Where The Lost Thoughts Go

(This is a story (edited version) I wrote for Diamond’s Photostory contest. It was very much an impulsive write and I apologise in advance if it appears nonsensical).

I saw him from a distance. It was a mere glimpse, but I registered so much of his face in that tiny fraction of a second. He had a lost expression as he sat staring into space. As I approached him silently, I searched for what it was that had his gaze enslaved.

It was a solitary cloud.

It looked like a thick white blanket that had been rolled and crushed repeatedly, until it had frayed ends and stray threads in all the wrong places. I couldn’t get over how incredibly magnificent it looked, in the messy state it appeared to be in – at first glance, its beauty was in all, that was wrong about it. It was far too different from all the shapeless clouds I’d doodled away when I let my thoughts wandered.

“Hey Sandy.” I’d been so dazed I didn’t notice I’d been standing next to him the whole time. “Hey.” It’s a half-hearted greeting, but I can see he hasn’t heard me. I sit down beside him and we continue to stare at the lonely cloud that appears faintly translucent from the last rays of the setting sun. “Would you miss me if I float away, Sandy?” The question hits me from out of the blue and I’m disoriented at what he’s asked. Did he actually say, ‘float’?

He turns around to look at me and I know he’s searching for an answer in my eyes, one that I’m afraid my brain can’t formulate into words. “You can’t float“, I say.

“I could with balloons.” It irks me how quickly he replies. The fact that he’s actually thought it through, that he anticipated what I would say, annoys and touches me at the same time.

Of course, I would miss you. All of us would.” That puts him at ease for a second before he tenses up again and sits rigid staring at the last few wisps of the cloud, he’s given so much of his attention to. I suddenly catch sight of a few balloons next to him and the realisation that we’re sitting on the roof hits me like a bus. He can’t have been serious.

“Don’t you think it’s unfair they’re born to soar the skies, that they get to break themselves and stitch themselves back again and disappear and not be asked why they left?” He’s not himself today, but I can hear a pained love in his voice. He just wants answers.

Life is unfair.” I know my answer is too open-ended and I know it’s not what he wanted to hear as I see his face scrunch up in thoughtful anger. “But it’s still unfair?” He wants me to say yes. “Not to them, it isn’t.”

I feel myself losing patience, I don’t understand where he’s going with this and I can’t walk away, not now that I’ve seen the balloons. “The balloons can’t take your weight.” I blurt out. He stares at me again and it just hurts so much to see him in wordless agony struggling to convey what his thoughts are screaming.

Photo by diya-pokharel on Unsplash

Cloud, are you okay?” I ask, trying to count the balloons. He stands up and hands me a balloon. “I think it’s cruel I was named for a fluff of white that goes around exploring all day and here I am stuck with no place to fly away to, when the voices inside demand a space to be let out.”

He starts blowing his balloon and beckons me to follow suit. I hold an inflated one out to him with a questioning eye and he shrugs as he ties their strings together. “They’re not for me”, he whispers. We blow up balloons till there’s enough to fill our home.

He takes out a few scraps of paper from his coat pocket and secures them at the end of each balloon. I can see something scribbled on each of them but they’re folded and hidden from view. Once all the balloons have paper scraps of their own, he hands a few of them to me and looks me straight in the eye and says, “Set them free.”

We watch as the balloons float away into the sky without a word of thanks or a farewell stare. ”I felt bad we were keeping them in a drawer when they had so much potential. It felt wrong we were condemning themselves to a sedentary life when they were created to soar. I figured I might send them away with a message or two for the clouds they pass through.”

Seriously? He was guilty about the balloons in his desk drawer? My anger vanishes like the cloud did, as I see my brother staring at the last few balloons. The sky’s a strange tint of royal blue speckled with wispy clouds and an occasional star. For a brief moment, I’m suddenly made aware of the thoughts and efforts he must have channeled into organsing this little escape, because his little heart couldn’t bear the fact that we were ‘holding a few balloons captive.’

He looks perfectly content, his skin giving off a slight glow against the blue sky and we watch as the last of the balloons disappear at the horizon. “You have no place to fly away to, Cloud. But you have family who’ll brave any storm for you.” He turns to me and I go on, “Like the stars that are always there but never seen on sun-soaked mornings, by your side brother, will we stand through thick and thin.”

Dear clouds,
Please take our worries with you the next time you drop by, and set them free. Keep these balloons safe till they arrive at the place the lost thoughts go.
Sincerely,
Cloud Star Stone

And now, meet the siblings of this story!

Sandy

Source: Build A Bears Furever

Cloud

Thoughtfully yours,
Introverted Thoughts aka D

Perspective Changed

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
― Walt Disney

Just a few weeks ago, Cheryl @ Gulf Coast Poet, who is a wonderful poet, mentioned in a comment on What Could Be(a recent post of mine), a line from the song, The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell. The line went ‘…dreams have lost some grandeur coming true‘. It has been lingering in the back of my mind ever since. I’ve never thought about what happens when a dream is achieved, I just assumed it would be a happily ever after, but that is definitely not true in most cases.

It’s a beautiful song. I loved everything about it! If you’d like to, please listen to this song while you read!

I couldn’t help but see how much importance I placed on Dreams, not to mention the fact that my tagline is ‘A Dream In The Making’ that indirectly implies that achieving dreams is the finishing point. But, it clearly is not. As Joni Mitchell puts it, dreams do lose some of their grandeur when they become a reality because it is the impossibility or improbability that made it seem so desirable or grand in the first place.

It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but the dream before the awakening.
― H.G. Wells

We dream for a clean and healthy planet and unbiased justice systems and equality for all, but what happens when they come true? Will we begin to take them for granted now that it is now no longer a dream or will we continue to cherish it with the same importance we once attributed to it?

Taking our current lives into consideration, it seems as if, the freedom to simply walk around without having to worry about a microscopic organism inflicting harm on one, has reduced to a distant dream. Events like visiting family or even going to a grocery store have now to be undertaken with so many precautions and have to be carried out ever so cautiously. Before this pandemic happened, these things seemed so insignificant and just another part of our lives.

No person has the right to rain on your dreams.
― Martin Luther King Jr.

We seem to have a one way perspective, a line of sight that begins at one end and proceeds on. We don’t have one that begins at the opposite end. Hence, we see how things begin and assume how they end. How they appear, after the start comes to an end, is completely another question in itself. But now that we have thought about dreams losing their grandeur on coming true or vice versa (what we once took for granted becoming dreams), maybe we’ll try and preserve their splendour in our minds so that it remains prized forever.

Had we had the same attitude towards our planet, fellow humans, animals and plants, realising how each and everyone is a dream in themselves or someone else’s dream, I can’t help wondering how different the world would have been.

A changed perspective from the other end of the spectrum seems to make conclusions that once ruled above all almost non-existent. However, that is most definitely not a reason to stop dreaming. Where would we be if we didn’t have dreams to fuel our progress and propel us forward in the first place?

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables


Related Post:
What Could Be

A huge thank you to Cheryl for sharing this song!! Feel free to share similar songs with thought-provoking lyrics! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on ‘..dreams have lost some grandeur coming true’!

Thank you so much for reading!

What Could Be

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Fall🍂

It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain. To let it be, to travel with it, as Velutha did, is much the harder thing to do.― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things […]

REACHING

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.― Thomas A. Edison Written in memories of oldAre stories of stars once told.For by virtue of their resilienceDid they make the most of their silence.Bruised souls and bleeding scarsFacilitated them in going past the bars,Society once imposed on them. Once lost in the valley […]

Taxing Technology

My head’ll explode if I continue with this escapism.― Jess C Scott, EyeLeash: A Blog Novel Being a so-called Gen Z (those who were born between 1996 and 2015 and are currently between 5-24 years old), you’d expect me to be absolutely fine, with sitting with my nose stuck in a screen, for 90% of the day. Growing up […]

2 AM

It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.
― Stephen King, Wolves of the Calla

6 more hours and I’ll be living the ‘tomorrow’ that I’ve been putting off for so long. The night is silent and serene as always. It’s funny how 2am is technically the next day but many call it night, others call it morning and yet others call it dawn. I have never been a fan of quotes that emphasise on how the day comes after night, like the night is unwelcome. I know they mean well, as in the good follows bad but this seems like a poor analogy.

Some things are all dependent on one’s perception of it. Generalising a concept is something that I have always detested. It applies to people too. Just because most teens love TV shows and fashion, it doesn’t mean all of them do. Just because one person from a specific group commits a felony, not all of them will. It is indeed, this generalisation that lays the foundation for considering one a ‘freak’. Every person is different; common characteristics exist but right at the core? You’ll only find one person with the same one.

After night comes day.
After death comes life.
Even at your darkest time look around because you are never really alone.
You are loved.
― Anna McPartlin

2 am is when everything I’ve left undone decides to make an appearance; all those lost ideas, dreams and forgotten hopes. It’s the moment of the day when you realise that they’ve stayed with you all this while. After being drained of energy all day, this is when I’m drained of exhaustion. Exhaustion. What a beautiful feeling! Being exhausted is like a red flag; it reminds you of every single pending job, every thing you left unscratched on your list. It puts everything into perspective and facilitates me in dreading planning out the next day.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
and silently steal away.
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I’ve often felt like the night and day are like one person, just in different moods. No, not good and bad. The day is the version we are for others. For society. The person we all turn into to just survive and not be picked on. The person no one would complain about. The night is the person who rests after a whole day of pretense. It’s like the time one sheds their outer facade. Just existing as a being, raw and stripped right down to the soul. A glimpse into what it means to truly live.

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.
― Sarah Williams

This is also the hour when I realise so many things. Deeds and words and lyrics and expressions and everything; everything that was seemingly normal and usual at the time of occurrence. Overthinking takes the lead and I zone out for a while reflecting and analysing thoughts as old as me.

Some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness.
― Poppy Z.Brite

2am is weirdly wholesome; somehow, it’s the period when all my thoughts call for a meeting. Losing myself in all those thoughts, thirsty for attention is a favourite pastime of mine. Because sometimes, it’s necessary to lose yourself to find you because that is when you really start searching. There is this authenticity and originality to the night that you will never find anywhere else. The best part? It feels new every day. Loving the night doesn’t make me a dark person. I believe in ghosts and the paranormal but it doesn’t scare me. It would be a different story were something to grab me by my neck in the middle of the night but let’s not get into that just yet. I find such entities strangely intriguing. But does it matter now?

People who go to be early always complain that the night is too short, but for those of us who stay up all night, it can feel as long as a lifetime. You get a lot done.
― Banana Yoshimoto, N.P

It’s interesting how so much can happen at a time. The day drags on like it always does but the nights don’t. They never last long enough for me to soak in that feeling of rawness and solitude. But the good things never do. As they say, the transience and mortality is what gives it a price. I believe that applies to life as well, don’t you?


Previously on Random Specific Thoughts:
SHE
Procrastination

PERPLEXED

Confusion is a luxury which only the very, very young can possibly afford and you are not that young anymore.
― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

Roots of a long forgotten past
Are dragging me deeper into
The depths of lost memories
I once chose to ignore.
Thirsty for recognition
And craving attention,
They are plaguing me from within,
Clouding my sense of realisation,
Depriving me of the
Child I once was.

Tossed between society and norms,
In a world of instability,
Where I am merely a pawn.
The blossoming future beckons to me,
An elusive dream
That has been reduced to an illusion.

Memories and dreams
Have evolved into vague thoughts and 
Taunt me for my ignorance,
As I attempt to comprehend
This chaotic beauty,
Perplexion at its best.

I just exist,
A song without a rhythm,
A dark, cold flame.
I hear a heart beating,
But was it ever beating for me?

We’re all mad, the whole damned race. We’re wrapped in illusions, delusions, confusions about the penetrability of partitions, we’re all mad and in solitary confinement.
― William Golding, Darkness Visible


On a side note, I recently opened an art page featuring some of my more presentable works. I’d love it if you could check it out here and leave some feedback!

Nursery Rhymes

Yes, you read that (title) right.

As I was working on a speech (don’t get me started on that, a dedicated post is on the way) for school, I realised how inclined I was towards…nursery rhymes. Inclined, is too mild a word. I am seriously obsessed with them. There is this certain joy and mystery in them that I honestly crave. Yes, I wish I could go back to being a child.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

The above lines are from the famous nursery rhyme, ‘Row , row, row your boat’. It’s not the rhyme or the tune that caught my attention. The last line here, “Life is but a dream” hit me like a bus. I wrote a line in my speech which was for the topic ‘Human Beings Under Covid-19’ saying that we were finally realising that life was indeed a dream. One that we could wake up from, any second. What’s more, I was even more overwhelmed when I re-read my sentence, realising that I had unknowingly compared dying to waking up, implying that death, could be a new beginning. I ended up cutting that sentence from my speech to satisfy the time limit.

This pandemic has also shed light on our finite existence and has made many aware that life after all, is just a dream, one that we could wake up from, any second.
(From my speech)

But the fact that I’m still invariably drawn towards nursery rhymes shows that the child in me is still very much alive. I sing nursery rhymes to myself when I’m feeling blue or in the dumps and I swear they make a difference.

The thing is, they may be nursery rhymes written for kids learning to grow up, a little dose of life lessons saying ‘This is the world you’re going to grow up in. Do this and we’ll treat you nice.’ But we often fail to emphasise on how they are written by adults. Yes, I know 2 and 3 year olds can’t read/ write well enough to compose a rhyme. But because they’re written by adults, there’s often something hidden in these seemingly kiddy rhymes.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.
― Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussycat

Naturally, I ended up trying to learn more rhymes and explore the various genres of nursery rhymes. You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are many ;
lullabies, fables, counting games(I feel so stupid writing this) etc.

I also discovered that many rhymes have disturbing backstories (I’m not going to include those here, but you can find those if you google it). I find it intriguing that I grew up listening to these songs and yet I feel like a complete stranger now.

One little Indian left all alone, he went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

These were what set the standard by which I judged songs. They played a pivotal role in my growing up. I went to kindergarten solely to learn these (and sharing and caring and all that) but what’s funny is that I have just begun getting to know them.

Nursery rhymes are that sort of charms that are ever present, but never really seen. They make up this foundation of a life that we later build on. Like the human blood that courses through our veins, nursery rhymes are something that we all share in common. You must have learnt at least one someday, somewhere. Don’t tell me that you haven’t sung ‘Jack and Jill’ or ‘Little Bo-peep!

If you haven’t, well, you can begin right now.

The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes, and before I could read them for myself, I had come to love just the words of them, the words alone.
Dylan Thomas

Who’s to say you’re a grown up? Really, all this growing up and being ‘too old‘ is way too overrated. I’m 16 and I love nursery rhymes and watch Mr. Bean almost everyday. It may seem abnormal to some, but those are 2 of the very few things that I genuinely enjoy. Everything else is just…existing, simply because of its need to; not because I need it to.

I’ve said (written) this before. It is NEVER too late to evoke the child in you. He/she/they is invariably a part of your soul. You never grow up, you never stop being a child, you never lose your innocence or ability to imagine. The past, present and future you, simultaneously exist and everything and everyone is already there.

You’re just not looking hard enough.

Who ever thought I’d one day grow to love nursery rhymes? Little me/past me is probably shedding tears of pride now. I know, because I would, if future me started playing with dolls one day.

A nursery rhyme shapes your bones and nerves, and it shapes your mind. They are powerful, nursery rhymes, and immensely old, and not toys, even though they are for children.
― Katherine Catmull, Summer and Bird

Mist of Clarity

We all have those random moments of total and sheer uncertainty when we doubt everything and everyone around us. Reality loses its position and merges with a surreal version of itself. These moments can be quite scary and intriguing, simply because they are quite unexpected and require previous experience to be dealt with properly (but I don’t think experience could help me here). Anything seems possible in such instances. Aliens on earth? Sure, why not? Trees can fly? Oh, they always have.

We just lose our hold of what (we assumed) was real and fictional. Such moments either make up depressingly haunting memories or memories that we’ll cherish forever. They are merely moments in time, a split second occurrence when nothing is impossible and expectations (good or bad) are shattered, where life itself takes on a whole new appearance. These moments linger for a moment or so but when they leave, they do so making sure their unfortunate victims(usually me) are completely disoriented and frankly, lost.

Even after their departure, there is a period of doubt and recklessness that I ended up terming ‘Mist of Clarity’. They are merely moments and often, that’s just what we think they are. But life too, is a collection of infinite moments cramped into a finite existence, but that doesn’t mean moments are finite. They leave, casting a mist, a cloud over what was otherwise, a monotonous reality. The more we attempt to see through this mist, the more we realize how much we’ve missed.

Yes, they are unwelcome and yes, they are scary. But that doesn’t mean that I hate them. They merely catch me off guard….all the time and that is what I dislike above everything else. Every plan I make just goes out the window because these misty moments decide to drop in for a visit.