Sunday, 4 November 2012

Prabuddha III

Everything changed that moment.
A strange solitude was birthed in his mind,
and freedom fled his world.

There had been no sorrow
for until then sorrow
was an unguent
that engraved on finger
as it ran on string;
no sorrow there, no
no bliss, no
and the yield of song,
joy and sorrow
are not two
but one,
not sorrow and not joy either
and until now
equanimity evened out
smoothened mind.

With eyes that did not judge
did not qualify or weigh
until now he saw
in their equivalency
joy and sorrow,
just like warmth and coolness,
light and dark.

As evenings ebbing light
crept into his meager quarters
he made union with violin
time’s immemorial signs
left the mind
violin and he were one,
hand and fingers  
they were string and strum
they were violin
and string and strum
were he
and the yield of seamlessness
was undulating song
a sweetness that rolled into roar
a wave that broke upon
the still night
and spilled over too.

All childhood tribulations
perculated from fingertip
rose as sweet aesthete
erasing memory;
he forgot himself
forgot all,
became instrument
of an invisible hand
and from the unconscious fingers
birthed from the unconscious
a faint fragrance.
And time passed,
eons rolled from one to another
infinite it was
without dimension it was
but for him
time was this,
this moment
and nothing else,
forgetting histories
dismissing the futures they engendered
in the deepest depths of silence
a faint music arose.

He turned eye upon himself
now and again  
and saw
in the rise of applause
in an award he had received
a photograph in a paper,
he saw himself
in infinite diminishment
and further dwarfing
day by day,
that day by day
among unknown masses
he grew tall
and taller
into giant proportion,
did not know either
that his voice settled
in countless admiring minds
and echoed and echoed thereafter,
unaware was he
of image skin
that had grown
in layer upon layer
around persona,
did not know
or else did not care.

He was like child
who saw and heard wailing and wail
at funeral
saw and heard dance and song
at wedding feast,
in utter incomprehension
like child
who smiles at flower
without knowing what ‘flower’ meant,
until eye paused
and gaze fell



And when you peel off make-up
remove collar and undo button
erase proper noun
convention and taught-truth
sanctioned feel
and tear-propriety
ready laugh and practiced smile
the necessitated courtesies
we are reduced to the skeletal
of primordiality
fear-made and hope-made
naked in absolutes
un-languaged and sparse
in that other wilderness
no less empowered
no less lost.

[Inspired by the photography of Achini Pabasara Ranasinghe, 'Upanetha' Exhibition, and published in the UNDO Section of 'The Nation', November 4, 2012]