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The time for Nothing

Time bites me.

chomp chomp chomp

it goes,

teeth gnawing

tongue snarling

spit flying.

It has more than 32 teeth

often all canine

sporadically all molar;

ah, who knew the teeth of time

could also be bipolar.


It silently sneaks up

on my imbecilic brain

through the camouflaged umbilical chord,

and without ceremony or warning,

bites down hard.


And then days turn to nights

and nights to noons.

Never a sunset, never a sunrise

for from my bed

all I see is gloomy skies.


It retches obscenities.


Tells my left ear I’m worthless

and tells my right

I’m now safe,

and somewhere in between

wagers prophecies

about my impending,

soon-ending fate.


It flies in enormous circles

A large bird circling

a tiny bird

that tries to catch the worm.

Sometimes around, sometimes inside,

look at it long enough

and there’s nowhere to hide.


It pinches me

with steely talons

and unkempt claws

leaving marks that I assuredly call my flaws.


It angers me,

goads me into a fight

and when I take the bait

I yet again have to wait

for it just flips over

and turns the tide.


It speaks in tongues:

Du machst nichts

Du kannst nichts machen

Warum willst du noch

so laufen wie ich?

Du fühlst dich furchtbar

Denn du bist nichts,

Nicht war?


(You do nothing,

you can do nothing.

Why do you want to still run like me?

You feel terrible, you do;

because you are nothing,

aren't you?)


It chants deafeningly

and dances around me,

"You’re the slow burning funeral pyre

you do Nothing to be."


And then it bites harder

till my ears bleed into my eyes,

and then after

it ticks louder,

to render futile

my cries.


But,

It’s got bits of blood in it's bite

and they’re not mine.


Is it breaking it's own teeth

or is it the wild tongue taming?

I now know all I have to do

is patiently ride out this shaming.


It’s bitten itself bloody.

It’ll cry itself hoarse

while I look on,

without remedy or remorse.


And once it’s done

the clock will break.

It’s ticking arms will flail.

Their last noise will die

it's own delusional cry

at the bottom

of an empty garbage pail.


Oh,

the bites will heal

and not with time,

but with the compounded nichts,

that Forever is mine.


Transcendence: A broken time

Picture Credits: Salvador Dali “Study for Soft Watch Exploding” (1954) Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL USA


Is there a time when time will end? Is there anything beyond time? Was there anything before?


Questions like these are what have kept many a philosophers ruminating ever since the earliest records of Thales (of the know thyself fame). Modern science shows us that the answer to all of these questions could possibly be yes. If time is another dimension, and theoretically we could exist in the 4D: we would then see the boundaries of time (complicated as they maybe) and thus know all about the beginning and end of it. A utopian idea for some and dystopian for most, it's nevertheless scientifically unachievable for all as of now.


If we deflect to eastern philosophies, we see time represented as a cycle rather than a straight, forward moving line - which in another way, answers the first three questions we had about time. A very basic venture into spirituality also introduces us to the concept of fluid time that is cyclical but more like a helix, with each step of the spring breaking one cycle and entering into another, higher one to then eventually transcend into a realm not subject to the boundaries of time but rather enveloping them.


So then, what is the method to climbing along the helix? And every concept on this planet (science, spirituality, psychology, pseudo science etc.) unites on the answer: A sacrifice, a kind of tapasya (austerity), if you will. Now this is not the lets-poke-a-doll-weirdly-with-red-substances kind of sacrifice, but the more realistic and infinitely more difficult concept of self-realization through putting in the work (possibly often brought on by suffering).


Good news though, you can totally transcend time because time, like all other man-made constructs is extremely perspective based. Just as those close to me would know, my - "I'll be ready in five minutes" is often an indicator to the one waiting that there is enough time to binge on one episode of The Office! Perspective!


This prose is a projection of the intriguing process of transcending time. A simultaneously conscious and yet completely out-of-control, catastrophical experience leading to the protagonist transcending time and understanding the value of the time for nothing (seemingly unused time) that unlocks eternity.


[Note: Salvadore Dali, one of my absolute favorite surrealist artists, is most well-known for his artistic conception of soft time (The Persistence of Memory, 1931). His watches would drape on trees and often drip, showing the nature of time as both fluid and eternal. This perspective continued till much later, when, during World War II, Dali was influenced by the atom bomb explosion at Hiroshima. He was in both fear and awe of this incredibly devastating event, and this forever altered his perception of time. In Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion, 1954, he reinvented the soft watch and its timelessness by introducing a brittleness and fragility that could, without warning, be shattered. The picture here is a study for the final painting and shows the raw idea of the watch disintegrating into possibly subatomic particles and spiraling bits. Interestingly, the last of his series of works to be published, The Swallow's Tail, 1983, was based on the catastrophe theory (a mathematical theory of dynamic systems: also a special case of the singularity theory of geometry). From 1954 on, we see Dali's interest in mathematics, spirituality, and alternative theories grow steadily through his social interactions and works. Was the atomic explosion the sudden large change in Dali's hitherto steady system—his catastrophe? Maybe, more on exploring Dali in further Sunday conversations.]


Here's to hoping you dance along the helix of time and waiting to hear your thoughts as always!


Happy Sunday!

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