The Damkeeper and the Baker

The dull ache that had made itself home in my chest was heavier than usual. With every breath and exhalation it tightened a bit more, constricting itself, adjusting its dense body and making itself a little more comfortable in the nook surrounding my heart. It was alive and it grew, just the same way any ‘thing’ that was alive grew. It needed the same essential ingredients for its survival, which I, though unwilling was bound to keep feeding. I convinced myself I could, at times, hear its hoarse rattling breathing when i stilled my own. It came from deep within; a low grumble, a tremor that I could feel like a shudder through my bones. Slight it may have been, but ever present. It had become a part of my existence, a weight I had to bear with every waking moment. The ache in my chest was like a living lump of coal that I had swallowed years ago that had lodged itself inside me, getting heavier and heavier as the days passed tethered to my heart and living off my grief.

What was the word for a form of love that was willingly given, but not returned? Like a cupcake freshly baked and warm out of the oven, it was made of chocolate with gooey melted chunks of rich goodness inside. It was decorated with a swirl of pink strawberry cream with a casual handful of sprinkles thrown on top. The baker had made these with her heart full, each one a little insight into what was felt inside, for someone. At first, he had taken them gladly, he had savored the warmth and gave smiles in payment. That was enough, at first. His smiles sent sunshine into the darkest of places and sent molten gold bubbling to the surface. His smiles spread smiles to her face, and those moments were enough to keep her heart full. But as time went by, the smiles slowly turned into passing comments; conversation which once flowed easily and smoothly like a river of crystal clear water downstream over the ease of polished smooth boulders allowing transparency into the depths underneath, had slowed down to a trickle of muddy water in damp, cold, wet sand and a desperate thirst hanging in the air. It was as if he had built a wall, a dam, across the river.

She had seen him carrying the bricks but had refused to believe he would ever complete it. ‘I’ had refused to believe that he wanted to, I wanted to believe that his indifference was only skin deep, and that he was good inside to appreciate a person who cared for him so much. Reassurance in our friendship was not something I ever received. And the smiles that never came anymore were replaced by silence. I could not bake any more cupcakes, when I didn’t know whether he even liked them anymore. Maybe the chocolate was too rich, or the cream was too sweet or just that maybe, he had had too many to eat these past few months.

I could only speculate the reasons, though they kept me up at night. The silence was deafening, and in a moment like this is when the Ache had creeped in. It had come silently, one night, starting off as a little cold pebble picked up from he riverbed as the water had started receding. I hadn’t thought too much of it at first, the hope that things will get better was still too fresh and continued to bake. The pebble had found itself a place inside me, and as the months went by, and though the cakes went unreceived, I never even knew if he took a bite out of the last ones I had sent. The pebble had grown, become harder and coarser inside, a living thing with its tail wrapped around my heart. It was heavy, an overwhelming weight in my chest, aching for its thirst to be quenched.

But the dam seemed shut, its walls even too hight to climb and peek over, and there was nothing I could do but sit on its shores and wait until a time when the Damkeeper might let his walls down, quietly longing for a small piece of cake because after all, the cake had been a small yet secret indulgence in his life. I didn’t know if that day would ever come, it was all but a fantasy in my mind, a wishful dream that he even felt the slightest bit of affection for my being. He acknowledged my existence, yes, but I could be nothing more than a face in a crowded bar with whom he nods the cordial hello, or passes a quick amicable hug. But his attention lasts only a few minutes as if he on purpose moves on to the next person in passing. Politeness, should not be mistaken for kindness?

Fate and Choice?

Fate. and Choice.

Which is it that directs our futures?

Are we all merely floating down the cosmic river of space time, being carried by its current to places pre-determined, or do we have control of the flow of the river, does your choices in navigating the white waters really affect the ultimate destination of your journey?

Our physical world being made up of millions and millions of dancing protons and electrons in its essence. Whatever we perceive of our world is in intrinsic nature purely vibrating particles of matter. Everything that makes you matter is made up of matter. From your hairdryer, your favourite outfit, to the things you eat and drink, to nature and trees and lakes and mountains, the sun, the stars, the sky, and the air you breathe is all a concentration of the same basic ingredients.

In a quantum sense, it is known that the path that these particles take happens to change or alter their behaviour when they are under observation. The act of looking, or perceiving changes the path the electrons take. When left to its own devices, the particles behave in a manner that suggests that they exist in multiple possibilities of any given moment of existence, simultaneously.

Does that mean that all matter in our entire universe is constantly experiencing every probable opportunity of its own existence concurrently at any given point in time? Are we merely an ocean of particles existing in a multiplex of equidistant time-dimensions acting out all the possible outcomes of every probable path that your vibrating matter can conceivably take? Like a giant universe size game of three-dimensional chess where there would be an unlimited number of layers and a hundred billion chess pieces moving around in a predisposed manner testing out each and every single path of the game, all happening in every fraction of a millisecond, constantly.

Until it is observed. The observer would be our thoughts, our mind, our consciousness. The act of our mind being consciously aware of what we do, what surrounds us and what paths lay before us, sets in motion the course of the possible immediate future. Falling from the infinite floating plethora of possibilities down like giant Tetris tiles fitting into each other and completing a layer, a moment in time and onto the next. Our conscious or sub-conscious choices, in perception to the reality surrounding us is what  lays out the corporeal existence around us.

We choose the paths our future is set in purely by the act of thinking, being conscious, being aware. We choose the tiles that fall into place next not by random, but selectively even though we may not know or realize it. A different choice could result in a different future entirely, a chain reaction feeding off the subliminal to impactful day to day actions like what you choose to eat for breakfast, from whether to turn left or right, to what conversation you have with a friend, to whether you allow your sadness to keep hold in your heart, whether you should leave the man who mistreats you, to what colour nail-polish you wear on you nails today, all fall in place because you have caused those events to unfold in that certain order for your own.

Your mind the ever omnipresent observer of all that is past, present and future is what ultimately creates your solid reality as you float through the space-time river, floating deliberately rather than predeterminately. What we determine as fate, being those moments in time where your path collides with the path of another’s, to the surprise of even your own mind.