One side of me longs for the free air of a wider consciousness.
Another side of me fears the losses inherent in that freedom.
Tremors of past turbulent transformations linger in my bones, making me clutch what I have now lest I lose my grounding again.
At 11 I nearly lost my father to a heart attack. The same year we moved from India to America. I lost my India self with his India habits with his India friends and family. A decade’s worth of grounding, roots in habits and happiness. Torn and displaced, unclear why to the child’s mind, fearful of losing father and fatherland at once, unmoored. The first earthquake.
Two decades later I lost my academic self. Years of habit and anticipations of decades in the future of debate and friendship suddenly broke off, fell off, cut off. Moreover, lost not from negligence or outside forces but chosen by my own mind and will and choice. Which casts doubt in my own mind at times about itself and its trustworthiness. The second earthquake.
Can I handle another earthquake? Will another come? When, how, in what form?
Vigilant for the slightest tremor, anxious when the next big one will hit.
And yet bored by the present, the limits of my current awareness. Can I be freed from the shackles of my mind and habits without embracing radical change, the passing episodes of nature in which I am only a speck?
Like a baby bird learning to fly, which has fallen twice in its early attempts and fears the third and the fourth and the fifth attempts while on the edge of the branch waiting to try flight again, I teeter and tooter in my attempts at spiritual flight, anxious about leaving the ground and yet anxious to let go so as to be carried by the wind.
When will the next earthquake come? Or were they in the past not earthquakes at all, but just the rumble of my feet leaving the ground and coming down, again and again, as I pick up speed for an epic flight?