This morning, I laced up my shoes and decided to go for a walk. And not just around my community as I usually tend to do, but out. Across the street, crossing the main road and into the rarely explored world. Its funny how much we shut ourselves into boxes of different kinds, each one with its own pre-imposed restrictions and constraints. And the slyness of it is how you don't even notice it. Not until you unconsciously set yourself in the direct path of confronting it. I noticed mine in the slight hesitation, even trepidation, why even fear in setting off beyond the boundaries of my own community. And I was shocked at myself. At how deeply I had embroiled myself into the box.
This was all the life that was happening, so vibratingly around me, when I hit the pause button on my thoughts. But of course the mechanism of it is a wily one. Its like on a tape player. How you have to press all the way down to start the function, applying all the pressure of your index finger, but all it takes to stop it, is just that light pressure on the 'Stop', just until that point, and it all releases with a loud click. So many times, I caught myself thinking about everything that took me away from that place, and from the person in my shoes. I made plans for what we would do that weekend, how we would get out and ultimately relax in these perfect surroundings, rain or shine! What I would do as soon as I got home. How I was going to cross that busy intersection of a road, miles before I even came to it. How I wished I had my Canon instead to take pictures. Just to name a few.
And this is precisely the kind of thing that has exhausted me and brought me to this point of being locked in a box. This incessant, unrelenting, mental activity, that doesn't let up, even in sleep, manifesting instead as vague dreams and a toss and turn night. The ultimate was when I was sitting down with Thambi and it looked like he was asking me something, and I don't know what happened, but it must have been a full minute later, when I realised that R was counting down some numbers, while looking at me and smiling. And I noticed it with a start, and then it dawns on me that he is counting down to the length of time it was taking me to respond to the little guy. Who all this while had been patiently repeating his question, without giving up on me. It was just so heartbreaking, to see how far I had gone, when there was absolutely no need for that trip, when the nicest possible thing was right there in front of me, waiting to be experienced.
How much of life has such been lost to me already? And how much more will I helplessly forgo, before I can just be simple again? Every day, I wonder. And maybe that is what peeping out of the box, every so often, reveals to you.