Purgatory and Paradise.
‘Spiral path leads through the maze
Down into the fiery underworld below
Fire breathing, lead the way
Lucifer was just an angel led astray’
Fact of life? There’s a good and a bad in everyone? If Angels can be led astray, aren’t we mere mortals? I was reading a beautifully written book by Manu Joseph titled ‘The Illicit Happiness of Other People’ which says that ages back, there was a war between good and evil, and good suffered a humiliating, complete, absolute defeat. Evil being, well, evil, split itself into two parts, evil and apparently good. Fair argument I’d say. There is no absolute good in the world anymore, with people giving into what is good for themselves, or what is good for society. But there’s always a loser, a victim, a disappointed man. For people like these, descending into the fiery underworld is not difficult at all. The Spiral paths, the mazes all clear up. Because the road to evil is not tough, its easy. It is Paradise that’s hard to find, and everyone must pass through Purgatory before that.
I have days when things get unbearably hard, or unbearably easy. Last night, a friend jokingly pointed out my lack of social interaction. While I’m sure she meant it as a joke, it made me introspect a lot of decisions I’ve taken in life, and all of them have been about running away from people, not talking about what’s in my head, and simply put, not forging those strong friendships or relationships. Introspection is playing your own devil’s advocate, and its not easy. However, there’s always hope, for after Purgatory, there is paradise.
For someone who spent a lot of his childhood growing up alone, I’ve found a lot of meaning in music, literature and movies. I’ve always written about love as a theme on this blog, because my notion of love is shaped from these. Bruce Willis dying to save the planet his daughter lives on (Armageddon), The fascination of Walter Mitty and his adventures (The Secret life of Walter Mitty), the craziness of the Manderley estate in Rebecca’s tale (Rebecca) or the brilliance of Atticus Finch (To kill a Mockingbird), these have all shaped me up into the person I am, in some way or another. Though I did get screamed at by Dad for reading Nabokov’s ‘Lotlita’ in my quest to apply meaning to life, I have had some great experiences while reading. I immerse myself in the situation, such that the girl I have a crush on becomes Jamie while I see myself as Landon. Its a beautiful experience, the ability to see patterns in real life, the smiling to yourself at something endearing someone does, the walking alone humming songs by John Mayer while your insides jump with joy.
‘Who says I can’t be free
From all of the things that I used to be?
Rewrite my history
Who says I can’t be free?’
But then, there’s a catch. There’s a simple underlying philosophy to life, that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy. This is further reinforced by Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of Dr. Gregory House, where he simply says, ‘Everybody Lies’ and ‘Everybody Dies’, simply reinforcing Richard Yates’ thoughts from his masterpiece, Revolutionary Road. I’ve mentioned in a couple of my earlier posts how I find the movie ‘Love Actually’ one of the finest romantic movies ever, because it has this same theme of loneliness running though it.
I’ve been told that the Insides of my head are scary, but then, the demons are mine to face, and the purgatory is mine to trudge through, for the paradise is mine to find.
‘Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide’