US

Upon the riverbank of memory

US
By Asna Safdar
Fri, 01, 21

Mourning is important. Mourning is necessary. Last rites, farewell rituals; now I understand the magnified conventions of burials and vigils....

INTROSPECTION

Mourning is important. Mourning is necessary. Last rites, farewell rituals; now I understand the magnified conventions of burials and vigils.

When a life comes to an end abruptly, without due decay of age and illness, when youth is disgraced by an unceremonious death, then the loss becomes perpetual, the mourning is eternal, and sorrow is born. Like an infant, it needs to be tended to, weep to maturity, until it becomes an existence in itself, to fill the void left by the untimely demise of its origin. Then, perhaps, the debt is paid. Then, perhaps, the order of things is spared of merciless trauma.

It is not just humans that are living. The bonds between them have lives of their own. They, too, have natural courses of life and death. They, however, can be killed off with bloodshed, buried without trail, drowned in the dead of the night.

And that is what makes feelings dangerous: our self-deceptive ease of their denial. That is what makes them terrifyingly powerful.

When you love in silence, you do not yet know - you one day might have to mourn in silence, too. You might have to deny yourself the faintest whisper of devastating pain. And one day, you wake up to find it gone. And you embrace your newfound faith in the miracle of forgetfulness, the numbing balm of time.

But that’s the thing about undocumented assaults - you fling the evidence of your crimes into a river and walk away and one day find yourself under trial for a dead body that washes ashore on the riverbank of memory.

You wonder if the bitterness ever goes away. You think abandoning a feeling would make it wither, until one night, there is again poison trickling down your insides. All you asked was not to be the harbour where bitterness comes to find anchor. All you ever asked was to become the ocean itself.

Your deeds, your excesses, your injustice, your trauma, your unwept tears, your unspoken pains - everything catches up with you like mad hounds you couldn’t throw off your scent.

It is immensely naïve and profoundly ignorant for man to believe that the laws of universe are null and void in the empty spaces between each of our lives. How is that, an action has to have a reaction, but that human action has no consequences? That the things we do to each other deflect into some dark black abyss from where nothing ever returns? Do we actually believe that if we manage to inflict pain upon someone who does not have it in their power to claim retribution or recompense, the scores are settled? Accounts balanced? Charges dismissed? Case closed?

It’s the people who leave you for dead. Or those who drive you to the edge of cliffs and turn back just in time to avoid having to watch you fall. Somehow they think, not being a witness to the crime mitigates their culpability, diminishes their responsibility, validates their denial.

If it is ignorance, it is blind; if self-deception, destructive. Nothing ever really goes away. We do, and we will; but the legacy of endured, undeserved pain, stays.

The laws of the universe are not null and void - they are in vicious motion. It is only a matter of time. Time: the unknown variable, the great equaliser, the unrelenting ombudsman.