Rings of Smoke


I have caught myself many times making stories in my head of the origin of those I see.  Chasing characters that passed my car window, that man smoking his cigarette on the bike lost in thought, that child aimlessly walking about with torn clothes and no shoes to protect from the heat that radiates from the road. They all seem like characters with back stories, one with his childhood in the making spent on roads making circles in the wind, one ready to go home to a family he cannot please while slowly smoking his life away. Don’t get me wrong, my characters do not divulge from streets or empty roads, but they formulate from every conversation I have, every individual with a heart, and a story worth telling.

Humans were born for greatness, a kind of superiority we claim at birth, because we were entrusted with the biggest gift, the authority to think for ourselves, to be able to differentiate between choices and pick the right one, always the right one. This act of thinking also forces upon us the sad truth that the biggest flaw in the machinery of a human, is his thought process. It ranges from civility, from human instinct to the instinct of an animal, to be brutal, to not only those present in the arena, but to be able to self destruct completely. We were born that way, to be able to conclude our entire world in one swift motion and then weep at our broken pieces in remorse.

They say wars kill men. I believe hope kills us all. We’re in a darkness and caught in despair when a net of hope catches us, engulfs us. When that hope dies, from deep inside that little hole, we catch a glimpse of a shadow of death, the death of emotion standing in the corner biting its nails, waiting, patiently for its slow end. How ungrateful of man to mistake the light in his heart to be failing, to believe that an obscurity has overtaken  his being and there is no one here to save him.

From my humble observation of individuals, I believe we are all somewhere in between, the journey of our life to the destination, just like a child making rings in the air, barefoot in the heat, unaware of our torn clothes and unaware of what we may be missing out on. Our aimlessness is what drives us, it is our liberty in that moment to be whoever we ever wanted to be with absolutely no plans whatsoever on how we may get there. That is our hope and denial all wrapped up in a thought bubble preserving our dreams and keeping us safe from becoming the man smoking away his life because he is too afraid to go home. The child’s helplessness does not bother him, his inabilities and flaws are bare and open for the world to see, but the man? He is like you and I on a daily basis. Insecure, composed, complex, unable to be justified by an onlookers eyes. He is a mystery, you may not know his inhibitions even if you spoke to him, because he was taught that the world is cruel and people bargain happiness for ambition.

This is not the world that we chose, these are not the people we wanted to be. All of us, part of a race to maybe be up close with the divinity of winning, becoming robots in the making, treating emotion and love as a forlorn forced upon us, to play with, to ditch when its purpose no longer fulfills us. Chaining ourselves to society’s pressure to trade it for higher buildings and material wealth, never to preserve the idea of good and the natural instinct to empathize, like folklore of a time gone by.  A wish that blows in the wind reminding us of the people we were meant to be, but we chose not to because the world thrives on stability and different is deemed appalling and hope, is nothing but a word, while failure is mighty and always in reach. It is the ease with which we regret our misgivings and blame the problems of the world on the ones we feel were ready to hold it together.

The burden of the world lies on all our shoulders combined, we are witness to the fact that the light overshadows the darkness around us, each and every single day. And yet we go on, wanting to conquer the tangible universe around us without conquering that one particle within reach, our very own soul. Let not the hope, kill you, let it reinvent you. Break the shell and emerge, the world needs more heroes; we fall short because we’re waiting for someone else to take the role. It will not be easy, but it will be your only salvation and you will come out of it alive and free.

“There is a war that makes us adore our conquerors and despise ourselves.”
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things