writing, even before it is formed into whorled hieroglyphs, exists immanent in me. In many ways it feels i am turning inside out, disgorging my innards into artistic form. But it is precisely this churning mess in me that rendered me desirous of reshaping my primordial inchoateness into a sheath, a structure. I am suffused with ambition though i feel constrained by my inescapable femininity. But my femininity, the fetter which makes writing iconoclastic is also what, in its encapsulation of my lived experience, makes the writing possible. So i exist in the interstice of negating and actualizing. In the process i undergo my own revivification.

I need to discard that which defines me and don that which is constitutive of myself, through myself. In order to divest the appendages of tradition i had to relinquish that which was expected of me. After years of molding myself according to someone else's expectations i found this self assertion tremulous. But over time, with reiterated self suggestion  i crystallized my gossamer, nascent but new self. The newness and unformulated but indubitably configurable identity i became kept me fluid, in a state of vigilant readiness. A certain elasticity was observable but i was sure that i needed to be unequivocally intransigent about certain things. Retraction was impossible because my whole being would be abrogated. But the new self i allude to  was was also a congealing of subterrenean, subversive aspects of my old self. I was not a tabula rasa , hatched out of nothingness. I was a contingent being and in me, indwelling ,was both the propensity of submergence and transcendence. By thus irradiating my outer with the lineaments or remnants of my metaphysical inner, i became.

And in the process i discovered that an assiduous traversing of history revealed foremothers who had paved the path. That i was part of a long line of descent and would be for posterity thrilled me. And it was this analysis of my lot in conjunction with history that drew attention to the subjugation of my lot and our need for an alternate history. My feminism bubbled and simmered, shimmered and refracted shafts of red hot energy that was an inducement, a stimulus.

But write i would anyway. Could i have abrogated my context and picked up the pen i would willingly have done do. But history was a phenomenon that was my ontology. I couldn't be unmindful or unheeding. Evincing insouciance would undermine the polemicism of my endeavor but too forceful a cleaving would rob me of the spontaneity i sought to infuse my craft with. I needed a middle ground. But then it is in the very act of putting pen to paper that will resolve these meanderous peregrinations into art and life.

My mind stills. I get back to the desk, pick up my pen and begin writing. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Memory was a phenomenon rendered threadbare through exegesis. The self too, as philosophers inveterately evinced, was exhausted. So when i began to put together self and memory as an area of inquiry which, given my rather inquisitive nature, augmented by the yearnings reading precipitated and notwithstanding the venerable work already done in these areas, i was aware of breasting choppy waters. I felt vulnerable, my ideas felt makeshift tenuous and presumption rather than iconoclasm constituted my chief misgiving about this whole enterprise.

However, my recollection of trying to find patterns is tinged with valediction because back then, i was, ingenuous, earnest, rigorous and relentless. The spirit of intellectual zest that infused me the was overwhelming. Often i would become enervated than galvanized when the possibilities stretched forth. It was a feeling akin to a momentary suspension before plunging into the abyss. I stalled importunity, hoping that this infinitesimal but necessary intercession, even if it manifested itself in paralyzing immobility, was a way of squaring my shoulders, taking a deep breath before the unavoidable plunge. Mingled with the preparatory forebodings were also vertiginous feelings of terror.

In any case the search for connections is, i feel, a universal one. As a child i sought to find and make connections because i had a naive belief that the world was explicable. Whole areas of unreason were still unopened for me. A safe canopy was a sheathe against the nightmares nighttime brought in its wake. But while my day self yearned, despite the safety net, for further inchoateness to be resolved my nocturnal self sought the very humdrum banality i eschewed in my wakeful moments.

A nightmare, i often find, is like a memory. It brings to the fore, through unclassified and unfathomed regions of the unconscious , areas of experience that clearly lie latent, incipient, awaiting actualization.The fact that the dream, might  itself is be reconfigured memory, for are not dreams wish fulfillment and memories commemorative. The recollection may be random but its emotional register is undeniable. A dream, like a memory may thrill, ennoble, excite, dismay, traumatize. But the underlying experiential constituent, however unfathomable, is inviolable.

Memories and dreams are different though repression, sometimes, contingently, solders them. And i think now that the self that experienced the experience and the self that recaptures or remembers are not static. Psychic propulsion happens, consciousnesses accumulate, discard, negate, affirm, accouter and relegate.

It was inconceivable to me to find, as my meanderings here suggest, a core philosophy around all this. The cadence of the memory was altered, experience was relooked at, the self metamorphosed. So finding a link between self and memory, which my impetuosity tried best to unravel, remained or rather resolved into protean horizons where the more relentlessly a fulcrum was sought the more insouciantly was another random, reconstructed whorl dredged up where in through  the mosaic of being, i became, from a pseudo philosopher seeking certitudes a seeker after the inexpressible. 


Today she felt jubilant. Peals of laughter tinkled off her . Suddenly, inexplicably, surprisingly she felt immense joy. The joyousness bubbled in her, excited her. She felt alive, she felt sharp, alert, crystalline, almost as if the world, whose plumage had hitherto been folded in on itself had miraculously unfurled. She soared high, she delved deep, she partook of the luminiscences and plumbed the mysteries and all, all because she felt, suddenly, inexplicably, irrepressibly, irresistibly alive.

She swooped down to the breakfast room where her lover had set out cups of tea and toast. She kissed her lips, tasting the freshness of the morning air on her breath. Good morning, was her carillon of effusion on this morning and she meant it, sincerely meant it. Months of frigidity, being clammed up had put a stop to her physical life. 'Shush, just come with me, its a beautiful morning' she said and twirled and pirouetted with her lover in her arms. She kissed her again and again, draining to the dregs the essences of ambrosia her lips beheld. Today was a perfect day. Everything was going to be fine.

She stepped out and almost ,in her not inconsiderable excitement, swallowed the sun as she lifted up her face. For , today, of all day's she wanted to ingest, take in whole that great ball of fire whose incandescence send shafts of desire refracting throughout her body.

Her thoughts were a conglomeration of multitudes of other unlocatable thought processes. She thought feverishly of the novel that burgeoned in her. 'I have discovered a new form' she inwardly exulted. 'I have discovered something no one has before me'. And almost at once she wanted to put aside everything, rush to her desk and scribble and scribble. Even now, her consciousness unpeeled frenetically words whose inchoate jumblings created arabesques of patterned whorls of such transcendence that she felt becalmed in a realm of absolute happiness. She was suspended in ecstasy. But no, there were the groceries to pick, friends to meet, doctor to terminate all sessions with.

She thought fondly of her therapist, with retroactive valediction. She would tell her today that the moment had arrived where the skin of a troubled past was shed and the integument rippled, heaved, surged with nascent, latent, unlived, unlimited potentiality. 'Thank you for all you've done for me but now i want to manage on my own' she rehearsed internally.Month after month they both had unpicked, sifted, sorted. As each aspect of her life was analysed years of uncontainable sadness had , through accretions, congealed into, intractable melancholia. But prozac had buttressed her, things were clearer now. Life was good. Psychotherapy was normative. She had access to a deeper truth. There was a realm beyond the corporeal where her sadness would be rendered explicable, redeemable. Sadness was a metaphor for a sad world. And how sad it seemed , writers were when their vision was unactualized. And  a vision was plumbing a metaphysical. Metaphysical was the ineffable and made believers out of sceptics. Life was good. A new form had been discovered. She had broken through and now looked forward to an  apotheosis.

Outside the therapists office a police officer, a local gp and a community healthcare psychiatrist detained her. No no she protested smilingly, expostulating , nothing was wrong with her. She was out for a bit of a jaunt. Her loquaciousness rendered them fractious. Something was injected and she blanked out. On waking up she saw herself in a hospital bed with a white bedspread. And writ large, for her psychic blueprints, with indubitable clarity, entombed in her file was the  word - psychosis. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


After i freed myself from his clutches i often thought of the narrow escape i'd had. With another turn of the dice i would even have killed myself, such was his overwhelming, overpowering impact on me. It has always been so with a narcissist, first an ingenuous subsumption, followed by incredulous disbelief in the continuity of the predicament and culminating in a heartbreaking sundering. Letting go was perhaps a sane thing to do, a self preservation which any protracted engagement would have robbed me off.

Strangely i loved him, still do, in fact. Though it is a love accreted with prevarication, self loathing, projections and deceptions. Was then, breaking through a choice or was it a choice always already made. Here i was, a bundle of contradictions, defined by forces beyond me, struggling to express myself in my own, small, individuated way. I felt the weight of centuries of norms, preconceptions thwarting me yet these self same fetters were also the conditions of my release. My confinement was a precondition for my liberation or rather freedom was immanent in my incarceration, most of it self imposed and willfully perverse.

So i put up with his misdemeanors because i believed he loved me as much as i loved him. This was a strange love where my being was unmitigatedly submerged under his will. Each tidbit into myself he proffered i gulped down uncritically uncomplainingly. Certainly before i met him i had a tenuous sense of self. He gave me certitude, a certitude compounded of extrojection and pathology. He made me believe the worst about me and he got away with it because i was merely a negation, a blank space he filled with his arcane, recondite and self serving etchings.

Yet my negation negated his own sense of negation. He fattened himself on my emaciated soul and the nourishment he sought was a form of psychological deadlock for me.He needed me as much as i believe i needed  him and perhaps his need, however solipsistic it was, was my nourishment, my way of ameliorating the emptiness in my own existence. From our respective spiritual impoverishments we soldered complicitly though the overcompensations his soullessness led him to was bewildering for me, unanticipated. If he amalgamated a narcissistic self i revelled in my disintegration. The reason why it took so long to leave was because the abyss of existential freedom  free choice would engender was inconceivable and terrifying for me. Better to be immured in a self constructed dependency than face the precipitous depths.

In any case ,i left. Not a brave choice or not even, perhaps a choice but merely a retroactive discovery of the choicelessness of the human lot, the burden of existing and living. So i reverted to my constituents,gleaning, from each stipple, each brushstroke the work of art i would make of myself, would become. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


She experiences guilt. She feels guilty about a lot of things but her sense of it is unformulated and inchoate. Unformulated because this vague disquiet has an ontology she is yet to locate. Inchoate because a compendium of causalities float around, from which the slivers are yet unextricated. Hence the heavy feeling in her chest, the after effect of guilt, a guilt she can neither resolve and expunge. She feels weighed down, an inexpressible sorrow drags at her but , as aforementioned, the inability to come to terms with this burden gives her melancholia.

Guilt is a prickle of conscience. Guilt is the realization, she realizes, of something wrong that has been done which needs redressal and alleviation. Guilt needs a third person for absolution. She writes furiously in her journals, the dotted, feverish, frenetic scribblings indenting on the page hieroglyphs of conscientious accountability. Yet she feels, despite momentary exculpation, an inadequacy, a need for a third person to confess, to lay the burden of her sins before, to be granted redemption. This,she ruminates, is the unprepossessing but incontrovertible colloquy between guilt and its restitution.

Guilt is a way of the mind to tell itself that actions have consequences. Guilt is acknowledging the social fabric within which our self determination exists. Guilt is the awareness that the self is not the be all and end all of human discourse but that a larger moral, social fabric renders us accountable. Guilt is the coming to grips with the factuality of the limits of the id and the need for a punitive superego to check our actions, to remind us of our  fallibility and propensity of falling from grace. Guilt is the postlapsarian effluvium of original sin.

Months go by. She has traversed a whole gamut of emotions. She fingers the white marks on her wrists, fading, resultant of the wounds she self inflicted with a razor. She recalls the tube coiling her oesophagus from which pills were pumped. She remembers those sessions with the psychoanalyst who taught her the dubious art of self forgiveness and exemption from all personal acts of guilt inducement through the label' clinical depression'. She still feels inundated with guilt. But now she can coexist peacefully with it. She has now accepted the irrevocability of human action and all impossibility of retractability. The guilt now, instead of oppressing her, makes her exultant. Guilt, she figures, is why she feels alive. 

Monday, June 2, 2014


I take to gazing at the mirror. Mirrors fascinate me. But ,unlike occasions in the past, when the reduplication of my own countenance, revealed through the mediation of the image, enthralled me, the present yields only a simulacrum of that primal pleasure. Through the intercession of the impassive reflector i endeavored to apprehend the depths of my being, that primordial synthesis which the process of becoming severed me from.

Why, you may ask can merely seeing myself reflected precipitate such self awareness and perhaps there is immanent in consciousness, a tendency towards reflection which reflects on its reflection . And being introspective and desirous for answers that are nebulous but not, i hope, unfathomable, i proceed to unearth, from the psychic constituents the mirror reveals, my own being.

Narcissus was enraptured with what he saw in the pool. I ,on the contrary, feel inadequate, though given my propensity towards excoriation, such inadequacy may itself be a propulsion towards an inverse self love. Why, for instance, does my assiduous exegesis yield more questions than answers when the mirror confounds self understanding by compounding the amorphousness of the knowable, the plausible. Looking into a mirror is perpetual regression, an endlessly receding chinese box where what is yielded reveals not what is discovered but what is forthcoming ad infinitum.

I wish to surmount the ascendancy of the mirror. By negating the mirror i want to negate its sovereignty. But to negate the mirror i must negate myself, render myself unmoved, unaffected by its insidious machinations which are, in reality, a residuum of my own conscious circumlocution. To transcend the mirror implies a transcendence of self, of the sheer physicalness of being and it attendant abasements and egotisms. It implies a state of consciousness that negates negation itself because it is the dialectic between negation and the thing it negates that is the fulcrum of the mirror. The mirror is self contained, inviolable. I could smash it and slit my vein with its jagged shard. I could turn away, refusing to ever look back. But an inner restlessness has been inveigled, an inner tumult activated and now i find, much to my surprise, that the mirror is within me.