We buried my aunt last night. We weren’t very close, but she was a nice lady. She passed on in the afternoon, and we buried her by 22h00 the same evening in line with Muslim rites and customs. But like every funeral, I embraced the scent of camphor, probably more so than most would. We use camphor as an embalming agent to prepare the corpse for burial. So it’s always been a sobering reminder of the inevitable outcome of everything.
Sobering! That was the lingering feeling that stayed with me throughout last night, and today. And it lingers still. At times in my life I often visited the cemetery alone on cold nights. Sometimes, if not always, I felt a sense of belonging, probably from the knowledge that that will be the final abode despite our best efforts to prolong our avoidance of it. Last night was different.
Last night I made a feeble attempt to reflect on the sight of thousands of graves with their flaking lime-washed surrounds and the lives that were distilled into that piece of earth that didn’t care about their riches, their comforts, their legacies or their significance amongst men. It was cold to the touch, and lifeless. And the sense of belonging, or even yearning, escaped me. I felt dejected, not just in my own life any longer, but last night I felt dejected from the after life. Nothing offered me comfort or certainty, let alone peace. I had always felt some morbid sense of belonging to the dwellers of the graves.
The above unfinished post has been laying in my drafts since August 2011. I never completed it, and I don’t think I can do so now either. But recent events in my life, mostly at the office, serves as a stark reminder of the purpose of my time on this earth. Betrayal is like pain, no matter how it is experienced, how long it persists, or how familiar it may become, it will never be a joy, nor a welcomed guest. I often have to remind myself of the advice I so readily dispense. Live with hope, not expectations.
It’s been a while since I indulged myself in a brain dump. One is definitely called for, although the audience that I have solicited for my blog makes me hesitant to be as brutally honest about my thoughts as I used to be. The problem with trying to be yourself irrespective of those around you is that a large part of being yourself is in fact shaped by those around you. Thoughts spilt recklessly under the pretence of spilled ink, or freedom of expression, only adds to the already burdensome load of callousness in this world.
Despite the incessant betrayals that I experience in my life, which incidentally becomes much easier to rack up if you’re naive like I choose to be, I still find it impossible, or at the least distasteful to treat others with suspicion simply because I was betrayed under similar circumstances before. I believe betrayal is the root to all evil, not money. We first have to betray ourselves, our deepest held convictions, before we can muster up the cowardice to betray others. Money is simply a distraction, like almost everything else that we surround ourselves with in life. Reflection is called for if we hope to know what it is that we stand for. With all the distractions there is little time for reflection, so it stands to reason that we’re more inclined towards acting in a way that contradicts our dreams and aspirations without realising it, while speaking wistfully of missed opportunities and bad decisions, because each time those opportunities visited us, or those decisions were made, we could barely discern the bullshit from the burden of reality.