Discover more from Condensation by Krishna
0.6 | Loss
Life, at a fundamental basis, is a choice of feelings.
Not that we get to necessarily choose how we feel, but that we choose based upon what we hope we can.
We find new partners for the excitement of acceptance, the casual vulnerability, and the blanket delight of pure physical sensations.
We chase the overwhelming enchantment found in the exploration of a new place, and the following discovery of the unknown, both within and without.
We relish in the terrifying controlled adrenaline thrill of an adventure – one that allows us to see death, but not touch it.
We listen to that song that acts as an invocation of something deeper, a collective mourning of a past that once was, or one that could have been.
All the various, wondrous, calamitous feelings of life, encapsulated in something profound and deeply human.
It's the baseline currency of life really.
I've been marinating in what it's like to lose – to find myself alone again.
To find myself feeling all of those emotions – anxiety, distress, grief, sadness, nostalgia, confusion, hope – in all their totalities, and to still feel – in whatever meaning it can now take on – whole.
I've been there before. I've never actively wanted to be there.
Life has an almost tragic way of offering these sensations, that you least want to feel, when you least want to feel them.
I'm there now.
It's even been a while.
And so, I've been reflecting a lot on loss.
The loss is not so much me grieving what was, but rather, what could have been.
What has happened, however splendid, beautiful, heartbreaking, maddening, and everything in between, is just that – a memory. I never lose that, even if my perceptions of those memories is distorted in the present.
But what I do lose is the world that I crafted. The one that was created from those memories, and the one that I thought I was living in.
But it wasn't reality, and that realization is the very definition of suffering.
I feel a grief germinating from the dissolution of the world and the dreams that I created while having that thing, that person, that place, in my life, that now, rudely, must be rewritten to accommodate the new reality.
It is, existentially, the greatest pain to reckon with.
Isn't that the saddest thing in the world, Ma? A comma forced to be a period?
– Ocean Vuong, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Often these moments of loss recalculate the route of life we take.
Disruptions that force me to question my choices, constraints, beliefs, and values.
I want a life that doesn't feel like merely surviving. But sometimes, that is enough.
Because surviving means to also accept the gamut of life's experiences, and to not deny the pain, the sadness, and the feelings I can so easily run away from, because they too are essential to living.
Because surviving means to delicately curate the attachments I have in my life. To intentionally allow for each suffering, and to have the courage to let go when the cost is too high.
I sit here, writing, feeling, breathing. It's hard. It's painful, and perversely it's also beautiful.
To be alive is to take the risk to be.
I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
― Dawna Markova, I Will Not Die an Unlived Life
I've been thinking about what it means to exist past a loss.
To lose, and to live with that loss.
To release the stress, the elasticity, and to put my energy elsewhere.
Not in an exercise of self delusion – to forget what once was – but instead to live in what is.
It feels like an obvious travesty, to abandon all that you can relish now, in favor of hankering for what is no longer there. But we do it – I do it, anyways.
The tide of loss takes, smooths over, ripples, and somehow leaves both less and more behind.
But then maybe a flexion of freedom is to let go. To remember that all that is, ourselves included, is a suggestion on the universe.
Our etch, however short, however long, deep or shallow, is impermanent – and that itself liberates us to leave our old barren world and run into the next one that we can belong to.
We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
― Joseph Campbell
I've learned recently that loss isn’t just about the rush of sadness or the mourning.
It’s also, sometimes unfairly, a beacon. Something unforgettable in my mind and spirit.
A beacon to remember how lucky I am to even have had something I cared so much about losing.
A reminder that I’ll always lose, and I can’t know when I’ll lose.
It's an everlasting signal: a cue to live bigger, love harder, and cherish every beautiful fleeting moment that presence offers.
Everything else is a distraction.