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Life, death, and finding immortality through writing

I do not know if all of us do, but I really ask myself sometimes : how much of my life really is within my control?How many of even the life processes?I cannot control my heartbeat, nor my breath, I cannot ask them to stop or start. I have to eat when I am hungry, drink when I am thirsty and purge when I have to. I did not decide to be born, nor chose my parents, nor can I predict the moment when I die. I am given a will, however, that I can use whichever way I want.It is like being given a notebook, I can fill it with poetry or filth, I am also given the liberty to scratch or tear the pages.There is also a very limited time period, because before I know, I will be dead.And this is regardless of what I write in the notebook, the best of writers in the princeliest of notebooks are all brought to dust. I am no different; the grim reaper spares none. Before the sickle catches up with me, can I find the strength to say to myself,”So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,And Death once dead, there’s no more dying then”.Do I, if I try hard enough, get to figure out the mystery of how the “Self” inside outlives death , for so it surely must, because if it is unchanged through my life it cannot perish at death. The same “I am” answers, whenever I ask myself, looking inside: “Who’s there?”
In my abject spiritual poverty, faith would have me know that I am part of the immortal Spirit, a spark of light. (For a different look at spirituality, see this blog.)Even as Einstein has shown the world that all mass is controvertible into energy, and all energy to mass. So our bodily frames are not masses, but light. Easier said than understood or believed. I remember in my Physics lessons in college days, my professor was explaining to us the concept of the fourth dimension, the space-time continuum, how time is spiral, and so on…..When we all shook our heads, he asked us to imagine a donkey that lives in the cartoon world, and is strung along with the aid of a cartoon carrot.Simply put, both the donkey and the carrot are cartoons on the wall. Such a cartoon donkey, when shown a solid carrot in three-dimension, rounded and elongated conical, is unable to see it. For the donkey in two dimensions, a third dimension does not exist. This vivid imagery has remained with me down the years, as a reminder of my inherent deficiency to grasp a different dimension of truth.
But just as the carrot may exist, irrespective of whether the donkey is capable of perceiving it or not, truth may have an aspect much more enhanced than the reach of my intellect. Faith and imagination, therefore, will go where intellect fears to tread.It is this truth that I need to seek through my creative writing, the truth beyond intellect, the truth born of imagination.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Kuntal says:

    what a innovative post,, I like the way u created connection in between.. 🙂

    Keep it up..!!

  • Jeques says:

    I like how you combined ideas about death of great minds with your own personal thoughts, the result is an enlightening and thought provoking article. In the end, the readers are caught in a web of thinking, dealing with this life’s phase we all sure are going but I don’t understand why we contenue to fear.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques