Art by : James Fenner
Wonder is such a rare, rare resource. Somehow, it is something I’ve only realised now that I am losing mine. Wonder is something you cultivate, which you train your eyes to see even when it is hidden deep under a pile of grime and waste. It is to believe that there is good in the world, even when the actions of its people say otherwise. My wonder was not quite so proactive; it was just leftovers from childhood, like stubborn dregs of idealism that remained stuck to my brain, even after it was upended and prepared for the real world.
In a way, my wonder grew like an insurgence, a rebellion; like something that rose stronger after someone tried to kill it. A weed growing back with a vengeance, truly, wishing to overcome everything, to layer it in green. Or pink, as it so happens with wonder. But rose-tinted glasses do shatter, I’ve learnt. And when they do, the contrast is striking. Nauseating. All around is oozing darkness and filth, even the most beautiful souls host some kind of festering illness, most things seem ugly, ugly, ugly.
So, is this what I’ve not been seeing all along ?
Hidden behind bullet-proof, rose-tinted glasses, is this what the world truly looks like ?
Is wonder not just a deception, then? A weed, truly, growing over more than just your sight, but your vision, your perception? A truth-obscurer. How can anyone find any beauty in a world like this? A world that kills and hates, discriminates—a world that hurts so, so deeply; somewhere deeper than any muscle tissue, deeper than the very marrow of your bones. An ache so profound it continually rings through your skeleton, there with you at your every step, at your every glance at this desolate, capsizing world. And through your ache, you feel others’ aches, too. Millions, billions hiding their own pain. The old Earth even aches, and its pain is something so profoundly sad, most of all because it is a wordless cry. It is the sound of trees being felled, of the surface of the Earth being clawed at, of oceans being poisoned.
Beauty, if it ever was, is withering now.
Nothing is beautiful, nothing is good anymore.
The world is all one hollow crater resonating with the cries of all who find themselves in it.
Idealism was a beautiful lie, while it lasted.
Losing wonder is very much like losing one of your 5 senses. The world is never quite the same afterwards. Or maybe it is more like gold that loses its shine with the years.
As I trail past the abandoned Earth, past the desertification of this world, I realise I am not sure what to do at all. Where to start? With the starving, with the injured, the children, the old people? With…myself? The Earth is bleeding, and I only have two hands to stop a haemorrhage larger than all the life I have led up until now.
Soon, night falls in this deserted Earth, like everything else. Everything falls, and decays and dies. Life is a downward spiral, a slope too steep to climb. I let go of myself, slumping into the dunes, the biting cold of the desert at night.
Above me is this huge void, an all-encompassing darkness ready to swallow us whole. The sky will one day fall on our heads and take us all.
Tears, salty and cold and prickly sting my eyes. All of this desolation has welled up into something terrifyingly large on the inside, something that will come out one way or the other. And I can feel it already, lodged in my throat, straining, struggling to be let out.
Then, the first tear falls.
And another and another, and another.
As I rub furiously at my eyes, irritating them even further, something…stands out in the distance, in the corner of my eye.
There, scintillating in the void of night, the first star to appear in the night sky. Something you have to train your eyes to see amidst all the darkness.
Wonder. Wonder blooms in the night like a desert flower.
Quietly, another star alights.
And another and another, and another.
All of the night is alight with stars, blinking from light years away.
And it strikes me then, lightning-hot. Do you know what another name for wonder is? Hope.
Slowly, the blank spaces around me fill up with humans who are stargazers like me, too. The starlight reflects in their eyes, and they, we, can see clearer now.
You know what Hope and stars have in common? They help humans find their way in the dark.
Note : This is NaNoWriMo Day 5. You can find Day 4 here. Also, if you thought this was going to have a bleak ending, well, surprise ! It does happen though, that our idealism dulls. Sometimes you realise again how messed up the world is. Like everything else, wonder has an ebb and flow. But it is so important to not be stuck at one stage or the other and to keep moving forward. Also, side-note, this is the most complete blog post I’ve ever written lol. One very relevant cover photo, a quote of the day AND a song to boot? #Productivity.
Quote of the day :
“There is some good in this world, Mr Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
— J.R.R. Tolkien
Listening to :