I am looking back at the year just gone by…
Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of a year.
It was an year of extremes for me – lots of happiness, joy and euphoria I hadn’t experienced for years, then periods of despondency which almost felt like I was greatly depressed and which rekindled the painful memories of one of the worst periods of my life around 25 years back, times of utter peace, contentment and gratitude I have known only during and/or after meditations, bouts of frenetic activity, and hours and even days of just lazing around. I have experienced almost all the shades life can paint on the canvas in the year 2010. Certain dates of the past year have become etched in my memory in a way that they won’t be forgotten by me for as long as I live.
The new year begins on a sombre note. I can’t see far into it, but I know that it is going to bring me deeper understanding of life and myself. I also know that these lessons will not come for free; pain is the fee one has to pay for learning the lessons of life. And this pain results mostly from one’s own weaknesses which are brought to light by the vagaries of life. It is not that I haven’t been aware of my own weaknesses, but what rankles is the realization that certain understandings haven’t been able to penetrate deep enough into the subconscious to influence or modify my reactions and behaviour to external stimulii.
The process of growing up is rather painful. Many a times I have wondered if the lessons are worth the pain they inflict. And why at all should I be one of life’s better students? The knowledge that desire is the root cause of all the misery doesn’t prevent one from desiring fervently even the small and insignificant things which bring happiness to you. The knowledge that “letting go” is the key, doesn’t help you in letting go totally; a part of you will go on clinging to the mirages with shocking stubbornness and audacity.
Probably, more profound words than “know thyself” haven’t ever been uttered by anyone. But I wonder…what is there to know apart from your weaknesses? Seeing yourself in nudity with all your stupidity, greed, obstinacy and immaturity might bring enrichment ultimately, but it causes unbearable agony in the meanwhile.
Signing off with the hope that the understanding I have had penetrates much deeper into my psyche so as to guide my behaviour in this new year.