(Mathematical) Models never lie.

After you’ve weighed out all of your options,
Accounted for each variable, each universal law.
You understand people; can predict their actions,
You factor in each quality; be it strength or flaw.
When after you’ve constructed the perfect model,
And you know exactly what you are supposed to do;
That little voice in your head will pipe up and say,
“What if?”, and it’s enough to make yourself doubt you.
You redo your model, look for the good in people’s hearts.
Think the best of everyone, even if it’s just a little bit;
Fool yourself with your optimism, anything can happen.
But when that little voice pipes up and says “What if?” 
Crush it.

People are not the best versions of themselves,
The same as you will never be the best version of you.
We’re all limited by our mindsets, our morals and values. 
It is what it is, and there is nothing we can do.
We can’t spin the globe and look at it from all angles;
Understand all the possibilities as it spins rapidly by.
We’re limited, by our inability. So when it says “What if?”
Crush it.
After all, (Mathematical) Models never lie.

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Happiness is infectious

This is a bad poem. I just wanted to talk about how infectious happiness is. My professor had a baby girl. And for a moment, inexplicably, I was in my heart, thrilled for someone I dislike. Was it just his happiness, or was it for the birth of a child?  I don’t know. But I felt his happiness, and for that I’m glad.
———————————————–
Happiness is infectious.
The opening of a cardboard box,
Chocolates bring happiness
To those who cannot feel
But can still share in yours.

A brilliant, white smile;
At the birth of a child,
Doesn’t matter whose
A celebration of life.
Such happiness is infectious.

It bloomed in my heart,
That perfect white flower,
From your white smile,
As you held out your box
Full of chocolates; to share
The happiness that you felt
For a brief moment,
My heart could finally feel.
And I lived.

The point to life and other rambles.

Whenever I put my pen to paper about this, I hate myself a little. I stop writing halfway because I sound exactly like the pretentious people I hate. And while I swear often in real life, I have always tried to avoid it in my writing, I find it somehow crass. That said, there is only one word to describe how I feel about myself whenever I put my pen to paper about this and that is, quite frankly, a douche.

Today, however, I feel, more than ever – I feel alone and frustrated. Not from my loneliness or my lack of friendships, but because of this weight I carry on my shoulders. My oversized head filled with it’s oversized brain.

I’ve always thought of myself as smart. Not the smartest. I am not modest and nor am I a liar. I call spades spades. I have suffered due to my ‘over-frankness’. I think it is due to my OCD because as a kid I taught my elder brother to lie. I was the worst. And now, the only time I can bring myself to lie is when the consequences of the truth are too heavy to bear. I’m rambling.

I’ve always thought of myself as smart. Capable of thinking and processing a little faster, a little better than the others. At the same time, I’ve never thought of others as stupid. I’ve always been astounded by their thoughts and limitations. In examinations, when you have two things to learn by heart and the vomit out onto the paper, how can people, who study ten times more than I do, not do it efficiently? It’s something that has baffled me, always. Things like putting on gloves before you dye your hair. Not venturing into dark, uninhabited places alone. Not driving after drinking. Using protection while having sex. These are fundamental, basic things a person should know! And how, I just. I just can’t process this. Just how? How?

God made us equal. Sort of. Those who lack in one sphere make up in another. I’m talented so I have a very slow metabolism and am terrible at sports. Extremely pretty people are often dumb (not stereotyping, I just feel like they’ve never needed to be witty and interesting so they’ve never tried. It’s as simple as nature vs. nurture). But everyone, everyone has a similar brain. We are nearly equal in this aspect. It’s the same size. Same number of cells. Similar DNA in our neurons. How can some people just not use theirs?

It upsets me. I feel like people don’t even try. They hear but don’t listen. Sometimes they don’t even hear. Their brain is running on ‘minimum energy’. They don’t think because while they’ve been taught to question, they never really question do they? They just question what they think should be questioned. Spoonfed baboons. They question the wrong things. Everyone my age wants to ‘question the system’. They throw a little rebellion about and pretend to feel ‘oppressed’. No one thinks about it from the other side. Is anarchy that appealing?

Why is everyone so invested in self-gratification? ‘I want it all and I want it now’ to quote Queen, but that’s not what Queen meant (they’re my favourite band). YOLO is the stupidest thing to come out of the internet. Ever. When will people realise that ‘you only live once’ should mean you make something of your life instead of throwing it away on frivolous things that we won’t even remember later?

I have spent the last year or so questioning my existence. Why do I exist? Where is my place in this ginormous, cosmic machine? We’re all cogs, just turning. Is there a point? Who will answer these questions? Who can answer them? I can’t. I’ve tried and I honestly just can’t. Who am I after all? I want there to be a point to my life. I don’t want this existence, these emotions, this pain, even the joy to mean nothing. If you look at the biggest picture of them all – this universe will end one day. The Earth may disappear even before that. When I die, even if I leave something behind, will it be remembered four or five generations from now? Probably not. And if the word is destroyed, what then? When I think of every single person’s existence and the ultimate destruction of the universe, I frankly see no point. I don’t believe in heaven. I don’t know what I believe in, but it isn’t fluffy white clouds. Maybe we are transported to a parallel dimension? I don’t know. There’s so much I don’t know. I sometimes wish I was immortal just so that I could learn everything. Math, science, psychology, art, music – just everything. I wish I could read every book ever written. Listen to every song. Watch every movie, every TV series, every anime. That’s just a dream. There are so many things I don’t know.

What I do know is this – I cannot believe in a pointless existence. What justification do I have for living my life then? There has to be some meaning. I don’t know what it is, but there is something. There has to be. And I must contribute somehow.

And when I see my peers, some of my elders, the younger generations that live with sheer apathy. It upsets me. It shatters my heart. No, it is a stab in my heart every time and every single inane thing to come from their mouths is a twist of the knife. Can they not understand? Do they not search for meaning? I feel like my life, my existence is devalued by such things.

How can you not care?

Society as such is forcing us to be dumber versions of ourselves. We don’t think. We play, quite frankly, idiotic games like ‘Flappy Bird’ and ‘Temple Run’. We spend hours in the gym but don’t spend ten minutes reading a book. We are so focused on external appearances. We’re utterly selfish, we don’t care about other people’s feelings. Manners and courtesy are a thing of the past.

I have heard people say, silly, stupid, stupid things like ‘Why should I care about global warming? I’ll be dead before then.’ Or things about hunger. About war. People who see walls between themselves and others. Religious walls. Parochial walls. The walls of nationality, looks, dress size, hair colour. Silly, stupid things.

I said I’ve never called anyone stupid, and for a long time I refused to. I just thought of them as lazy. Too lazy to employ this brilliant, brilliant mind we have been blessed with. But I can’t anymore. My definition of stupidity has changed. It’s not about academics or exams, it’s not about awards and prizes. It’s just about you, and the thoughts you think, the feelings you feel, how you make other people feel. When our lives end, what will be left of us? Even if it’s for a few months, I’d like there to be something of me after it all ends.

I feel this weight on my brain when people repeat redundant things, silly things and waste time. When people listen to bleeps and bloops and pretend it’s music. When the pretentious, artsy fartsy types take things to another level of dumbness – one that errs on the other side of the line called sense. The ‘erudite’.

I don’t understand them. I don’t think I ever will. They make me want to cry for the waste. All this time, all this energy. All that wonderful genetic machinery, God’s blessing, going to waste. More than anything, they make me feel pointless.

I sound terrible. Conceited. Maybe I am. sometimes I wonder if life would’ve been different if I’d been born stupid. I would’ve been happier, I am sure. But I wouldn’t give up this existence for anything. Because there’s a meaning to all this.

My point is this – you have a wonderful brain. No one is dumb. Use your brain. Think. Reason. Process. Don’t make our existence pointless. You don’t have to leave something behind for your existence to be meaningful. You just need to not make it pointless. We’re tissues. Blank, white canvases for a scatter brained artist to haphazardly jot down the richest idea. The same tissue that could be used to wipe away dirt. What would you choose to be? Even if everything ends one day, and everything is destroyed. What would you want?

I leave you with a wonderful quote from ‘Honey and Clover’ by Chica Umino. Please look up this manga/anime. It has some of the most beautiful sentiments I have ever felt expressed. At least look up some of the quotes. Even Hiromu Arakawa has some lovely quotes.

This is a little emotional, but I feel this sentiment applies to every possible emotion, not just love. Every action of our lives. I want to feel like this about my actions when I think of them later. 

‘I’d been wondering whether there is a meaning to a failed love… Is something that disappeared the same as something that never existed? But now I now there is—There was a meaning right here.. Because despite the heartbreak, I’m still glad that I fell in love with you.’

Once Bitten…

This was a prompt on http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/daily-prompt-tainted-love/. Something I wrote a while back, but which was somehow relevant to the prompt. This is also on my public profile, so well, hopefully no one makes the connection (unlikely anyway, no one reads either of these anyway). Haha.
———
Little Turtle in her shell, lying on the ocean floor,
Her eyes are in darkness, her mind a closed door.
Content to be, happy in silence, entirely satisfied;
She never pokes her head out, never ventures outside.

Fluttering Jellyfish, swimming vacantly along the shore,
Doesn’t know what he wants, just knows he wants more.
On a whim, one day he swam far below the tide,
And our shy, sweet Turtle’s immobile shell he spied.

“Come out to play,” he said, bobbing beside our friend,
“The world is bright, and the great ocean will never end.”
The Turtle watched warily from deep within her hole,
The Jellyfish saw only her eyes, and they glittered like coal.

She saw the Jellyfish’s colours, iridescent, like a rainbow;
And in a deep voice she spoke, just as he turned to go,
“I’m afraid of the vast ocean, afraid of the wild sea,
I like my spot on the ocean floor, where people let me be.”

The Jellyfish nodded, seemed to understand her fear,
He gently laid a tentacle on her and said, “Listen dear,
The ocean may be scary, but with me by your side,
You wouldn’t have to worry; don’t be so terrified.”

For weeks, he coaxed and cajoled, reasoned in every way;
Unused to such attention, she opened her mouth to say,
“The things that you are saying, I have been thinking too,
And what I’ve thought Mr Jellyfish is that I’ll go with you.

“Your words have lifted my heart; they’ve set me at ease,
Together the two of us, we will chart the seven seas!”
Those intelligent black eyes, were hopefully peering out,
The Jellyfish felt odd, but couldn’t tell what it was about.

He took a deep breath and tried to still his wavering heart,
He’d pictured this a thousand times, but’d never seen this part.
The tide had turned in battle, and now that he had won,
He wasn’t sure of the outcome, or even why he had begun.

He steeled himself however; maybe it would be alright,
It was natural to have jitters before starting such a flight.
He bobbed uncertainly by her and beckoned with his head,
The Turtle slipped her flippers out upon the tranquil seabed.

And slowly out of the cavern in her shell her wrinkled head slid,
Giving up the protective barrier that her from the world hid.
Her enormous toothless maw was stretched into a smile;
Started by her ugliness, up the Jellyfish’s throat rose bile.

In a flurry of movement, he stung her across the eyes,
“Sorry,” he muttered quickly and away began to rise.
He wasn’t a terrible guy, but he was honestly shocked,
What he’d seen had scared him, so away he had walked.

The Turtle howled, the pain searing her very soul,
Down her wretched face, salty tears began to roll.
She’d done no wrong, and yet she’d been spurned.
She’d put herself out there, and gotten badly burned.

Dearest Turtle, couldn’t you see, that people like you and I,
We’re contemptible, worthless and we will never know why.
Happiness isn’t meant to be ours; I hope that now you see,
Hiding in the shadows is the best for fools like you and me.
Where we’re left to our own devices and people let us be.

Reaching for something

This is something I sketched out on 16th August but hadn’t gotten around to typing up. But then I saw the Daily Prompt a day or so ago, and even though it’s a little late, and even though this might not be exactly what they intended when giving out the prompt, I thought I’d used this as motivation to put this up!
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/out-of-your-reach/
—————————-

Every night as I lay in bed I am overcome by the burning in me, the burning that stays dormant during the day. When the words and actions of people serve to cool and distract from the blazing heat, the soul-sucking black hole that forever remains on the verge of collapsing in on itself. Every day, while the world around me turns and whirls; I pretend to myself. I burn.

Every night as I struggle to fall asleep, I see you hiding in the shadows. Fluttering somewhere just beyond the darkness of my tightly closed eyelids. I reach for you but my physical hands feel only nothingness. If I could push my hands out from within my eyeballs and brush aside those gauzy, flimsy curtains and look you in the eyes, I would. As it stands, I see tiny black palms emerging from the blackness of my irises desperately reaching out towards you and falling back, struggling to emerge from the writhing, slippery mass ahead of the others, to be the first to reveal the truth – that which is all I seek and all that needs to be seen.

I find myself suspended in time, sometimes wondering if it is better to endure the steady fire in my veins than to try fruitlessly night after night in my quest to achieve the truth. I wonder if the anticipation has become so great that no matter what is on the other side of the curtain, I will find you wanting. I wonder if when you find me, perhaps you will find me wanting. Then I shake the thought from my head and laugh at myself because I know that for you, as for me, on the other side of the curtain waits perfection. That a part of me was placed into you when you were born and that without it, I remain a fraction of myself.

Yet, those days, days on which I doubt myself, disillusioned, I prolong the simplest tasks, procrastinate, waste my time and pray for swift sleep born of tiredness because I cannot face another night of empty searching.
Every night I lay in bed, eyes shut, searching into the late hours for you before sleep takes me. Every day I pretend; I pretend to be oblivious to the burning, to the aching, to the emptiness within me. I pretend that the pain that throbs dully behind my eyes is from lack of sleep and not the strain of trying to see into something beyond the abilities of my naked human eye. I pretend that I am whole.Hence, I am proved a liar, time and again. And my only redemption is in you – the truth I seek.

Soldiering on – explained.

The poem, ‘Soldiering On’ (found at https://kazenomachihe.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/soldiering-on/) is an allegorical representation of my OCD.

I don’t much about the army, much less the American army, so please forgive any information that is inaccurate.

I spoke to this person today who told me about how he had been hospitalised due to his OCD. Forced to live in a psychiatric ward, not even allowed to meet his family. And he looked at me and asked me what my symptoms were and he just brushed them off and said I’d be fine.

It is very difficult for someone like me, someone who considers themselves extremely intelligent and rational, someone who approaches problems analytically and solves them in the optimal way. It is very difficult for someone like me to imagine a world where I would be fine simply because no matter how many angles I try to approach my OCD in, I always hit a dead end. An immovable wall that prevents me from going further.

Over the last several years, the last four in particular, it has slowly chipped away at every ounce of happiness, every shred of confidence in me. I have gone from a social butterfly to the kind of person that shies away from human company – a kind of metaphorical cockroach, hiding in the dark crevices of society. I simply cannot meet people and not imagine where their hands have been in the last five minutes. How many toilet doors, flushes, seats they have touched. How many taps they have opened with their own fingers. But I digress. Slightly.

So I thought to myself, as he said all those things, as I asked him about treatment plans because I am someone, somewhere far away from where such things are easily accessible. The one psychiatrist I did go to merely prescribed me some drugs and sent me away; pills that I stopped taking when the pill box became dirty (the irony). I thought to myself that he sounded like one of those war veterans we see on TV shows and films, who talks of the countless terrors he has survived and I felt like a novice. A soldier who had served for barely a year. Someone who knew nothing about anything and who was making mountains out of molehills.

And then I thought of my family, and how should I ever reach a stage wherein I’d have to be hospitalised away from them, my mother would break, my brother be more lost than he was right now.

We have nothing left but each other.

And I wanted, more than anything, not to ever reach that stage. That is what makes it so important for me to get treatment, to find a way to manage things better. So that when a guest comes to my house I don’t need to have heart palpitations when I realise that he is the type who doesn’t wash his hands after flushing a toilet.

I’m digressing again. Slightly.Basically soldiering on is an allegorical representation of my OCD. The army is OCD. The veteran is the boy I spoke to who had been hospitalised. Everything else, well the meanings should be clear to you.

Soldiering on.

He eyed me over the rim of his glass, and said,
“Boy, let me tell you of the battles I’ve seen;
I’ve fought the war in Korea, served in Vietnam.
If only you knew of all the places I have been.
You’re current trials and troubles are petty,
Of true trauma and suffering,you’re nowhere near.
So sit the fuck down sonny, pour me another drink.”
He said as he drained the final dregs of his beer.

He didn’t notice that my tightly clenched hands
Were drumming an urgent rhythm against my thighs;
I thought he’d understand, being a soldier like me.
I thought he wouldn’t have those judgmental eyes.
“Sir,” I replied tersely, fingers flying faster,
“My problems might pale before the horrors you saw,
But they’re still monumental to me. Can’t you see?
The travails we suffer are just luck of the draw.”
Hands moved to the table, drumming a syncopated beat.
“Who can measure human desperation with certainty?
Our circumstances, our situations are different,
Different, you and I, in mind and personality.
You might have fought long in Korea and Vietnam,
I have faced, my share of gruesome battles too.
You may have served your country for far longer,
But, that’s exactly it. I’m scared of becoming you.”

Mouth twisted in disapproval, eyes flashing, he spoke,
“Now look here boy, you’d better show some respect,
What’s the point of chewing my ear off for an hour
If the only piece of advice I give, you rudely reject?”

“It took you twenty years of fighting,” I replied,
“Before you finally realised it was slowly killing you.
Well, it’s killing me; I simply realised it sooner.
If anything it makes me smarter, more prudent too.
I’m telling you not to trivialise, not to call me weak.
The army took from you twenty years, there’s no doubt.
It gave you a glass eye and poor prosthetic limbs.
I can see that in my future, and dammit, I want out.
Your wife and kids could only stand silently supporting,
While you tore up paddy fields, waded marshes of reeds.
My family has suffered enough; I cannot be that selfish,
To indulge in this violent fantasy, satisfy my own needs.
I came here to ask you, what the best way was to quit;
This fruitless exercise has only served to upset me.
But I shall remember my manners and buy you that drink.”
I did, then tipped my cap to him and thanked him politely.

Winding my scarf around my neck, I thought of it as noose;
Musing of freedom that was beyond reach, spirits sinking lower.
I shoved my hands in my pocket, turned my collar to the cold
And walked out of that bar, hoping it would all soon be over.

——————————

An explanation of this poem can be found at https://kazenomachihe.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/soldiering-on-explained/