Thursday, October 9, 2014


Elevators are so commonplace. I have always regarded them as necessary appendages of modernity. Traversing heights on foot is difficult and laborious, besides being time consuming. Elevators are convenient. In gathering together gravity they defy it. Weighted with human density, laden with human presence they rise up with the mechanism propelling them moving subterraneanly behind. I have no particular regard nor any disdain for the elevator contraption. It is there, to be used when it needs to be.

Rushing from my appointment with the psychoanalyst that day i tapped my foot impatiently while waiting for the elevator. There was a moment when i thought i could just use the stairs. But the prospect of climbing seven floors was, though not impossible, certainly wearisome. I was tired. I had had an exhausting one hour session. Repressed material had surfaced and i had cringed at the thought of the tenebrous spaces in my mind, which were dark enough to warrant deep discomfiture.

I boarded the elevator. The flourescent tube glowed wanly as the sunlight intersected with it as the door of the elevator stood open. The doors shut and a dull, pale light irradiated the interior, a light reminiscent of neon lights in the night, with the same functional enervation. I glanced at my dishevelled countenance in the mirror. I was flushed, self conscious. I was distinctly uncomfortable. My mind was in a state of frenetic numbness. It conveyed, perhaps as an accompaniment to the feelings of claustration i had recently experienced , a disquiet that at once rose up, like gorge, in my mind, conspicuous and then receded, leaving in its nothingness a vestigial fear.

A further glance in the mirror showed my dilated pupils and the look of unmitigated naked fear in my eyes. The claustrophobic elevator closed in upon me. It seemed to bulge inwards, squeezing my cranium tight, tight, tighter. My eyes protruded, my mind began, under this squeezing pressure to send shafts of pain up and down my body. Malodorous remnants of the morning coffee surfaced through my oesophagus. I saw stars, dancing stars, a whirling kaleidoscope where i was a vertiginously disembodied presence, floating in mid air.

I oscillated between this feeling of circumscription and oblivion of release until, unable to bear the pressure of their unceasing interplay i passed out. Waking up in my house, in the presence of concerned neighbours, alleviated the infernal journey i had survived.

But that day forthwith i made two irrevocable decisions. I quit psychoanalysis and i started using the stairs. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


When i recall my first suicide attempt i remember the sense of emptiness i felt. There was fear but a fear that was unformulated. I was in a psych ward, a general ward. Closeness with other mentally ill people, with varying degrees of madness, contributed to my suicide attempt. I inveigled, rather stealthily, around 50 sleeping pills and proceeded, precipitately, to consume them. And i fell into a profound slumber.

Waking up three days later after coma augmented that nothingness. I wasn't mystified, as much as struck with enervation, at the prospect of my aliveness. The numbness intensified and the rest of my stay at the institution passed away in that ubiquitous emptiness that brought me there in the first place. My memories, always unbidden, sometimes bring forth this interlude in my life with startling clarity, with scenes, hitherto deemed forgotten, suddenly remembered while at other times, the entire paradigm remains a blur, indistinct, insubstantial and unthinkable.

While i consider my suicide attempt to be, in many ways, a definitive moment, i realize, with retrospection that while an unanticipated fusillade crystallizes the concentrated intensity of past neuroses, the hints of madness lie far back, perhaps in childhood. I have read my psychoanalysis and i have a compendium of theories to give form to my misshapen experience. But locating an ontology to madness is not the path towards an alleviation of it. And this emerges principally from the indubitable fact that madness has no ontology, except perhaps an anterior beginning that began with us or when we began. But how far can we go, how much wrench from those amorphous moments of unknowing any measure of knowledge.

Perhaps that is why as humans we remain self contradictory. An effusion of unreason underscores much of what is deemed sanity. The fact that i, come with a history, a cornucopia of collective dissimulations, repressions, censorings does me no help. At best it suggests an unraveling of the constituents of our depredations and at worst, a conspicuous realization that my belief in freedom of choice is but a chimera. I have been dealt these cards and i must learn to play them. The outcome, though uncertain is also predetermined. And i'm a helpless marionette.

Which is why i firmly believe that a certain knowledge about the unconscious goes a great way in resolving the putatively irreconcilable. Or perhaps the irreconcilable is a matter of aegis and that at any moment the kaleidoscope of consciousness may realign itself, recompose into a different permutation. But a residual knowledge of these imperceptible shifts will, presumably, if not clarify the path towards reason at least furnish me with an epistemology of my own madness. 

Monday, October 6, 2014


Ruminating over the irrevocability of mortality i had a thought. A thought which, amid the exigencies of ill health , extricated itself and became, from the gossamer impalpability wherein it had reposed, a lucent cogitation. And the thought was the thought of the thought itself.
Often, against mounting pressure, in the shadow of death, a sliver of the life force gets inveigled. It is perhaps the dissolution imminent in death which, confronting its own annihilation, witnessing the process of decay, yet cleaving to mnemonics of life, affirms, indubitably, the incandescence of those moments of being which, conglomerated, become, despite their exiguity, a full life.
And indeed the thought i had, with its iridescent streaks of affirmativeness, obliterated habitual misgivings. It was, as though, in that luminous moment, when the thought was contemplated and brought to conscious notice, a welter of associations, a cavalcade of memories, unspooled and reaggregated to form a moment, this moment where the asymmetry immanent in consciousness was momentarily obviated. A symphonic harmony came into being, an amalgam of the penumbral and the pellucid, the dark and the light.
The thought, in itself, putatively, did not contain the depths i attribute to it. The density i associate it with is a process of retrospection. As i unravel each thread, each seam, the material of my life stretches before me in diaphonous plentitude. And subsequently, like a seamstress, these moments, disentangled, reconfigured, become the mosaic that encloses my integument. Each arabesque in this mosaic has been lovingly and valedictorily fingered. There is me, a being battling mortality whose rumination on the evanescence of life, its transitoriness,creates this moment. Then there is the being entombed within the palimpsest, a floating, disembodied, protean, fluid being whose consciousness, in partaking of the larger consciousness it is ineffably amalgamated to, reconfirms ,yet again, that while cessation is inevitable and atrophy incontrovertible, there are still moments which have been and will be lived, beyond the mortal frame. And that, in the face of ephemeral humaneness, gives me hope.