The Passage of Time
By: Amil Imani

Every so often, I ask myself, what it is that keeps me going? What is dragging me and yields me towards profound somber moments and deliberately pushes me into a delightful fairy-tale charm reign, as in this little drama, which is written with a vigor one would write.

Living a life with bittersweet and sometimes melancholy soul is what I have to come to know about this world. You never know what failure is if you have never been in love. A sense of the failure of love constitutes the outstanding problem in the agony of love and loss. But, I will embrace my failure, learn from it, and share it with you. Perhaps I can learn to love failure. Perhaps I can leave an everlasting impression in your mind about life, success, and failure.

I can see myself exploring the chaotic universe of my shattered dreams. I can see myself drifting down the river of my thoughts, and being drowned in it. I can see myself plowing through the towering waves of the irrational world, heading toward the absurdity of the illogical arrangement of dramatic elements. I can see myself constantly fall deep in my grief and despair! Perhaps I'd like to tear down the secret veil of my being! Oh, such a childish thought!

My life has been a series of attempts, of experiments into the territories beyond my understanding, beyond life and beyond death. By experimenting life, I have faced the irrational world of anxiety and loneliness. In order to find the answer, I must reject every social, political, and religious authority that exists today since they set limits on finding the truth and freedom.

My emotions are high and effusive. Tears are pouring down. I can't hold in my feelings any longer. There is a penchant for telling you about my everlasting pain. How can I live to tell? How can I live each and every day with such painful thoughts? I know that my sentences are short and choppy, reflecting how I feel at this time--out of harmony, out of the flow of life -- beached, isolated on a sandbar in the river of time. If I only detach myself from my feelings, I think I shall be able to function and introduce myself to you clearer.

Today is Sunday. I am sitting on my chair at home, contemplating, searching for my identity. If I only finish writing how I feel, I shall be able to go about my ordinary routine and no one will ever know of my wrenching emotional loss. As I relive these feelings while writing out these sentences, I am again experiencing the disbelief. The disbelief of everything is surrounding me. I doubt everything. I even doubt my own existence.

The shadow of my soul constantly nagging me for my inadequacies, the shadow of my thoughts constantly reminding me of the passage of time which has stretched its arms across the wall in front of me. Is this really happening or am I dreaming? Will I ever be comfortable in my own body? It is just not possible that this is happening to me. I can no longer hold in my feelings. The excruciating pain of the unknown keeps hunting me.

My entire body feels numb; my mouth is dry. My eyes are somnolent and sleepy. I feel as though I am no longer in my body. I feel detached from the comfort of life. It resembles the feelings I had when I was a child. As a child, I never felt like I belonged. I felt different, somewhat unique, very quiet, scared, very shy, lonely, and passionate. Falling in love would only add to the agony of my being. Instead of making life more meaningful, it increased my agility towards life. You see, as a child I had made a decision that had an impact on every situation in my life and up to now. I decided to seek the true meaning of existence. I decided to ponder the real mystery of life. I decided to find my "defining moment."

Creative people are different, people say. They are more in tuned with life. I felt so beyond the monotony of life. I felt that I could reach the skies from beneath the earth. My family never understood my intense feelings, and the fact that there was no one to talk to made me feel even lonelier. You can only imagine how I felt growing up in a family where no one understood me. So I did the next best thing, hiding in the basement of my house and resorting to my best friends, my books.

It seems like there is always the ever-re-occurring feeling of sad melancholy -- loneliness-when I indulge myself in searching for the soul. But why?  Is it because I have been away from home for so long that has perturbed my state of being? Or such philosophical sadness is normal occurrences?

It seems like there is always the ever-re-occurring feeling of sad melancholy -- loneliness-when I indulge myself in searching for the soul. But why? Is it because I have been away from home for so long that has perturbed my state of being? Or such philosophical despair is normal occurrences? I recall I had such whirlwind feelings each time that I was departing home to another place. It was as if the end of the world was coming. Especially in those days that I lived in my beloved home Tehran. It always had an effect on me, because that would take me out of my chanting spiritual circle I had created around me. It would separate me from musically oriented thoughts of loneliness that only its music and sound would add to the vividness of the worlds explored. And finally, it would take me away from my best friends, my invaluable books in my library.

In that sense, I am never really alone--perhaps the feeling comes because I still have not found the true understanding, I still feel like a lost stick in a stream--drifting, drifting, never quite knowing where it will end up--what is to come to it.  And, here with all of you, I am among such beauty, such splendor--what for do I have to be melancholy?  I don't know.

Have you ever thought why you are dreaming certain dreams? And what do you see, when you dream? Do you dream about the truth? Do you dream about the misery of the livings? Or perhaps you dream of lovemaking? Maybe you are dreaming that you are right in the middle of an ocean and can't swim? Or maybe you are standing on the edge of a cliff and looking down, debating whether you should jump or not?

When you have realized in such a short time all the dreams I have realized, you get the opportunity to dream up new ones. And when you spent as long as I did wanting to die, to have a dream at all is a dream in itself.

Speaking of dreams...

The gentle waves made a quiet susurrus among the
grovels of Caspian Sea,
While I was submerged with my chimerical dreams.
Besotted and intoxicated by the odor of the sea,
While I was watching the penumbra surrounding me.

As I was passing along the shores of Caspian Sea,
The impregnable and recalcitrant Caspian Sea,
I could not avoid noticing me sinking in the water of
Caspian Sea

Upon my sinking and observation,
I saw a bevy of beauties, all in lamentation.
The equanimity of the bevies transcended my thoughts
from my dreams.
I became somewhat involved in their deeds.

As I was walking, I felt someone tapping,
Tapping on my shoulders,
I looked, but only saw the imperious Caspian Sea.

While dreaming of the most inscrutable dreams-still
What has come upon me, in the presence of the mighty
Caspian Sea?

This is the first time I have ever tried to collect and recollect my thoughts from all aspect of my life in such way to introduce myself to my soul and to you. I am utterly unaware of my whereabouts that this thread of thought will lead me into. But I know one thing; I know you will accompany me in this journey of the heart. Perhaps I need to try to see the journey I am taken as necessary, glean from it what value I can, and start scanning the horizon for new understanding.

I am still here, looking at the shadow of my thoughts, which have stretched their wings across the wall. Staring at me. It is as though trying to tell me to remember that life is a journey, not a goal, and we all will be judged at some point in our lifetime for what we do today.

I keep thinking the unthinkable. I keep thinking the unimaginable. I keep thinking that maybe, maybe one day I shall utterly achieve all my goals in life, and peace and tranquility would embrace me like air with trees. Maybe only then the clear air and open window will invite me to write to you with such peaceful conclusion. Maybe only then I can justify myself to my soul for following me each step of the way.

I keep thinking about "defining moment." What is "defining moment"? I describe it as a moment in time where one gains clarity about something that has long eluded them. It is an action, a word or a thought that has had the lasting impression in one's mind, has proved to be the defining moment in life.  Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become.

I am closing my eyes and I go within. I am within the source. What I see is amazing; it is so amazing and dazzling. No, it is awesome. Every time I close my eyes, I see my entire life moving in front me. Every time I close my eyes, I dare to live. I am no longer afraid of death, I am afraid of life. Daring to live to me means daring to die at each moment. To put it simply, daring to live also means no longer having the slightest fear of what I feel. This is somewhat due to my increasing sensitivity and awareness; it is due to my everlasting search for my identity.

Yes, I have learned to live. Learned not to fear of anything, but the fear itself. Learned to live in a moment that recaptures the childhood joy of delighting in each thing as it comes. Life is nice, but I want something else. I search for the unknown. It is an incredible chase. It is a chase against time.

One cannot ignore this internal dialogue and walk away from it. Once the process has begun, it grabs hold of your thinking and taunts you to find answers. That is the power of cultivating your restlessness. That is the power of propensity in finding the truth and in that process, finding your own destiny and perhaps finding your own faith.

I have always wondered what the meaning of life is. What is the purpose of all things, of all events? Why do we feel the way we feel? Why do we think the way we think? Life definitely is a challenge. Life has many moments. Life is a universal odyssey that one is thrown into ocean without having a life jacket. "Sink or swim."

I recall the Fourfold noble truths of Buddhism - the world is full of suffering.  "Birth is suffering, death is suffering, old age is suffering. To meet a man one hates is suffering. To be separated from someone one loves is suffering. You get the point. Hardship is a universal truth."

If life indeed is a series of hardships, how can we deal with this situation? Are there philosophies of life offering? Is suffering universal or it only relates to certain people of our global village? Do some segment of the society suffers more than the rest? How could this be so true? How can we the humans work together in eradication of all sufferings? How can we all share this urgency of brotherhood and expand it to all? I believe every life is significant. I believe every situation is a golden opportunity
which one humble person can make in the world--just by doing the right thing and touching the lives of others. The reward is just magnificent.

Life can be wonderful and can be not so wonderful sometimes. Yet it seems that at the root of all these philosophies, religions, and other schemes lie eternal truths that actually may work. The truth that we, all the inhabitants of this earth, need each other now more than ever before. We need one another, no matter what soil we are living on. No matter what nation has harbored us. We simply need each other.
The experience in life has shown that things were bound to get better at some point in the future. The opposite is true as well. Life flows and changes and nothing stays the same. So why do we expect too much or do we expect so little? If these people can face the tremendous blows dealt to them and turn their lives around to create happy, satisfied, and successful lives, the least I can do is attempt to do work on my little problems.

I have also learned that everything happens for a reason and that you only have to pay attention to what comes to you. You will find what you need and what you need will find you. Perhaps the words I am looking for are optimism and love.

In perusing our happiness, I think we should peruse a spiritual rather than religious understanding of divinity. I think the most significant element is that a single human life does have meaning, and can make a positive difference in the world. We must peruse life and happiness and extend it to all those who come around us. This little village of ours is becoming even smaller each day. We must learn to coexist, regardless of where we live and our differences. We must learn, teach, and share. We need to go beyond the business of religion and become spiritual being. We are in need of reaching out into territories unknown, to enrich our thoughts. We need love and lots of it:

Let thy beauty to unfold!
Let thy life melt in the ocean of love!
Let thy heart be open,
in kisses rain!
Let us fathom to the state of being alive!
Let us see how fountains,
The tears of the motherland,
Spray the dust!

O, lift me from ecstasy of life,
I cry, I dance, I laugh,
I swim, I walk, I die!
let true self to ignite us within,
Where it breaks at last!