Damage Control

The beginning is slow. The influx is limited. A nudge here, another there; trickle by trickle, the fluid pours in but always remains contained. You believe the source will dry up and the leak will stop. But it continues. The well up becomes evident and you panic. The desperation to prevent the breach grows, because you are in control only as long as the dam holds. You attempt fixing the problem. Diversion doesn’t work. You try to block the source. Nothing works. The level swells and hangs precariously on the edge. Helplessness prevails; your rational faculties surrender and you choke. But you are still hopeful that the tide will subside. With clenched jaws, you recede into an isolated secure zone. You draw in a sharp breath and then you hold it. But that doesn’t stop the time like you wish it would. And then, the tear falls.

Enclosed in Asterisks

Am sick of finding the right words; I want to say it with my eyes and engrave it on the canvas of your mind. Shouldn’t have to tell you how much you are needed. You know it, because I have told you before. But that’s how far it goes. There is no way to top that gesture if you are missing. If I could, I would brand it on your skin with my touch.

Let’s not share anything or go over every excruciating detail of the day. Why waste time? What good is it to know how your day went if I can’t hold you until I know exactly how you feel about it? How does it help if you can’t hold me back until you feel whole again?

And I don’t care if you are always “by my side”, or the fact that I can count on you. I need your body as much I have your mind. Lay down by my side. May be, stare in a different direction. Your smell and breath! I am done with intentions enclosed in asterisks and silly emoticons. Let me reach inside you through the lines on your face and read you like a book. Flared nostrils. The occasional glazed over eyes. I want to deal with character flaws, not network congestion.

These interactions should feel good; tiny little opportunities to touch you ever so slightly. But it’s as if each phone call, each text, each smiley, clears the dust on my window pane, and reveals, just a little more, the amount of distance that separates us; the never ending wasteland of promises and desires that lies between the small log cabin my life resides in and the nearest village I am welcome to.

Update [13th of May, 2014]:

Found this wonderful video that speaks of the ills of social networking and is in a peculiar sync with what’s written above:

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo

Constant Cadence

The optimal way to cycle is to maintain a more or less constant cadence; that is, the rate at which you pedal. This is not easy on a single speed cycle, but on a geared cycle you have all the help you need to keep pushing at an optimal constant rate. So, when you are riding uphill and it becomes increasingly tough to pedal, you just shift the gears down but maintain the cadence. You obviously lose speed, but the combination of a lower gear and optimal pedaling speed results in the best usage of your resources. You could stay in a higher gear and put more effort in pedalling, but that would tire you down. Gearing down and pedaling at the same rate is your best bet even if it means that you move slower.

This trick, like everything else about cycling, has an analogy in life. When you face a rough patch, or obstacles, or an unexpected lack of results, maintain your optimal cadence, your rhythm. While riding uphill in life, you automatically shift down to a lower emotional and mental “gear”. The win is in not letting the situation affect your cadence. Put in the same number of hours. Maintain your schedule. You will probably be less productive, but you will be better off than resisting the change or giving up altogether. In life, like in cycling, you can only control how much you pedal. The result varies.