There are days and there are days. Just like that. On some days I feel as if life sucks, and that everything I do turns awry. My best laid plans go kaput and I am either frustrated or angry or disheartened. I might wake up with an uncomfortable foreboding that things are likely to go terribly wrong, and I go to bed with the notion of zilch, of having achieved absolutely nothing or, worse, having ruined some. Yet, mixed with that is a strange relief that I’ve managed to survive. Phew.
It is odd how on such days I don’t even notice the things that are quietly going on as they should, the little parts of my routine that carry on undisturbed, allowing me to focus my energies on the ones that are not. They figure nowhere on my radar.
And then there are those days when I awaken with all the positive energy possible. When everything I do succeeds, and when I attempt something really difficult, pushing my luck just a tad further, that succeeds as well. I don’t see the things that are amiss, the little spokes in my wheel that I toss out with scant ado. I smile and power through them all, going to bed with that feeling of being uniquely blessed and a happy conviction that all’s wonderfully right with my world.
Of course, there are plenty of normal days, the mixed bags of the moderately good and bad. The ones that I live on my own, with no extra help or interference from any real or imaginary supernatural forces, as if I have escaped their attention and hence their benevolent or malign influence altogether.
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There are those I know who put it all down to my mood, an innately temperamental disposition. As if it were an entity on and of its own and that I choose to succumb to it instead of harnessing it to my will. That I allow myself to be pulled up to dizzying heights or plummeted to dismal lows like a capricious self-indulgent yoyo, instead of rolling along that even keel that typifies the consistent and serene. That all days, they argue, are essentially alike and that it’s just over-imaginative me that’s reading more into the calendar than there really is, deflecting the source of my own internal flux on to powers that may or may not even exist. Hyper, is their favourite word of accusation. Spontaneous and passionate is how I would prefer to describe myself. But, really, who is buying? And who am I kidding? Yet, to encapsulate all my hurtling through my highs and lows in that one rogue ambiguous word, mood? Bah!
In fact, my specially bad and good days have been happening ever since I’ve been a child. I remember getting punished for reaching school just a little late, getting stumped by a particularly foul Chemistry test, not finding my voice in my music classes, quarrelling over absolute trivia with my sisters at home, getting hauled up by my parents for something that I hadn’t really done, and so on, a cumulative series of miseries. And then there were superlative Maths tests, followed by rare periods of lucid Chemistry, creating magic in music, finding that book that I had always wanted to read, spending extra time with friends, reaching home atrociously late yet going happily unnoticed and unscathed.
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I also remember my mother poring over her Panchaang, the Hindu almanac, sifting through the auspicious and inauspicious days and hours. Amavasya, she would shake her head, and we would avoid travelling or wait one more day before trying out or buying something new, as the moon had played truant and we had to await its return to our skies. And, of course, there were those days when our planets, moon and stars were all supposedly well aligned, when we could confidently undertake new ventures and forge new beginnings, for they were destined to succeed. I was, and still am, rather sceptical, and I would, and still do, vehemently hold that any day could be a perfectly good one, and that every day carries the potential of turning out to be a perfectly nasty one, regardless of the moon’s and planets’ itineraries. I neither believe nor disbelieve in astrological charts, I simply prefer to disregard them. I suspect that my good and bad days have their own endogenous logical cycles though unfathomable to me, and will occur regardless of what is or is not foretold by my horoscope, palm lines, tarot cards, numerological configurations, etcetera.
Of course, there are periods of deep anxiety and wretched vulnerability when we may be sorely tempted to decipher that cycle and read beforehand the end of its troughs, containing the dark gloom within a manageable finite, looking ahead towards the predicted upswing and keeping ourselves afloat till then. But would that not then rob me of whatever autonomy I believe I have? Make me a willing puppet of forces unknown to me? Or alternatively, try to second guess everything and sidestep the given trajectory of my life? Is that even possible? Who really knows? I don’t. And I would rather struggle with my frustrating ignorance and swallow my perhaps pitiable abhorrence of uncertainty than lock my belief in another human’s soothsaying prowess. Steer clear of clairvoyants.
So I muddle through my calendar, acknowledging days as superb, horrid or just average, but in retrospect. And while the last category may be what life is mostly made up of in terms of sheer volume, it’s the challenges of the other two that really get me going, make me walk that extra mile, spurring me to explore that mysterious fork down the road. Think. Feel. Create. Live. Giving full vent to my spontaneity and passion. With a clear understanding that the knowledge of the yoyo’s lows can be just as powerful and productive as that of its highs. And bounce between the alternating nadirs of despair and zeniths of bliss with an abandon as uninhibitedly exaggerated as these words may sound. For I know not how to be otherwise.