The Dancing Lights of the Dark Nights


This post is dedicated to the warriors who shine their brightest when the night is at its darkest.

It is somewhat myopic and perhaps, superficial to think of lights, colours and music in terms of happy spaces, effervescent emotions, and expressions of many beautiful intangibles. Because by relating happy to beauty, we leave out the beauty of the spaces that are vacuous, the music of the silence, and the emotions that are dark, and yet beautiful. It is impossible to ignore darkness in a world that stays dark half the time. So, today I applaud the, ‘not so bright and happy.’ After all, shiny is a facade, happy is momentary and success is fleeting.

Beauty this week has presented itself in the darkest of places. I have witnessed souls that shine in the dark, music that’s made out of nothing, and brilliance that emerges from melancholy.

The first set of warriors came on a cadence of music that was built on the world of silence. At the MSF Volunteer Awards night, the group, Redeafination enthralled the audience. The deaf dancers danced, and oh so gracefully to the music they couldn’t hear! Or maybe, to the music they heard in their hearts. And thus, the music of the silence became the happiest dance that I had seen in a very long time. Here’s Singapore’s Deaf Dance Crew, Redeafination

Next came the play that explored death, and dealt with loss through metaphors, symbols and a performance, so raw and powerful, that it left the audience sobbing. Yes, me included. With an uncomfortable name like Poop, I had expected humour or worse, an attempt at humour, but what I encountered was an exploration of darkness, both on the stage and also in the crevices of human minds and hearts. The most melancholic and heart wrenching subject of death and loss became the most sublime form of artistic expression. Though the topic was devoid of colours, the storytelling, the acting, and the stage direction of Poop by The Finger Players was anything but colourless.

Poop. Source: The Finger Players

Poop. Source: The Finger Players

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another form of beauty presented itself  through the dark narration of pain, longing and yearning in Rupi Kaur’s poetry. The poems are too raw in places, too uneven to be conventionally pretty, and yet its honest exploration of the secrets of human yearnings took my breath away. It’s candid and how!

 

Thus, in the acknowledgment of failures, and blemishes in our lives, the beauty lives on and the warriors of the night, stay relentless in their efforts to turn their darkness in to beautiful light. They turn failures of life in to successes of a different kind. And I am fortunate to have witnessed the darknesses turn in to dancing lights!

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Colour me Slow


This mind, this fickle mind, it is dependent on these tiny changes around it. And yet it knows it not. It swirls with the events, happenings, and the teeny-weeny shifts. But it seldom registers and often forgets. Like it rode on the golden rays that burst from the window in the morning. It noticed the tiny drop of tea that trickled along the rounded cup. It smelled the waft of breakfast in the neighbour’s house, and it sighed happily when the dog settled at the feet rustling that page of newspaper that floated on its way to the floor. And yet it remembered nothing overtly. It just vaguely felt a happy feeling somewhere, completely intangible and, somewhat transient.

It stayed alert in that yoga session, it stayed silent through that repetitive song from the childhood and, it was filled with melancholy at the thought of a loved one lost. It went off course on a travel plan gone awry, and was agitated and full of angst when the normal and sedate routine was disrupted. It even feigned anger when confronted. And yet, it remembered nothing overtly. It just vaguely registered the anxiety in the periphery of its being.

However, when the day had run its course, it settled in to a sluggish state of slumber. It’s only then, with the wisdom of the one that has slowed down deliberately, it paused at each event and wondered why one is not mindful of these deceptively tiny changes that in reality, have the astounding power to change the energy of the universe. What’s the hurry to move on, it asked. Why is it that these seismic shifts and happenings go unnoticed? Is this why the wise preached mindfulness? Is this what I am missing? The knee-jerk reaction was to pause each event, and to analyse each emotion. It seemed painfully contrived. But, the restlessness had been initiated, and action was inevitable. That’s when ‘it’ and ‘I’ merged. Experience, I knew, was mandatory. Action, I knew, was necessary. However, reaction, I realised, was optional. It was voluntary. So, yes, I paused.

I pause now to notice the stars that blink and yet it doesn’t. I look within, and somehow, the events stop rushing. They do not drown me. Instead, they just melt and mix, they float and flow. They become a slow dance of energy, filling the spaces vacant, reacting to emotions and thoughts and, eventually they change me a bit constantly with the newness of the experiences. I find it profound. I find it overwhelming. I just find it. I find me. I pause to notice the way I react. I pre-empt and I am prepared.

This mind, this fickle mind, has been splattered with the colours, these colours, made of experiences. All I had to do was slow down, notice, feel and acknowledge. So, here I slow me down, and feel the swirling colours as the shades splatter my soul, I revel. I see the missed moments in my mind: the bird, mid-flight, the leaf, overturned, the child, pouting, the mother, indulgent, the egos at play, the love at display, and the pulsating life that links it all.

See now, I am covered in colours so brilliant! It’s the exuberance of these slowed down experiences, and see, I am alive!