Fail better: A new year’s resolution
As the new year rolls down with the nonchalance that only time can afford to have, I can't say I'm depressed now.
It's trending on Twitter.
So for now, I self-medicate, I fill out canvases.
Medium of paint: myself.
Ginsberg walks about the room with the glow of a spiritual gift only westerners seem to find in our part of the world. He often says things like "lest we died unbloomed!" However I frown and judge him, that line rings true and frightens me. I want to say enough of me was found and now I wanna trade. How about I go to where you used to live and lose myself?
Then Beckett would say, "Fail better."
Meanwhile, I am wishing my life away.
But I understand.
I am part of a historic pattern.
So not everything is personal. I can't help but fall into some of the traps and become prey to some of the vultures. It's all written in some of the most beautiful blinking Bengali stars. So I can't divert. Tradition! Tradition! My dear Watson!
And some of the traps, obviously, I made for myself. I hunted myself down, pretty mercilessly at times, I might add. I have a submerged brain. My eros and logos act as if they are fighters in a cage.
And I am very nostalgic about certain things but hate that about myself. I know, I understand, nostalgia is inherently a regressive emotion, there's nothing glorious about going back home and what is worse is perhaps going home and settling there. It's close to living in denial about the aftermath of life. But still, I try to cut myself a little slack nowadays, knowing that living in my body is not safe. I'm an experiment in a test tube that I'm holding. But that wasn't always the case. Someone else held the test tube once. So yes, perhaps, my way of being nostalgic is just trying to look back at a time and find out why and how.
I am part of a historic pattern. A society-mandated gramophone record that is meant to be carried on repeating itself. And now, no wonder it resists so roughly, I am on the verge of breaking it.
And I don't repeat the words that this time gifted us with either. The words that are given to the kids of an almost apocalyptically biblically broken world. You know, the basic language programmes on how to express yourself, coaching lessons on how to talk like the time you are walking on.
So I can't say I'm depressed now.
It's trending on Twitter.
It has become, almost, a fashion statement. Isn't that something? For years I thought talking about it out in the open would help to heal it. Now that every moronic, superficial mindless voice is saying it, claiming it, I find it's making it worse! It's making me pray in my sinful way, please dear god make me deaf!
When he replies to prayers, does he say, will he say,
I say He, but that is a very Christian thing to say. Always I was reminded as a child, God doesn't hold a gender or a shape. I've always loved the idea. It made sense that God is not holding a gender. That made the way for my first dissent. Dissent that was followed by charades of other dissents. Like, "Hey! of course!" And "Perhaps I can." And "I'll find a way because there is one, not even one, perhaps, there are many!"
I am not failing better as of now though. I don't think so. But I try.
I will fail better.
Isn't that such a comfort? Knowing that all along, this whole time, all I had to do was fail better. Not perfection, no, because that is in a way much easier and curated and unimaginative almost. While imperfect, failing is just so damn exciting. It makes me want to stay awake for the afternoons, when after whole days of unbearable harsh heat, the sky colours itself so gloriously, it becomes almost sensual. When it makes suffering the scorching sun worthwhile.
It makes depressive fever dreams worthwhile.
I don't pay any attention to those talks that swell up people's throats like pregnant frogs, where they half close their eyes in heavenly make-beliefs and preach living every day to the fullest and such crap. Though the unbearable motivations of the days keep piling up like dirty laundry and good for you if you can keep track of them and abide by!
Instead, I know that these sudden sensual skies make life just enough. When I read Agha Shahid Ali and a fluorescent white Kashmiri rumal flows in carrying a gentle wind, it makes life just enough. At certain midnights, when I can pinpoint a feeling and not make it more or less than it already is, when that clarity washes over me, making me smile like a detective who after a long run has finally solved the mystery, it makes life enough.
It makes falling worthwhile.
And trying the best of human qualities.
Sumaya Mashrufa is a human being who tries to be a human being. On a more formal note, she is a translator who wants to be a good typist, transcribing the stories of people who live in her head.