You said, “No more walls.”
What did you see after you threw yourself against the ropes? Launched yourself from them? Did you find anything? Did they crawl over your wrists, the ropes? Tie you in knots, your knees bent climbing them? Did you meet that other body you raged against?
Were you subdued before you hung from them?
Did you find it, what you were looking for all the time you were using the perimeter of the ring, the stage, the self, the world?
Did you look up?
You, Man, go on, tear up the script. I want to see the edges of that paper tear the light when you do it. Sharp edges. Make splinters when you scour wood. And raw, inflamed, cold skin. Scrape it out.
And you, Woman, cold as fury, you shall be ice shards in the wood fence. The bits that will pierce him when he reaches for the gate. Unable to burn, you will disappear and leave naught but the thought that if this is winter there must have been another season, too.
‘Tis a terrible thing, isn’t it, to know that one is utterly responsible for every act, every instant, of this long and strange life…
How does one map the golden dust between the weight of this cross on one’s shoulders and the serenity of freedom? The smiles on all those sculptures say that freedom confers serenity. Others say justice is serene, or should be, and take solace in human formulations of transcendent law.
Crouching at the foot of all things tall–altars, crosses, saints, gods, statues– where do I put aside this bundle of grief? It seems out of place in thy philosophy. I cannot enter, my liege.
There is no why. Our questions are allowed, but no answers.
It is heady to flirt with the darkness and the light. Death is enormously seductive in its anonymity but not for those who want to go in and find anything out. You have to be willing to surrender, and do so without belief in a higher grace. That’s why, perhaps, suicide is called a sin; it sins against the possibility of hope, forgiveness, redemption and all that grace, and the agent takes all choice in hand, leaving none for a god. The witnesses cannot bear that. That loss of hope.
For the acteur, to choose death is a surrender unto the archetypal Servant, to consent to become a momentary mirror for whatever we see facing us. To have done with the broken knees of the world.
Is death so different then from the archetypal Lover, the dark eternal god? Both will be angered, because you have come to them before they asked for you, but the deed is done and they, being lovers, must still make it difficult for themselves to allow you to join them. So they ask for a price, a final discharging of debts before the merging. The shoulders of the world.
The poet, a man, had stacked body, heart, mind and god against himself.
I, being what I am, stack body against heart. There! The kindling is laid, and the cross.
Tell me how to stand without wish, without desire. Even Kalpataru rears arrested by longings.
Tell me, how to prune to singular aim this multitudinous life, that in pursuit of one invisible longing one may find the flowering and the fruition of all the long years.
Tell me. Is it true?
Now I take the part of madness and rage, of all malcontents, of Lavinia’s mother and Macbeth’s wife, of Malvolio and all poor tormented fools, and I shall tell you where it begins.
In unconsoled loss—till it becomes an obsession and hunger, feeding on itself, and the very world’s laughter is mockery of pain. And the ravaged heart shows itself in bitterness and distributed guilt.
‘Twould be better if I became the Fool, and not Malvolio, for sourness is unwelcome. What does despair transgress?
The ground slopes away from several places here and all ways are open. One could go into quiet calm grief, ‘patience on a monument’ and be beloved.
Or one could change and become terrible and dark. One would be feared, Antigone and Medusa, but one would not be loved.
One could diminish and remain oneself, sweeter and calmer, and go into forgiveness.
One could always become the mad peddlar, flying insects on whirling strings, hurling a rain of abuses at everyone who dares the weather of thy mind.
Do you remember _Rudaali_?
In the echo, I say again: I rein myself in because these passions are mine alone. Mine to cherish, mine to burn, mine to parch and revive like the eternal seasons. I have made of these an airy cage, in whose soft light live the images of my obsession, cocooned in dreams. This is mine. In my few unfettered moments I am this. This boundary of freedom I draw with the reach of my stride, this ambit and wall of my heart, this momentary and forgotten gladness. And outside it the vast, sharp shapes of the world.