Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Heroes Fall

I've always been intensely disturbed by earthquakes. It represents an indescribable blend of fear and pain, seeing one's home, a safe cocoon, a loving space of cherished memories crashing down all over one's self, crushing, crumbling one's mind and senses, hopes and security, comfort and pride. When the very foundations on which one's life rests rumble and crack, and the feeling of utter helplessness and panic tear at one's heart, there acts a force pulling one out of the raining debris, while an opposite force seals one's tracks to the shattering earth; glued in denial, scurrying to salvage as much as possible. A scorching pain running through one's body, stuck with the necessity to run out to save ourselves, as the elements of our existence wipe themselves out, pushing us out into the dusty streets, to rebuild everything from scratch.

Perhaps this is no different from the way we feel when our heroes and beliefs fall, crashing down ignominiously, pulling us down to a spiraling descent till we hit rock bottom. With a life built around them as scaffolding structures, nothing makes sense anymore as the very scaffolds buckle. With a million shards of prickling pieces hailing down, where does one start to pick up the pieces and assemble them all again in a meaningful design? In denial we desperately hold onto our beliefs from falling, burdening our whole weight of existence to bolster the structure, making excuses to cover up the cracks, assuring ourselves that they can be mended, explaining away the disappointments, and scouring the corners of our mind to rationalize the faith. But there comes a point when we fall down hard with the obliterating structures, bruising ourselves harder than we can bring ourselves to stand up again.

But life goes on. Despite only a bleak hope of putting the pieces together, we pack the debris and burden ourselves by carrying the knapsack through the rest of our journey, with a relentless, unrealistic hope and yearning to somehow, someday put them all together to make sense of them again. Wishing to quieten the nagging questions of when and how the safe cocoon of beliefs started to disintegrate, how the epitome of protection is no longer accepting of us, how the footsteps that were obediently followed led to a barren desert... how everything burst into nothingness like pricking on an inflated balloon.

Perhaps it doesn't seem fair to blame the heroes and our faith; maybe the fault lies with us for being careless and fallacious in building and supporting our life on them.

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