a chiffon weight in my underbelly purrs
when you moisten your words with notes
dipped in muscles, putative strength
I’ve sharpened myself on this whetstone
of casual undermining chatter, first from
genetic precursors, blood-buddies peppered
across dead branches of a family tree
and then from you, your innocent ignorance
of me, your colorblindness to my rainbow
and I remember the gray wires on your chest
your loud boom of a laughter, lacking nothing
as far as you’re concerned, while I count the
missing feathers in my wing, fractured, in a sling
so that the next time you throw a dart, I shall
spring back a step..? no I shall learn to cry, no the secret in fact, is that I’ll be wordy to you
in a way that makes my smile scream a big No.
Often we wonder about our meager contributions to the world, the small changes that we have made as existing, active entities. I have found, among sheaves of pages, art and among the eyes of fellow unlucky ones, despair. In this same world, where such blinding beauty exists in words, lines, shades, shapes and symphonies, there also exists both structured and random ugliness in lives.
In art, we seek the ideal. We reach out into the void to create beauty and ascribe labels to the techniques of our quests. As for the pain in the world however– working for justice seems harder, darker, a braver feat. While beauty is of the universe, justice is of the society. As a denizen and child of both, I have no choice but to seek beauty and justice. And yet, there feels this need to rate one above the other — to prioritize, to choose…
Beauty or aesthetic art for justice is not a rare concept. But how much change can that bring about? How much of pain can beauty take on? Will it ever be enough that both are sought, or will one be compelled to choose? Even if that happens, it does not make sense to leave one for the other; for what becomes of the universe without society, and what even is society without the universe?
Think of the idea of God as something that humans made so that we can aspire to be Him. Consider the reason you pray, for example. We pray for good fortune, for deliverance from sickness and tribulations, for wealth and status, for success and for the good of others. Are we really foregoing ourselves when we pray, or are we recognizing our own importance by believing that our prayer to the Almighty can actually matter? Is it really an acknowledgment of our insignificance before the Almighty, or is it also grounded on the belief that one can indeed sway God’s will? If we cannot sway God’s will, then why do we pray? If we can sway God’s will, then why is God more powerful than man? We humans then seem to actually have the power to sway God’s will; so then who really has the most power? Also, aren’t we then, indirectly so, trying to be all-powerful by praying?
History is abound with examples of Kings who claimed that they were godlike and literature is abound with examples of those who craved immortality and eternal life. It is not hard to imagine the origin of religion as something not to make up for the imperfections of humans, but as a selfish, proud enterprise of acknowledging power and then attempting to subvert that power using prayers and rituals. Religion has remained as a great force in society, not because of the idea of an all-powerful God, but because of the idea that humans have a connection with this entity. That we, even in our qualms and misfortunes, can somehow influence this entity, because if not, then wouldn’t the idea of God itself, be simply a belief that a tyrant controls everything?
Hence, it is not our helplessness that has given birth to religion, but our self-importance, our sense of belief that we can indeed make a difference in how things fare. God therefore becomes a sort of reflecting surface that our prayers bounce off of, an imaginary mirror that humans can see their best selves in. If so, it is high time that the idea of God, which is utilitarian at best, in order to facilitate this process of moral and spiritual development of humans, be removed. Why have a broker when you have a sense of what you want and the property you need to buy is your own best self?