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keerthik sasidharan

beginnings?

beginnings?

It is tempting to think that this blog or diary is a new beginning. But in fact I start in the middle.  Or rather, not even in the middle, for that presumes knowledge about my own finitude and an ability to mark its midpoint.  Like others, I live as if I am immortal, which is a necessary illusion for humans to go about their lives.  For what it is worth then, I start at a place with no temporal coordinates but the here.  I begin at a locale with no beginnings but the now. These are words born from someone surrounded by plenitude: the throbbing here-ness of organic life (humans, animals, pests, and even microbes) in a big city, the non-sentient presence of things (shiny, everyday, complex) that mark our age, and I am awash in the invisible spindles of information and electromagnetic waves that come all the way from China or the Andromeda Galaxy.  In short, I write amidst a flood of the present that seeps in and wettens these words. To some future reader, these sentiments will seem all too dated, self-absorbed, and lacking sociological value. Yet, she will discern that it is born as an accreted residual (hypostastis as the Greeks called it)  of a place easily recognizable as  21st century and a time in human history when man is alternatively suspicious and beholden to the past and capable of being both. But beyond this passing flux of news and events, of shape-shifting city centers and shiny urban concerns, what else will a future digital archaeologist discern?  Who knows?  

I struggle to see myself as part of some movement or a trajectory headed to an eschaton or an end of history or a world revolution.  All I sense is the contingency of my present.  All I can try is slowly muddle through and watch my own thoughts rise and fall.  Discern my own self as an extension of my being into space, as a sojourner past other beings who wander just as I do, as a witness to early moon-rises and hurried morning love.  Thinking of myself thus - as one born repeatedly into the present, splitting from an immediate past into many future selves, there is a sense that the present is merely a vehicle, a string that beads the past and the future.  The result of such a sense is an inability to merely be. To live unburdened, to merely float.  What would that feel like, I wonder sometimes.  That state of being without encumbrances, of existence stripped of its sinews and tensions.  Some days I think, it might be no different than those cartoons who head past a cliff but are yet to realize the imminence of the fall ahead. For those few moments that they scamper assuredly in mid air, feeling whiffs of cloud graze their toes and tickle their noses, they are awash in a feeling of lightness, howsoever brief it may all turn out to be.  These diary entries, I tell myself, will attempt to do what those cartoon characters do all so well.  To be unconcerned about the heaviness of life that the cynic and the expert will tell you all about.  But instead these entries hope to write of the here and now as I experience it.  My hope then is to find an awareness that is no different, and yet as real as a bread-maker's hand pressed inside the dough of reality that feels the texture and wetness, the humidity and the effervescent fluffiness of a now trapped in an yeasty 'present' that grows.  But this ambition to chronicle the present is obviously foolhardy, and even foolish.  For the present is a bubble that is defined solely by the finitude of its existence.  The present finds redemption only by bleeding out other instances of the present. To describe this experience of being alive is then to describe that moment of labor of the mind, that fleeting sense when idea or prejudice emerges, blood soaked and slimy, from the womb of the past, before it is washed, powdered, and cleansed to make them presentable to the Gods of Reason, society, and scrupulousness.  I am not sure I am upto the task I have set myself up for.  If I fail, it will have taught me the limits of my thought and the limitations of my language. If I succeed, well, it'll be a miracle.     

History aided by a teleprompter.

History aided by a teleprompter.