Why Don't I Write

Four decades back, almost to the day, a middle aged man with a paunch yelled out to me across a vast hillside as I was watering the concrete slabs that would later become a place for thousands to gather to revere the guru. “Write a book!”, he shouted over the sounds of the breeze and birds. This was during a few months of clear thinking bookended by deserts of darkness. While I considered him one of my lifelong mentors, I have not written a book. I have blogged. This blog has nearly 400 posts with an average of 800 words each. That’s a few books if you ask me. Thankfully, nobody asks.

I wandered frequently but was rarely lost. I repeatedly fell prey to my weaknesses, for fame, pleasure, money, popularity, but was always gifted the strength to climb back on my horse and head north. I often took these gifts, and other gifts, for granted. Sometimes, I found in me the capacity to be grateful, truly grateful.

In an age of instant news, instant unfollows, and instant validation, we have lost our capacity to reason, to revere, to remember. We no longer view history as learning but filter it to suit our beliefs. We code for neural networks without appreciating the sutras of a Patanjali or the timeless transmigrations of a Pythagoras. We look to science for data to build unicorns instead of understanding the love hate relationship planets have with the sun. We count down instead of counting up. 

I write to put in perspective the dualities that make existence possible. I write to leave a record of my time, of the times I remember, and the times I have learned about. I write to put in perspective that there is goodness and greatness in our genes, that there is evil and entropy too, and that this battle is the meaning of life. 

I write to remind myself of the mystery that is me, that is you, that is us. I write to acknowledge and overcome all that I do not wish to be, and to celebrate and strive towards all I can. The being in the human being comes into existence without a user manual. The product design is that the laws of nature and nurture, of parenting, teaching, and friendship will build for each being its own unique user manual. All of us are broken in some ways, alone at some times, despairing at others. None of our journeys are free from breakdowns and wrong turns. Yet, here we are magnificent and victorious, ready to look the abyss and our own destruction in the eye. I write to leave behind my user manual so it can be used as a template by those who need it. 

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