Thursday, August 19, 2010
I remember being on clouds since I can remember.
The older folk say there existed land below, once upon a time long past. You could set your feet on it, feel the warm, moist soil and tiny inanimate creatures called grass stick to the base of your foot and walk upon hard reality, filling your mind with a constant sense of heightened realism. There were hard structures, made of material called wood and softer growth on them called leaves, which sprang up high towards bright skies, embracing the openness, swallowing every bit of the atmosphere that they lived in. Creatures like us had extensions called limbs, which enabled us to walk upon this surface, among those green and brown creatures and a host of other animations. Life, had been “beautiful”; a word that the older folks used to describe something that could be looked at for long durations with a certain amount of elation in your psyche.
Alas, all of that doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s all white around. Expanses of soft, woolly, cotton-like clouds litter the skies as far as the eyes can see. You can perch for a little while, before it gives way, turning into wisps of shiny water droplets, twinkling in the light of the sun like a sea wave of a million diamonds. We have wings to keep us in the air all the time; suspended. I try to imagine what it must be like under the last layer of clouds. Does the land underneath still exist, like it is talked about in the legends? No one has been able to go down willingly. The stimulus ingrained in these wings of ours makes us take flight as soon as we start nearing the final cloud layer in the lower strata. They tell me that our ancestors had their own legends where they imagined people like us living among the clouds and christened them “fairies”. It was supposed to be their ultimate ideal of freedom. I smile to myself at the ignorance of the lost tribe and continue gazing at the wooly cloud tufts, floating by, as if in a dream.
I have always wanted freedom.
I want to break free of the monochrome circle of light and dark and venture into the unknown. I want to give up on the bales of clouds that our tribe has been surrounded by since eternity. I want to escape the legends of yore, the make belief heavens and abstract utopia. I want to reject the perpetual state of suspension and set foot on to reality, letting me feel the weight of my thought and flesh. I want to surrender the façade that my ancestors tagged ‘freedom’, and set upon an actual path of knowledge and wisdom. I want to explore the pathos attached to the lost emotion of ‘sacrifice’. I want to do all of this and so much more.
I don’t feel anything as I tear apart my wings; only a heightened sense of consciousness. I am too excited to feel the emotion they call “pain”. Maybe, just maybe, I shall be able to feel it once I have made it to the place below the last layer of the clouds. My mind is full of thoughts which seemed to have gained “feet” and finally seem to be moving around on them, instead of flying. I have started to descend at a rapid pace. The torn wings are still acting on impulse as I work hard to detach them from my existence. I don’t know if I shall live to see the wonders that I hope to see. I don’t know if my tribe would notice my disappearance and wonder at it. Streams of crimson flow upwards as I start to gather speed. My eyes feel moist. I know I have committed folly. I know I keeled over. I am aware of the thin line between servitude and self illumination that I overstepped as soon as the thought crowded into my mind. As I let go of my wing and fall through the final layer, I close my eyes and let a comforting thought, like the feel of grass, seep into my senses;
I am free…