We have another new year. Another set of days and nights, straight and flat. We have enough sunshine to bask ourselves in cozily. We are supposed to be free. Freedom is said to be our birth-right. It’s fine to be alive, as Tolstoy had said in one of his less pious efforts.
Assuming, we are free to do anything and everything, or that we live under the aegis of absolute freedom, a sudden glitch cracks under the surface. True to the concept of absolute freedom, a unit of mankind clashes with the whole of it. Other people, even your most loved ones use their sense of freedom, to make you captive of it. Of course, some of them want to limit you with open adversity, and the order of oppression takes the form of a primeval war.
The trouble begins amicably. Humane emotions, and their apparent expressions, may deceive you into the abyss of captivity. Remember, Roger Waters whining out his soul to one of Pink Floyd’s rare acoustic ballads? Yes, love and affection can make you feel giddy one moment, and at the very next it’s possible to find yourself into the intrigue yet again with frayed sense of liberty. The beautiful vision of a flaming horizon may actually be the glossiest cover for a blue void. Freedom, the ever-unbalanced coin of human existence, has its other side painted in bleak uncertainty. It may well have been a philosophical stunt!
There’s something in the logic, we all know and simultaneously deny. So it seems that the beautiful world that lies before us like a land of dreams is actually the cactus land of biblical prophecy. What is there to embrace then, what is the meaning of the absurd? I wonder. And I wonder.
Perhaps the absurd is just the part and parcel of our being. There is no escaping from it. There never was. We try to bamboozle ourselves with lovely illusions. Matthew Arnold, that stiff-collared poet, pleaded his love to remain true. That was his idea of salvation, his way of hankering after a diversion from the absurd. And, yet, even after taking the probable pitfalls of this ancient approach within the reach of our wisdom, we just cannot rule out sincerity, its resident ghost. True, there might not be any objective meaning of life, and that truth twists between war and peace like some reeling hallucination. Still there is something that may help us to familiarise the absurd as a part of ourselves. If love becomes one man’s idea of fighting the abstraction of his existence, it might not turn into a feasible notion, but it certainly can be a personal creed for the ultimate celebration of the trivial!
And it might become one’s incentive to live on, and counter the flummoxed reality. Soft now, here comes fair Ophelia, and objectivity be damned. The solution lies within the choice-basket of a set of alternative vectors. We are what we choose to be most of the time.
Ask Mrs Rowling for the rest of it.