Last night I did something I haven’t done in ages. I looked up. I mean, when I was standing outside under an open sky. I was searching for answers, and realized that while I usually look up at an angle to see the moon and the stars, I hadn’t looked up in a long time. You know, where you lean your head back until you can feel the strain on your neck and look straight up.
And because it was a clear night after a long time, and the stars were scattered all over the sky in a way I hadn’t seen for too long – something happened. For just a fraction of a second, I saw not just the vastness of space, but it’s depth as well. It was like being sucked into a vacuum and the moment stretched and then it spat me out again, too fast for my own liking.
I felt as if I could see and sense the distances between each star and as I moved forward into the almost-infinite, there was a feeling of shrinking into oblivion at the same time. I should think that’s what it feels like to be at the wrong end of a plunger.
And then everything became two-dimensional again. Space was a flat dome above my head and the stars were little pinpoints of sparkling light. And try as I might for the next fifteen minutes or so, I could not re-capture that feeling again.
But a fraction is all you need sometimes for your entire world to change. The earth moved forward in that fraction and so did my life.
I’ve always said that the biggest issue we have as human beings is our fear of change. And here I am rebelling against it with every cell in my body. For the past five years or so, I could have drafted out for you my every week in advance, because each day was a copy of the previous one. I could even predict when I’d be rushed for deadlines and when things would be stressful, because that too followed a fixed pattern.
And every day I wondered why the world had forgotten me; how I’d managed to step out of the moving lane and ended up standing on the kerb watching everyone else pass me by.
Suddenly, change is the dominant word in my life. Less than six months into the year and I’ve had to deal with more things than I had to in the past half-decade. And the surprises keep coming. At first the change was exciting. It was things I was okay with – scary things, but stuff that I’d dreamed of anyway. But now, the change is different, it’s foreign territory, it’s things I haven’t asked for or thought of, and yet things that I must accept if I want to move forward (to where ever it might be that I’m headed).
And when the change takes you from one end of the spectrum and snaps you right across to the other end; when it leaves you in one place long enough to get used to that area and then expects you to do an 180-degree turn and head for the other end…that’s when things start getting hairy.
Right now, I wish someone would come and just give me the solutions, or whisk me away to some utopian dimension where I could play with lines and colours all day long and stare at the stars and wonder all night long.
What are the chances of that happening though? And would I be able to handle that kind of change anyway?
“May you live in interesting times.”
– Ancient Chinese curse.