Bookmark #615

On a sunny afternoon under the trees of the valley where little happens, I went to the insurance office and gave them a cheque. In the cab, I zoned out for a little while, and when I came back to where I was, I realised that when you meet an old man, and you ask him if he ever saw the passage of time, he would most likely tell you he has little recollection of it. “I was just doing the chores, day after day,” he would tell you, “and then, when I looked back, they had amounted to a life. But I was sure I was just doing the dishes and keeping the house in order. I could have sworn my life over it. I could have sworn nothing ever happened, but it had. A lot had happened, and time did pass.” And he would be in his rights to say this, and you would know it to be true. You would nod in agreement. “I, too, have no idea where the time went,” you would tell him, “but I have lived.”

Then, I thought of the burden of the grief I had carried with me on many cab rides like this one. Most life is this: you do things over and over again until all of it melds into one another. Every cab I sit in reminds me of every other time I sat in a cab, and then it reminds me of everything I have thought of in cabs. Every time I wash the dishes, I think of all the thoughts I have had when I did the dishes. We must be careful with life in this regard. A lot of it is repetition and what happens to you naturally feeds into what happens next. There is no going around this, and so we must slowly, despite how difficult it seems, change what we think. So, I thought of the grief, and at first, I accepted it. I still have some grief in me, I thought. But then, I could not name it. It seemed too small for a label after having had the pleasure of walking in the sun for an entire year, fully present. And does something even exist when you cannot call it by its name? I think not. Gosh, I hope not.

And when I got out of the cab and shut the door, that is what I knew. I had no grief to carry. I left the leftover crumbs of it, like how you often leave something irrelevant in the backseat of the cab. Then, I walked back home.

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