“Don’t let it flow!”

It’s one of those chilly afternoons in July. The sun did not grace the earth with its shine today and the cloudy skies have not done much to improve the sombre mood. The mood is contagious I must say and the dull faces, melancholic smiles and strained walks of passersby are enough evidence. For the half hour or so that I’ve stood by the window to try and appreciate nature, I haven’t spotted a single yellow or orange and I begin to wonder if the shops don’t stock bright coloured clothing any more. I’m in dire need to raise my spirits and the dullness outside is making it all laborious so I walk back to my favorite chair and hope my brain will let me rest.

A tear wells up in my right eye. I’m used to my eyes tearing independently either because it’s cold or windy or because I’m sleepy. Sometimes I let the tear flow. Other times I let it well up and then place my finger right below my eye so that it falls squarely on it like a drop of water. I enjoy looking at the spherical tear drop on my finger and in the event that I am sleepy, the beautifully shaped tear drop provides a good distraction. I stare at it and smile. For a minute I lose myself to its composition. I feel the warmth in the tear and think of it as a sign of the warmth of the place it came from. Soon enough though, it loses its warmth and brings to mind a child’s introduction to a tough world’s environment. Such a tear must be angry with me for letting it out. I make it lose its warmth; the warmth that signifies life and the loss of which is synonymous to a candle whose light is dying out. One moment there’s heat and life and all the hope that a light at the end of the tunnel brings, and then all of a sudden, darkness, and cold and a feeling of hopelessness. The sudden end to the tear’s warmth is like an end to the good things that the candle’s flicker promises. There’s hope for as long as the candle burn and like for the tear, lifelessness breeds hopelessness. What’s life without hope anyway?

The tear gets cold and gently slides down my finger. All that’s left is the faint path; the path on which the tear dries. The path illustrates a life lived and a life lost. As the tear slides down, it feels like it is running away from death. It seems like there’s a battle that needs to be fought and the tear chooses to run rather than lose. It’s trying to get as far away from reality as possible. Sadly, some battles have to be fought. We win some and lose others but sometimes we still get to win the war. Other times we die at the battlefield like the tear. Our adversaries catch up with us too soon and the path that would have led to achieving goals meets death and our hopes and dream hit a dead end.

***

I’m writing this because there’s a tear welling up in my right eye. It is cold outside and I can feel the sleep in my eyes but I know that neither of that is causing this tear. This is a tear of confusion. It wants to be shed so that I can look at things more clearly. It is aching to give me a better perspective of life and the things that have been happening over the past few. That’s a good gesture so I should let it flow, right? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m not sure I want to face the reality that lies right after the tear. It feels like I am in a room, right In front of a window. All I need to do is draw back the blinds so that I can enjoy the brightness of day but I’m not sure that I’m ready for all the light that’s on the other side of the blinds. So the blinds stay as they are, protecting me from the expected harsh realities of day. In the same way, the tear remains held by the eyelids and lashes whose frequent blinking movements make this an oh-so-shaky affair.

This is a tear of emotion and I’m afraid that the force of emotion will soon enough be greater than my eyelid’s resistance. There’s high potential for a drop and I am certainly not ready for that to happen. Why? Because this does not count among my emotions that are expressible by tears. Letting this out will go down in my books as a fail and I am trying to live with as few fails as I can. Of course it is not easy but overcoming this is important for me. It’s one of those things that need to be conquered before you can conquer the world.

I’m writing this because it is a good distraction; because it will help the tear stay in my eye long enough. I don’t want to expose the beautiful spherical tear to the harsh environment that awaits it. I don’t want to feel its warmth disappear on my finger or on my cheek and neither would I want a part of me to hold a path of broken hopes and unfulfilled dreams. In any case it is cold outside so I bet I would want to save up as much warmth as I can, and that includes not letting a tear flow away with a micro joule of energy.

The best thing about this is that it has worked. The tear kind of gave up and it spread itself out on the surface of my eye. I didn’t quite feel that happen but at least I know that my eyelids aren’t struggling to keep anything in anymore. The thought of how I can now blink with ease wants to make me let out a smile but I know I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Though there’s more that needs sorting out, I know that I am a step ahead in my quest to conquer the world 🙂

***

Some say it’s the running that keeps us going. But others keep walking and still get to their destinations, right? (I’m reminded of the Johnnie Walker advert: ‘Keep walking’). In our heads we win the races that we normally would lose in the real world. Other times we know it in our hearts that we didn’t deserve to win even when there are medals to our name. However, there comes a time when we are too tired to keep running. We lose even the simplest of battles and lack answers to the easiest questions. Many times we try to be in control because we don’t want these moments to define us. Other times we try to avoid the battle altogether so that we are safe from danger. Sooner than later, though, we realize that some battles have to be fought for us to keep running; that the war can be won even as we walk. So we choose to stop the races and work on winning the next ones. We review our lives and choose only the battles that are worth fighting. It will take a while but sometimes a day of strategy can help us avoid miles of running.

Sometimes failure wants to define you. Or pride or intemperance or any other vice that we struggle with. Many times we walk on as if we have no obligation to fight. Other times we run because we don’t think of ourselves as strong or worthy enough to fight. But really, we would never know if we never tried. So choose your battles wisely, and if that tear wants to define you, by all means, don’t let it flow!

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