Ashes

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…

Ash. It fascinates me. I believe in the principle many religions have in common…

From this Earth we were risen, to this earth we shall return. Form this dust we were sculpted, to this dust we shall return. Everything will, at its end, turn into dust and ash.

Everything will eventually burn itself out.

Even the Sun may, in a cataclysmic event that changes the course of the universe, burn itself and turn into nothing but a suspended cloud of glittering ash, hovering in the vast nothingness we call space.

Everything is volatile. Fate is volatile. One broken thread, one action, one word can change the past present and future of one or many people. Everything is flammable. And its burning is inevitable.

Everything burns.

With the course of time it fizzles out, leaving behind nothing but an acrid smell and a pile of ashes.

Everything turns into ashes.

Ashes. Are they not fascinating? A thing that was once alive, reduced to nothing but tiny particles. All the essence of its life, its virility, destined to be nothing but a grey mound. Is this why it is said that the phoenix rises from its ashes?

I believe it does. To me a phoenix is not a mythical creature, instead it is a metaphor that goes well with my life and I believe, every person’s, life.

Segments of our life start as sparks and gradually turn into small flames. We nurture and feed those flames until a bright, brilliant fire is lit. We bask in its heat. But, as is the course of nature, the brilliance of the flame slowly begins to dwindle. A wind blows. The flames flicker. Raindrops fall. The flames are about to die out. What can you do to stop it? Can you stop the wind that blows? Can you shelter the flames from the torrential rain? Do you add fuel to the fire? One day you will run out of fuel as well. One day the fire will burn out. And you will be left cold and bereft, staring into a pile of ashes and watching the glowing embers as they slowly fade into darkness.

For me, many fires have been extinguished over time. Some had water thrown on them, some became covered with sand over time. Some were stomped out in a fit of rage. And some just burned and burned without being watched over, and died with time.

I have never been able to add much fuel to my fires. After nurturing the flames for a while, I grow tired and bored.

I have lost many opportunities in the past year. Some I gave up myself and now regret, some were taken away from me

I have started many fires in the past year. Some remain lit, some have fizzled. All have been forgotten.

I have started many friendships in the past year. All have deteriorated.

I am, in this vast world full of dust and ashes, a lost soul. An alien that is seldom understood. Whose expectations can never be met.

A lonely existence is deadly. When you keep secrets to yourself because you have no one to share them with, when you yearn to laugh and wander about with friends, but can’t, when you have dreams that cannot be achieved due to circumstance or lack of motivation, when you have goals you cannot accomplish without support, you burn on the inside.

It becomes too much and you turn into fire.

And we all know what happens to fire; it turns into ash.

But from the ash, rises a phoenix. Beautiful, majestic. With wings that span the length of a room, with talons that can cut through the hardest of steels, rises a phoenix. Calm and wise, it spreads it’s wings and soars into the air. Alone, watching, listening, thinking, it observes the people it once called friends from its otherworldly view. It pays them no heed but turns it’s head to the Sun and determines to rise as high as that flaming ball on its own.

A new era has began. I am a phoenix, rising from the ashes of the last three month’s betrayals, broken trusts, lies and hopelessness. From the utter lack of motivation and passion. From the letdown of having no recognition of my talents whatsoever. From the insecurities that have been ingrained into me since childhood.

I have not lived on this Earth for almost two decades only to hide in the shadows and flutter about like blown ashes.

I must rise like a phoenix to blind those who doubt me with my brilliance and my light. A phoenix, a solitary creature, that does not require the fake support of masked hypocrites who only want me to turn into ashes.

For me, That day has not come yet. When it does, all will be earth to earth, dust to dust and ashes to ashes…

Thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. – The Bible, Genesis 3:19

From the earth We created you, and into it We will return you, and from it We will extract you another time. – The Quran, Taha 20:55

Of Old Enemies And Best Friends

It is surprising how you find friendship in the most unexpected of places. On a bus station, a public forum, in the market, on a plane, in another country, in a very younger or older person, in a mentor or a teacher. The list goes on and on. But it is the most surprising when you find friendship in your enemy. Yes it happens. I believe that the most beautiful of friendships are always borne of an enmity.

In every cliche romantic film or novel, the person the protagonist hates the most, gradually becomes his/her lover, soul mate and happily ever after. But what I’m talking about is strictly the type of platonic love shared by people who have a lot in common, but have enough differences required for an exciting relationship. In short, the best of friends.

I have had many friends who turned into my enemies. Yet I have only a few enemies who turned into friends. They are my real friends, my confidants, my real soul-mates.The people who will never judge me, who will always stick by my side. It is surprising how much you have in common with your enemy, once you sit down and talk with them, instead of thinking up plans to murder them.

 I say that former enemies make better friends because they know your weaknesses, and also because all the passion required to hate the other, gradually turns into the need to protect and help. Former enemies believe that only they have the right to exploit their friend’s weaknesses, so they eventually scare away all your other enemies. They no longer resent your flaws, they embrace them and try to bring out the better person in you. They will still fight like cats and dogs with you, but in the end you will laugh it off. Enemies always try to find the skeletons in your closet, and if you are lucky enough for that enemy to turn into a friend, that friend knows all your secrets, and he will help you keep them till the end.

Fortunately, many of my old enemies and rivals are now my friends. We have an inseparable bond. A bond where no words are required to express our sorrow, no thank-yous are required to express our gratitude, and no apologies are required to ask for forgiveness.

Unfortunately, not all of my enemies are now my friends, and I still have to watch my back. But there are others too who will watch it for me, if I am ever unable to.

Skeletons and Dirty Laundry

Every individual, every employee, every family, every company, every leader, every politician and every country has skeletons in their closets. Skeletons that have been rotting in those closets and gathering cobwebs for God knows how long, until one day, they are resurrected and decide to come out of hiding; dancing with glee, smiling like fiends, showing off their boney limbs and scary teeth.

A secret is like a slow poison. It eats away at your insides for so long. You know you are taking poison, but you don’t do anything about it. You have two options, either you make an uproar and start finding the culprit, but then all your secrets would come out. Or you wait for death.

 Most people would choose the second option, because no one wants to air their dirty laundry. Obviously when the culprit is found, he will tell his story. And everything you have done to him will come out. Or maybe it would be a loved one who was poisoning you, then what?

So what people do is quietly throw away the poisoned food, until the culprit would find another way to kill them. They would never face their fears and their secrets. The poison would keep eating them slowly from the inside until one day they will leave the burden for their next generation to shoulder.

In the end, secrets ALWAYS come out. Accidentally or deliberately, one day, you will spill your secret, but by then, it would have broken you and hurt others.

Image

They’re all waiting to come out…

Secrets are, in my opinion, poison, double-edged swords, daggers and guns. They rip you apart before ripping apart your family and your life.

So, please air out your dirty laundry before it becomes putrid and suffocates you.