A picture, to me is something words will always fail to describe, more so with this Particular Rob Gonsalves painting (Weird coincidence that I’d come across it weeks before, and when I scrolled through and found this, I Knew what I was gonna write about) But I’ll still try my best.
Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.I liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.
And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made me feel hopeful, somehow.
There afloat among an ocean of stars, and also an ocean (The beauty of the painting lies in this fusion that is also a contradiction.I adore the ocean and its vastness, as if it is trying to teach me something, as if it is trying to teach me to remain calm whatever the situation maybe. It holds such a huge amount of water but always remains content and at peace, while we people lose our calm even at smallest of tensions that we get in life. It teaches us to keep our secrets safe within. It has an entire habitat residing in its heart, but we haven’t been able to explore it fully, same way, we must keep our secrets tightly bound within us. If we will share them, the world will lose the curiosity, just like we will lose curiosity if we will come to know fully about the aquatic life. It teaches us to provide without seeking. It houses innumerable species inside and never asks them for anything, we must also help the needy and provide if we have in abundance. The ocean teaches us lessons that books or schools or colleges can never teach us.
I often see myself afloat, letting my mind go blank and as my eyes go out of focus, I watched the slow, jerky movements of the motes that floated across my pupils. They amazed me as a child. Now I saw them as a reflection of how I moved, floating listlessly through the world, occasionally bumping into another body without acknowledgment, and then floating on, free and alone.
I look up at the sky and see all the vastness and can’t help but wonder at what lies beyond, could I ever soar up high? Would I be able to sink my head in the clouds, fly above the rain and relish the rays of the sun long before anyone else? As I pondered all this, I got this feeling.
I was just thoughts, just air. There was nothingness all around me. Was this what it was like to be dead? When you died, did you still sense everything going on around you, only it was happening so far away that you didn’t care about it? You were floating through space and time, and nothing that happened to you mattered because nothing really could happen to you because you didn’t exist?
“if something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn’t there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That’s why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms,” poet Muriel Rukeyser famously proclaimed. And with this picture in particular, it leave so much to the imagination, The stories we tell ourselves and each other are how we make sense of the world and our place in it. Some stories become so sticky, so pervasive that we internalize them to a point where we no longer see their storiness — they become not one of many lenses on reality, but reality itself. And breaking through them becomes exponentially difficult because part of our shared human downfall is our ego’s blind conviction that we’re autonomous agents acting solely on our own volition, rolling our eyes at any insinuation we might be influenced by something external to our selves. Yet we are — we’re infinitely influenced by these stories we’ve come to internalize, stories we’ve heard and repeated so many times they’ve become the invisible underpinning of our entire lived experience.
This is why for me this picture is both liberation and imprisonment, a contradiction in terms ( as much as a picture can be).
Then I begin to realize before I let myself do all the things I want, I must do one thing before that, I need to stay afloat, not in the ocean or up in the air, I mean afloat in life.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.