Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Point Of View

For those of you that have followed this blog for a while, you might recall there was a phase back in '09 where I was gloriously unemployed. I say 'gloriously' because while I did my best to find an employer that could use and abuse me, I often took a 'glass half full' approach to unemployment - after all, I was very comfortable at home, I got to work out three days a week, go jogging, blog incessantly and generally do whatever I wanted. Of course, eventually I got off my lazy butt and found a job, and soon all those other extra-curricular activities took a backseat.

It's the Sinhala and Tamil new year here, and as a result we're on holiday for a week. It's nice sitting at home and relaxing after a long time, without having to squeeze all my fun into a couple of days before setting off for work again. However, I was determined not to spend the entire holiday in front of my computer, so there has been a lot of time spent in front of the piano instead, the results of which I hope I will be able to post soon.

Yesterday, I decided to go on one of my infamous 'walks'; those hour or 90-minute long treks I used to go on during my stretch of unemployment. Kandy is famous for its hills, and the tiny lanes and twisting roads that wind up them, as well as the scattered housing perched almost precariously on the slopes. It makes for some very confusing driving, but it also makes for an excellent work out.

I used to have several routes, but yesterday I chose the hardest route, which includes a good 12-15 minutes of uphill jogging, followed by more climbing to a view point that looks over the city. I discovered all these lanes by pure chance back in the day, so it was refreshing to go along the old familiar route again. Of course, the scenery had changed somewhat.

Sounds like a name for some UNICEF project

I wonder if this wall belongs to Dilu, because that would make sense then
I somehow jogged to the top of the first crest with my lungs on fire and the blood pounding in my veins. I consider myself to be in somewhat decent shape, but jogging up that incline was something else. I can't remember whether I found it harder or easier than back in the day, but at that moment I didn't have enough blood reaching my brain to ponder. After finally catching my breath, I started climbing up the second half of the hill, a series of twisting lanes wide enough for just one vehicle at a time. Again, I was surprised to see how much had changed; the roads were tarred, and the edges were clearly marked for the novice driver, and a lot of houses which were under construction at the time were now beautifully done. Houses with a view no doubt command quite the price.

As I climbed higher, the light started to fade, and soon I noticed a few people staring curiously at this spectre in a white t-shirt and tracks walking up their lane in the half light, on the eve of the Sinhala and Tamil new year. I was not bothered, my ear phones were plugged securely into my ears and Incubus was keeping my thoughts company.

Almost there..
I kept climbing higher, anxious to reach my view point before it got too dark to enjoy it. Three years ago there were several places where I could see the city below but despite the improvements in the state of the homes here, the tall grass on the side of the road had gotten out of control, obscuring most of the view. After  40 minutes, I finally reached the top, tapped the light post like I always did, and took in the view of the Hill Capital.

Poor lighting; my phone camera did its best

The light was rapidly fading, and the cloud cover lent a very muted tone to the view, but it was still refreshing standing there, the cool breeze seeping through my drenched clothes as well as into my heaving lungs. The view was the same and yet so different from all those times I came up here so many years ago. The overgrown shrubbery, the newly painted walls and additional storeys all lent an alien feel to a familiar surrounding. 

I stood there for a good ten minutes, just taking in the view and trying to recall the thoughts that must have been in my head 3 years ago at this very point. I remember I used to wonder how it would feel to live here, on this mountain side with this view. I used to imagine designing a home, perhaps with my wife, many years in the future, and I distinctly remember thinking that the twisting lanes would deter friends from coming home for parties and meals. And imagine taking the kids to school! I doubt any school transport would come up that hill no matter how much I paid them...

I smiled to myself as I replayed these hidden discussions in my head now. How silly I was back then, planning and hoping for things I had no comprehension about. And yet, I am almost envious of that man, who was hopeful in his naivety. My thoughts last night were much more sober, and far less exciting. Just like the view, somehow I had changed despite remaining the same.

It had been a while since I had had time to myself, to clear my head and to air my thoughts. I swore to myself I would do it more often; I only hope I can live up to that promise.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Chains Are Gone

Note: I seem to have forgotten to mention that this post is for Easter, a mistake I now regret. To everyone who celebrates it, I wish you all a Happy Easter

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found

Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Being Strong By Being Weak

As I type this post, the day is almost at an end. I've just got back from dinner and the gym (not in that order), and I feel very, very tired. It has not been a good day, or week for that matter. 

Let me start with the gym. Working out has become very taxing off late, not nearly the joy that it used to be a few years ago. My inability to stick to a routine and come regularly to the gym (because of work) has resulted in me losing all of the little muscle tone I had. I still go as often as I can, and it is a very humbling experience. I can no longer jog the same amount I used to as easily as before, nor can I lift the same weights I used to as easily. My body is noticeably weaker than it once was.

This brings me to my point - what is strength, really? Is emotional strength (or strength of character, or whatever you may choose to label it,) really something we can measure and quantify, or just a vague variable we assign ball-park measures to? What makes one person 'stronger' than the next?

I'm in my 27th year on this Earth, and I have to admit that ten years ago, I expected my 27 year old self to be in a better place, and to generally be 'better'. I always assumed I would have conquered my demons and elevated myself to the 'adult' plane, tackling 'adult' problems. Things like insurance, bank accounts, housing loans, taxes. Perhaps even a family.

Instead, I find myself in pretty much the same place I was a few years ago. I am still weak in the areas I was, still unable to deal with certain things, still unable to fix areas in my life that need fixing. Still struggling. 

But of late, I'm starting to look at it differently. There is a difference between the person I am now, and the person I was back then. It's not that I'm stronger, or wiser. The only difference I see is that now, I know my weaknesses. 

As I try to peer through the fog that seems to shroud my future, I find that I am not armed with many weapons to tackle the struggles I will inevitably come across. However, just like in basketball, sometimes a good offense is a strong defense. I know where I am weak, and my vulnerabilities. As much as I'd like to pretend I have thick skin now, my heart is still very much on my sleeve, and my emotions are far too close to the surface for comfort (a fact my discerning mother takes great pride in pointing out). Yet by acknowledging these weaknesses, I am better able to adjust to the inevitable hurt. If I'm to return to my gym analogy, by accepting that I am no longer as strong as I once was, I can in fact produce a more productive workout by lifting less, but lifting it correctly.

The next few weeks, and perhaps months, are going to be extremely difficult. The hurt that I will undoubtedly feel will be unbearable, and it will be, for the most part, constant. Things are going to get far worse before they get better. 

Yet, perhaps God, in His infinite and often indiscernible ways, has brought me through so much so that now, while I may not be the strong, stable, immovable rock I once envisioned I would be, I am finally fully aware of who I am as a person - the positives and negatives.

I am reminded of a passage from the New Testament where the apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians mentions a weakness in him that has bothered him for a long time like 'a thorn in the flesh', and how he had asked God many times to take it away from him. Paul never mentions what it is that he is struggling with, but God answers him and says "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

As I read this passage, I try to claim it for my life, and I tell myself that while I am not strong enough to deal with the pain, the hurt and the struggles I will go through in the future, I can rest assured that I will bear witness to God's strength in my many areas of weakness.

Perhaps, sometimes, strength is a measure of your ability to admit your weaknesses.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...