I have been off the computer, off reading, off writing. The cause was what I assumed to be an eye infection. I woke up the other morning and felt pin-pricks. Was it sorrow reminding me to water it? Or remnant thorns from the dew that always stays back? Or perhaps the discharge was just glue that had come off when the sealed notes my vision sees are opened?
Touching it gently, I experienced a pain so dull that I stifled a yawn. As the minutes passed, the eye felt heavy and the lid turned pink and bulbous. Now, this was something I could deal with. I like visible signs, something to tell me that even if I am on the wrong road it is the wrong road. How often have I mistaken right for wrong and wrong for right. Roads. I am talking about roads; you might include bylanes and thoroughfares and highways and mud-tracks. They are all roads that lead somewhere.
The infection turned out to be a sty. I called up the chemist. He sent me eye drops, though he recommended something else, “Use this ointment, it will heal faster.” I am in no hurry. Nothing heals faster. Faster than what? And I don’t like the greasy feel of ointment in my eye. I put in two drops in the affected eye and one in the other eye, just in case it decided to show sympathy. Laying there in bed, I felt them stinging. I imagined ants walking in the whites and moving towards the iris and then settling down on the retina, dilating my pupils and forming an anthill.
Try and understand. Pain makes you alive to many possibilities. You are like an open pore, anything can enter.
That evening I went out, all dressed up, with one eye swollen pink. I could have applied an eye-shadow on the other one to make both look similar, but I liked the difference. One wide-eyed and curious; the other heavy and laden with some vicious fluid that had deposited itself within. It is strange that on a day when we were celebrating me, I was getting comfortable with the dichotomy. I have come to realise that stasis of any sort would make me tetchy. If nothing else, I probably need to take myself apart, gather the pieces and put them together.
The next morning I looked at the sky. It was a light grey. There did not appear to be any obvious cloud formations.
How often do we look up at the sky for its own sake, just because it is a sky and does not have to hold the burden of stars and the moon and the sun and comets and rainbows? I liked this sky. It was a blank canvas. I wanted no colour on it, no distractions.
Today, as I uploaded the picture, I decided to darken it…and in the dark there indeed were clouds.
I knew there would be. But the image I saw and captured is the sky without anything. The sky alone, unadorned and yet so stoic.
I shall forever look at skies differently. The sky for sky’s sake.