the past erased, a newness ushered in
4 min read

the past erased, a newness ushered in

the past erased, a newness ushered in

Sometime in the middle of this week, when I wasn't looking, the site stopped working. KrA, the techie in the house, looked into it and informed me there was some trouble with the hosting service, which essentially meant I may have lost everything I had put up on the site thus far. I only have backups of the Tales for Dreamers that I had been posting every Friday for two months now, but that's because I write them on Pages first before putting them up on the site. All other posts – my introspections, all my meanderings through my own heart – are very likely gone for good.

My first reaction to the news was that of disappointment. Which lasted all of five minutes.

A few months ago, something like this would have sent me spiralling down into a deep, deep funk. I'd have lambasted KrA for having slipped up on the techie side of things, spent three days or more mourning the loss of something so dear to me, and alternately pitying myself – gah! I had been religiously putting up new Tales for Dreamers every Friday, and long, heartfelt posts more regularly than in the recent past, why did this have to happen to me now, why me, and woe is me! – and cursing myself – why didn't I think of backing up every word I'd ever written?!

But poof! Somehow like the previous version of this website, all of that angst is gone.

And in its place is a newfound acceptance that everything is transient.

Everything is ephemeral.
My words.
You reading this blog.
There are moments when the two collide and something magical happens. I write something, begging for somebody to understand, and you come along and light up my world by saying, "Yes, I feel you, I feel the same too." Or you read something I've written and something shifts in you, a new understanding, a release, and you say, "Yes, I feel you, I feel the same too."

Perhaps this is why we express ourselves – to understand, and to be understood. And once that objective is achieved, there is simply no need for the same moment of magic to repeat itself. Sure, there will be other moments of its kind. But never the same one.

When D was younger, maybe about two or three years old, he'd build something with blocks and promptly thereafter topple it down. I was the one attached to his creations, armed with a phone in hand to take a pic in order to preserve his handiwork in some form. Later, I read about Tibetan monks who spend hours or days creating a Mandala art, only to destroy it in the end. A reminder of the impermanence of everything.

This incident with the site reminds me of something I had written in Dying Wishes. In this contemporary fantasy novel, Infinity is a Harbinger of Death. She arrives at the time of someone dying, offering them the opportunity to let go of all their wishes and attain moksha. She works for the God of Death at the Order of Life and Death. If, for whatever reason, a Harbinger commits an unforgivable error, they are evicted from the Order and they lose every memory of their time at the Order. The below is what I had written to explain this loss, this erasure.

And what consequence does the Harbinger face for such a blunder? For this unpardonable act of altering an innocent soul's destiny?
They are simply evicted from the Order. Every memory they may have formed of their encounters with Gods during their time at the Order is erased.
They wake up the next morning in their homes, the entire day unfurling like a path never travelled before. At first, they may feel as if they're unable to take the first step. Eventually, they do.
They take the first step, and then the next, and then another, and eventually a routine is established, something predictable, something reliable to be pursued again the next day, and the day after, and every single day after that.
And they spend the rest of their lives, comfortable with the nagging feeling that they are missing something. Something purposeful, something meaningful that was just around the corner once upon a time but has now slipped away forever from their grasp. But they learn to make their peace with it. As long as they don't keep looking for what they think they've lost, they can pretend it never existed in the first place.

As the story progresses, a series of incidents unfold, which prompts Infinity to contemplate leaving the Order. Her mentor in the Order, Frida, reminds her of all that's at stake. But Infinity gains a newfound perspective on the loss she once acutely feared.

A Harbinger evicted from the Order remembers nothing of their time spent in the service of the Gods. All this while, I had believed this to be an extremely appalling form of punishment.
But, I wonder now, is freedom from the past really as awful as it is made out to be? Wouldn't it be liberating instead? To simply wake up like a newborn, but with all the skills and abilities of a grown-up to make our way anew in this world, the real world of humans and mortal beings, with no sense of shame or guilt or remorse tethering us to past behavioural patterns. Perhaps this is why when we are newborns, we slowly lose all memory of our past lives by the time we are able to communicate with others in a comprehensible language. The burden of that knowledge of our past alone would keep us adhered to where we are, unable to move forward.
I am suddenly exhilarated at this newfound perspective. This possibility of achieving liberation by completely forgetting. By getting up and walking away and never coming back, neither physically nor emotionally nor mentally.
What a rare blessing it must be to erase the story we have so far written about ourselves and craft a new one instead, one in which we already have the qualities we spend our lifetimes seeking. The qualities of courage and kindness. Of compassion and understanding. And of radical self-acceptance, above all.

What a rare blessing indeed!

Frankly, I feel quite weightless. A wonderful lightness of being.

Oh, of course I will nag KrA to reach out to customer support and see if any of my past content can be retrieved. But whether we get it or not is immaterial.

So here's to new beginnings. And to much patience as I continue to post here anew – Tales for Dreamers will continue too – while resorting to some old posts to populate the website, as links refuse to work or take you to template pages that may make complete or no sense, as I endeavour to make this place a home again.

Image attribution: Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash