I romanticize every sunrise I see. Whenever the first light appears from behind the clouds, the sky hosts a grand ceremony to celebrate life, death, ecstasy, and despair. It turns into a soaking wet fruit salad. There are rosy cherries, honey-roasted plums, and smoked orange slices. One time I saw a pineapple undress itself. The wild apples watched quietly, by the corner.
Whether I am leaning over the balcony, standing on the beach shore or sitting on top of a hill, I always feel like I am going somewhere else. Twice I tried to moon-walk after making sure there was no one else around. Just to do something out of character to celebrate the occasion. Most times, I just take photographs of the scenery – jawing the cool morning breeze.
The birds make it a lot easier to savor the moment. The clouds fold them into paper boats and dock them along the horizon. When the last one is ready to set sail, the sun burns to crisp their songs, and it resets their tail-feathers. One by one, they drift; never to be seen again. I can hear them talking dirty. Because the sun has them aroused enough to live to fight another day. And there erupts a type of molten love inside me that washes the unclean parts.
Basically, I dramatize the event. As though watching the sunrise is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon. In reality, we can experience it every single day. Unless you live in one of these places. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it may then become a routine. When it does, it will get lodged at the back of my mind. It will turn into one of those uninspired things that I do. And there will no longer be any sincerity in my heart at the crack of dawn.
It is why the R-word frightens me, as it does most people I know.
But, why do we hate our routines so much? Why do we think that we need to do away with them to lead a happy and purposeful life? We are rocked in the cradle. We shit in our beds. We learn. We grow up. We unlearn. We grow old. We shit in our beds again. And then, we die. As a species, our lives are scheduled. Our productivity is measured. It is in our nature to create, improve and chase protocols.
Routines are what brought us here in the first place. We need them until we are physically incapable of harnessing them. Unfortunately, we do not realize their value until we reach that stage. When our body starts to crumble, and our will to survive begins to fade away.
Even though one had rebelled terribly against it, even then, one feels uncomfortable when jounced out of the repetitive rut. What to do? Where to turn? What ties, what roots? As I hang suspended in the strange thin air of back-home.
My grandpa, who is in his early nineties, would love to be able to follow his old routines for a single day. To have training sessions with his students one more time. To sit in an armchair and read classic literature once again. To write letters to relatives in distant lands. To watch the sun emerge from the horizon.
He probably misses the boring stuff too. Going to the bank to deposit money. Shoe shopping. Taking showers. Refilling typewriter ink. These routines helped him to discover purpose. Now, unable to follow it, he rests uncomfortably – a shadow of the person he was.
Routines are like any other recurring parts. We can pursue the best of them, with determination and focus, and they can make things better for us. Or we can screw it all up because of our inability to get rid of the worst of them. Our lives turn out the way they do because either we try too hard to take the wrong decisions or we do not try hard enough to take the right one. There is no sense in blaming our routines for the choices we make.
Still, nary a sunrise I want to see without being anything less than astounded. So, I doubt if I am going to stalk the sun every morning. Perhaps, at least I must learn to accept the new routines that emerge to occupy my waking hours.
They would not have been up for grabs if I had not reached out to them in the first place.
A red jelly
Made of clouds
Separated by love,
and served with
extra sun sauce.