Heart

Of Monsters and Men and This Journey

Coverage
Of Monsters and Men and This Journey…
[Source – Pixabay]

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A happy piece!
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. – Wikipedia

[Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash]

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For a better experience, listen to the wonderful, magical tracks before reading on –

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Listen to Little Talks here –

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‘Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore…

Little Talks, Of Monster and Men

And this journey forward that seems uncertain, unforgiving, perilous, and so lonely transforms into a key – a key that unlocks both the Pandora’s box of adversities and the heart’s orchestra.

String, woodwind, brass and percussion music, always on stand-by, ready to win-over the adversities melodiously, has given the heart’s orchestra a good name.

What if the monster charges with an army or is two-headed or many eyed or has tentacles? Hey-hey, hey-ho, the key that unlocks, also locks… it is all up to you and your heart’s orchestra performance.

Psst! Listen, all monsters aren’t evildoers, but they are music lovers for each one has a heart. Good luck!


Listen to King And Lionheart here –

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And as the world comes to an end
I’ll be here to hold your hand
Cause you’re my king and I’m your lionheart

King and Lionheart, Of Monsters and Men

And this journey that seems to have ended with our destruction, our death, and yet alive, we silently stare, scar-faced and overwhelmed, at our sacrifice blooming at the right place, at the right time…

Tired steps befriend the trodden grass… and at last the haunting echoes fail… the Lionheart rises again.


Listen to Dirty Paws here –

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The bees had declared a war
The sky wasn’t big enough for them all
The birds, they got help from below
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow

Dirty Paws, Of Monsters and Men

And in the middle of a war, when you turn around to see and cannot distinguish between the mad faces, you become one with them and fight fiercely until you remember, you too are a creature that breathes.

Breathe, breathe, breathe and continue for that is the call…


Listen to Love Love Love here –

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Oh, ’cause you love, love, love
When you know I can’t love
You love, love, love
When you know I can’t love
You love, love, love
When you know I can’t love you

Love Love Love, Of Monsters and Men

And what hurts the most in this forgotten life of ours… unfulfilled love that can be fulfilled and yet…

When love love love turns you into a piece of Kintsugi pot, smile for now you have been repaired.


Listen to Mountain Sound here –

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Of Monsters and Men is an amazing indie rock band from Iceland. They have a knack for amalgamating folk stories, emotions, joy, pain and the magical into their songs that almost every time matches with the universe’s wavelength.

Listening to their music is like sitting around a bonfire on a bright winter night… and in summers it is like playing with the breeze.

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A Telltale Heart’s Secret

Short Review
Secret keeper’s lantern.
[Source – Pixabay]

True! – NERVOUS – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been – and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses – not destroyed – not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! And observe how healthily – how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

– The opening paragraph of The Tell-Tale Heart, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe

A secret that punctures a heart, a heart that still beats, alive, yet unsure how, in a delirium reveals the secret to all. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Tell-Tale Heart, such a secret is shared with us.

Such a secret troubles the main character in the story and he begins simply by narrating it, gripping us first by raising our curiosity and later by force.

That is, a psychological force… for we are always free to get up and leave the old man’s dark room, but oh, we don’t. We hear and fear it as scene after scene unfolds.

Tension rises, our noble heart beats, not only because we suspect something horrible, truly tragic, but also because we recognise it…

We recognise the inexplicable rage, the feverish mind, the parched bond and the morbid thought that although residing in the backdrop knows well how to make itself heard.

Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and prose often create a fantastical mysterious world where distinctly, incessantly the human mind tries to rein in something, something… where failure leads to a twist and success to a debacle.

His characters mock the world and oneself with equal fervour, pretending nothing at all, confessing the truth blatantly and leaving the readers with a secret.


I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture – a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees – very gradually – I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.

An excerpt from The Tell-Tale Heart, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe.

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Fine-Tuning The Fears

Poem

Facing the fears.
[Image by Alexandra Haynak from Pixabay]

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No, not the fear of the ultimate ending

Binds or resides within;

It is the opposing voices cascading,

Confusing, crippling, caricaturing

Us and the peace within.

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No, not the fear of a sickness

Troubles or tortures the heart;

It is our hopelessness,

A steady bleakness,

And the habitual surrendering of our craft.

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No, not the fear of failure

Numbs or stuns the mind;

It is the snagging daily battle

Against the monsters of routine life;

Those are treacherous, lazy and anything but kind.

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No, not the fear of the invisible

Tricks or fools us;

It is our way to define,

Design and create

The heroes, the villains and the fuss.

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No, not the fear of the word fear

Lurks or creeps today;

It is our forgetfulness that steers…

… And suddenly, in haste one remembers

Fine-tuning life’s fears to Play.

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Enlightenment Pocketed

Lotus Koan.
Image by Marek Studzinski from Pixabay.

“The enjoyment of art is an act of recreation, or rather of creation in the reverse direction, towards the source of intuition, i.e., an act of absorption, in which we lose our small self in the creative experience of a greater universe.”

Anagarika B. Govinda

I happen to have a small sweet book titled Art & Meditation (actually a few years back I took it from my brother), written by Lama Anagarika B. Govinda – an artist, a Buddhist monk, traveller and writer.

Sharing his paintings, poems and thoughts with us, he talks about the ineffaceable, elusive yet real, sublimely beautiful link between art and meditation; how true art merges with true religion and vice-versa.

It is not digressive or sluggishly cumbersome, this thought, rather it is stimulating for the one who is not in a hurry.

The author wishes his essays and artwork to serve as koans i.e. ‘meditative problems’ for his readers that churn our thoughts and act as an impetus for continuing the search.

I have gone through this insightful book twice now. What struck me this time was its size, how come Lama Anagarika Govinda’s lectures on art and meditation along with his artwork were capsuled in such a tiny book?

Of course, there must be other collections of his essays and pictures, surely in not-so-tiny a book.

But here I would intentionally turn this coincidence into a grand undertaking and happily say something ambitious.

This beautiful book holds, yes-yes it does, the secret to enlightenment and simply because of its humble, calm and forgiving nature, affordable price, elucidations of the artwork and colour schemes given and the profound ideas shared.

With these balmy thoughts, I will read this book again in the near future for then it will reveal a new secret to me.

Leaving you with an edifying thought –

“Art in itself is a sort of a paradox, a Koan in the deepest sense of the word, and that is why the followers of Zen prefer it to all other mediums of expression. For only the paradox escapes the dilemma of logical limitation, of partiality and one-sidedness. It cannot be bound down to principles or conceptual definitions, because it exaggerates or abstracts intentionally in such a way that it is impossible to take it literally: its meaning is beyond the incongruity of the words.”

Anagarika B. Govinda

Enlightenment, Pocketed-

Calm mind beams

Together with the heart.

Haiku – Jagriti Rumi

Also read other posts on art and meditation –

Buddhahood

I wish to SEE Tibet

Thunderous Applause… And the Warli Drama Unfolds

कलाकार/ Artist

Transient Permanence


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Raga Pranayama

When the Music is Good by Dr. Kirell Benzi.

Playing the Raga Pranayama in my heart and soul I am sitting inside this quiet room for so many days now and slowly this world has stopped reeling.

The shrivelled old self shed off its glories and achievements and regrets all at once, it was painful and I did die a little. Then all I did was to look up and breathe, close my eyes and breathe again.  

Now brighter, with no desire to compete with light or a sharper mind or the maestro musician, I sit simply playing the Raga Pranayama.

Yes, often my memory makes me feel overwhelmed, and yet something allows me to accept it all that too with a smile.  

And softly the wind brings a message from the meadows that the dandelions are gushing with joy and beaming for one and all; that the butterflies are coming carrying colours for you and me; that the stream is singing, sparkling sibilantly, shy at first, vibrant then. Oh it is lovely!

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It is a new beginning, I am sitting in my room and everything has changed as I play the Raga Pranayama.

Dispelling the emaciated fears that had spread and frolicked in my mind, dispelling with the truth of this life force running lightly within and without… the fears just succumbed in the end and this I will remember, always, so that I too can share and struck a happy peaceful note.  

Voices together, singing this happy note, playing the Raga Pranayama will eventually rise above the gloomy cry of this malady.

Together we will rise and break that wall which was once built greedily by us. Hold on, hold on for it will pass.  

Play with me the Raga Pranayama in your heart and soul and let the life energy guide you.

That hazy glow you see when you close your eyes and breathe, that dot, it is the one that surmounts, it has and it will, sometimes with and sometimes without the shell.    


Raga (Sanskrit for “colour” or “passion”) is a melodic framework for improvisation and composition in Indian classical music. Read more here.

Pranayama (prana, Sanskrit for “life force” or “vital energy” and yama, Sanskrit for “restraint” or “control”), is a set of meditative practices designed to control pranawithin the human body by means of various breathing techniques. Read more here.


Also, listen to the magnificent Ragas that inspired me to write this post –  Raga Rasia by Pandit Ravi Shankar

Raga Brindabani Sarang by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia


Learn more about Data Art by the fantastic Dr. Kirell Benzi, click here.

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Cor Cordium

Skylark in flight, paper, ink drawing by Ingrid Blixt.

What the heart knows it reveals without any second thoughts for it does not weigh its words. The heart never babbles, it speaks passionately for it speaks the truth.  

The heart speaks to a calm mind, to an honest voice, to a confident cry. The heart speaks fluently and soulfully.  

Powerful enough to move mountains, the heart often uses poems to express, to highlight, to show what the eyes cannot see, to declare and vanquish weaklings who betray humanity.  

I am thinking of you and your skylark song, cor cordium, you listened to your heart then and we are listening to you since.    


Cor Cordium is Latin for ‘Heart of Hearts’; it is the inscription written on Percy Bysshe Shelley’s grave to whom I dedicate this piece.


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Zigzag Lines

Flash Fiction
Thai Mural
(Source – samforkner.org)

Running lines, zigzag running lines fuel the mind often. Like lost in a busy city, burning with shiny lights, where no one knows whether it is day or night, I am lost walking, running, gliding on a zigzag path.

Neither snow white wintry nor swoony soft summery winds can be heard here, who knows why.

All I can hear is the hub-dub of my heart.

Trapped in this maze, facing dead ends and memory monsters, I solemnly walk ahead. And after an endless time passes by, I walk out of the maze. Exhausted, yes, but hopeful, why, for I kept walking.

Looking back from the mountain top I can see a cloud of zigzag lines, an imprint of time, a link between battles and victories, between a structured confusion and a messy exuberance. Ah! It goes on and on.

My heart is eager and my mind alert for the future to reveal itself.

I am not afraid anymore for the zigzag lines are transparent and always in a rush.


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What Is So Grand In The Way Dragons Fly?

Short Feature
Majestic!
[Source – Pixabay]

Eyes gaze at the grandiose being, follows its path, amazed and overwhelmed by the unbelievable. What is so grand in the way dragons fly? It is just in its element, it is its utmost self.


The dragons are awed by every mind that is familiar with its stories. Fire breathing, winged, snake like, four legged, cave dwellers, treasure keepers, proud and wise.

Flying high above the clouds, quasi-free from bondage, they come back on the ground to quench their thirst. They don’t kill for joy, they understand the laws of nature.

Mythical or not, dragons are glorious creatures. I say mythical or not for a storytellers’ imagination is an entity in itself, very much alive, though in thoughts, formless and fluid, but true.

Found in a story, the dragons thrive in this other realm.

Storytellers gave something more than just a pair of wings to the dragons, that something is splendour and beauty. Thus, right in the thought there was magnanimity and ferocity. What else is a dragon if not a magnanimous lovable beast?

Ah, here is what sprinkles magic in a dragon’s story, they are lovable beasts. Our storyteller friends didn’t suffer, at least, and I thank every heaven, from poverty of mind; they dared to imagine and realized that nothing is more powerful than true love, not even a dragon.

So rhythmically every dragon’s story is about love; a hero either fights back or fights along the dragon and wins back her love/ life and is showered with unheard grandeur.

Always a talk of antiquity, dragons are, but worth noticing is not the ‘antiquity’ bit, it is the ‘always’ bit. Always remembered, locked in the heart.


But what is so grand in the way dragons fly? It is just in its element, it is its utmost self.

Exactly, it is its utmost self. Like the storyteller who thought of it with utmost concentration, power, passion and love. Maybe just for a few minutes the storyteller was in her element, she was her utmost self, and thus, she gave birth to the dragon.

These legendary creatures ruled the sky once upon a time, and they still do, just travel to their realm and witness how majestically they fly.  


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“Only a few arrive at nothing, because the way is long.” – Antonio Porchia

Spirituality

A long journey!
[Source – Pixabay]

To keep walking is hard. Repeatedly dying on the way is a normal occurrence, but no less significant.

What breaks the heart often is not the crude world or a passer-by, but the heart itself. It allows itself to be crushed.

And as funny as it may sound, the truth doesn’t change that the heart also heals itself.  

Let us keep aside the magical part for it blindfolds the ones with sightless minds and talks about reason and logic.

Oh! But that is already done – heart breaks itself and heals itself… very straightforward indeed. Brain, heart, brain, heart… and this is the journey.  

Carrying on kills, but so does not-carrying on; carrying on also gives you a chance to live and to experience the universe. It is a long, long, long journey and then you reach nothing.  

At nothing, you become everything.


Read about Antonio Porchia, the Argentinian poet here.


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