A Turning Soon



The mountain tells me I am free. I hear it being said but it seems faded and untrue. The numbers just don’t add up, just aren’t fair. The closer and longer I look, the more it smarts, the larger the cheat!

Is this what my lips once quivered for? This the chain I turned my back on the world for?

This pain is not freedom.

The mountain tells me I am free
Every cell of me rises up, echoes, yes, yes,
In annoyance, in disagreement, in impatience, in hate.

I hear it sung, but it seems too painful, too difficult, and maybe too slow?

Life sings its own song, but my song is borrowed. The majesty of the snowy peaks belongs to all, but I belong only to the cold silence of the hilltop. Who will help me find the words to my song? Who cares a damn?

Waking up in the middle of the night, circles of vodka in my head and orange juice in my stomach, I rejoice in the absence of a memory, I am free, I am freed, I am freeing, letting go of the anchor, letting the wind take me, hearing the mountain but not what it says. I am free to be, to feel, to seek. I am free to turn towards or to turn away from, as I had always been. Who will help me find the words?

I hear it being said.

Yet all I know,
As I wall out gardens built,
Bury the swelling pain,
Take sides within myself,
As I see defeat in what feels like victory,
Is that the mountain is not wrong.


****
Subhorup Dasgupta
Hyderabad
2007

12 comments:

  1. It feels really beautiful to hear someone shouting from his lungs that he is free. To me if you are really free it means you are already consciously dead and you will stop writing the blog and leave the entire problems on this earth. I feel you are very cruel how can you be free when so much is happening wrong and lots of things to be done on this planet. Wake up now and come out of vodka and start troubling yourself and others or else my soul will feel very sad and bad because you did not manifest your dreams that you have written in your blog about every topic. Unless you come on breaking news you are not free. Take care. By the way it is my fake id.

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    1. Not sure I understand everything you have said, but can understand your concern. Thanks!

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  2. If I belong to the cold silence of the hilltop I won't bother in the first place... I'll love it being in that low energy state and invisible mode...
    take it easy Subho... Cheers :-)

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    1. Thanks, Anunoy. Me too, hill person, and love that state of being.

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  3. Life does turn for the better only when we make a conscious effort to bring it back on course. The spirit can be subdued but it pushes back to fight to rise again and heal. And yet, there are those who just go deeper and deeper in the chute of misery. Life and its challenges -- who knows what is lurking around the corner!

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    1. So true, Rachna. We often don't get to see it when we are in the pits of despair, that that is precisely what we needed to pull ourselves to the next peak.

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  4. mountains ain't wrong at all :)
    in between here and there it remains on the track... if we wish :)

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    1. The mountains are never wrong. Thanks, Jyoti!

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  5. We are never free from expectations, memories, our need to be loved...We are constantly seeking that elusive something.

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    1. True, Purba. On one hand, it is that seeking that leads us to greater heights, while on the other, it brings suffering.

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  6. I have spent a long time on this poem. Perhaps what troubled me most was that mountains, of all the symbols, should tell you/us that we are free.

    How? Mountains seem so hopelessly stuck in one place, rooted down by history and an unshakeable present and no foreseable future besides erosion or further building on the same spot--how can mountains say you/us are free?

    And then it struck me--that freedom is not in movement, not in space, not in spreading, or sinking, or erasures...it is in being. The entire being of this moment--just like me, with unburdened histories, an unshakeable rawness of present, and nothing at all for tomorrow's sunrise besides just this. And who cares a damn?

    Yet, the words say I am free this moment in my being, in the froth of this pain, in the vomit of the moment...I also realize the mountains are not wrong.

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    1. The mountains are a personal symbol for me, and like you say, they convey rootedness and aspiration. I also see them as sanctuary, as magnets for wisdom. The greatest conversations I have ever had have been with the mountains.

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