A soul extinguished

So tell me, what will you do, if you woke up in hell, your
skin burning, your spirit feeling each iota
of the flames, licking you? And you say, “Mother!
Mother! We’re burning!” And the answer is
a simple, “Lost.” What will you do waking
up, unable to brush it off, running from
churchman to churchman, some rolling
their tongue to give you an odd cacophony
and calling it tongues, others giving you a
doctrine, asking you to root yourself in it?
What would you do if soon, you repent,
and know love, unfathomable, unyielding,
unconquerable only to see all your loved
ones turn, and you discomforted, disquieted,
disenchanted cannot fathom why? What
would you do if that love leaves you,
for reasons unexplained,
just as quickly as it came, and since you’ve
known the Cross, the Passion and the
Truth, you hunt and hunt, but find no
substitute? What would you do if
you only think you’re restored after two
years of madness, and see the realm between
this and the next split open, and something
descend and speak, the syllables pouring
out of its tongue, speaking of your oblivion,
and you’re soon lost again, driven mad?
The first attempt a gouging of the eyes
that someone prevented, the second, pleas
and cries to Presbyterians ignored.
Pastors, “He’s a lunatic.”
Elders, “Agreed.”
Deacons, “I can’t help him.”
What would you do if you saw the
switched off lights flicker, and you’re
poked in the side by an invisible thumb?
Will you say, “Enough! Just leave me!”
Or, “Your will be done,” and still pray
to silence, the motes around you,
speaking of where you’ll lie one day,
dead and buried, encased in a tomb,
with no proper eulogy, and letters from
an old mother, unable to cope and still
praying, holding, clinging to remnants
of a faith non-existent. So tell me,
does circumstance, lack of serotonin,
increased dopamine, despondency and
euphoria, combated with prescription,
heart breaks or unrequited love
match, come close, know this pain,
this torture, and have you danced with
fate like this? No you haven’t,
and this dance slowly kills me, because of
stepped on toes now gangrenous, but this
dance saves because I know enough to
just survive alone with medication,
and I’m stable enough to write
and occasionally speak to a few.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

24 responses

  1. This is pretty scary stuff, Nitin, and pretty amazing. The simple answer “Lost” just about made me shit my pants. When the poem ends with “I’m stable enough to write/ and occasionally speak to a few” I’m reminded – since we sometimes talk philosophy – Thomas Aquinas at school was called “The Dumb Ox” and his teacher, Albert the Great, said, “One day the bellow of this dumb ox will be heard across the world.” I hope your extraordinary dance saves in every possible way.

    • Trust me, Bruce. That word has haunted me. Now I’m medication ridden again and better lol. I have not read Aquinas, but I found a good website unlike most of the stuff on the internet. I will slowly. The problem is Cessationism, and Arthur W. Pink Hyper Calvinism here, disregarding religious affection. I read attributes of God and I don’t agree with his theodicy. I think Timothy Keller is better than most modern ‘Reformed Theologians’. He acknowledges Flannery and Chesterton. And I’m sure that there are those in the Catholic Camp who do the same. And Augustine believed in both purgatory and a single predestination. I read The Prodigal God and it makes sense, unlike the legalistic fire and brimstone here. I hope my dance saves me too. And thank you for the support Bruce. It means a lot.

  2. That’s a motherload load right there. So much wisdom and truth and experience crammed into one poem. It’s like it’s imploding. I hope this gave some sort of release. I enjoyed every sentence. You are indeed an amazing writer. I’m glad we’ve connected.

    • Okay thank you very much. That means a lot. But wait…we’ve connected. I enjoyed each sentence. Those aren’t your usual sentences Daffni or is it Deane? Well either that, or you’re referring to comments, or you’ve gotten in touch, but my contact form isn’t working. I doubt the last is true though. Intriguing. Trust me. The experience is frightening. Does Deane have a little persona crisis? Goes way over my little head lol.

  3. Deane? What? I’m confused. As in connected I just meant that we follow each other here on wordpress and talk about stuff in the public comment section. Sorry i tend to take conversations more than what they are. I don’t have such long conversations with people. Maybe connected was the wrong word. Maybe i should have said “glad we chatted in the comments” but that’s so long. Lol

    • Well, Deane is an Irish equivalent for another name. Look it up. Lol. It’s cool Daffni. I’m confused most of the time myself. Befuddled by all these experiences and trust me, they are quite scary. Doing better these days though because of medication and solitude. Well, the whole movie persona talks about one person with a dual identity. That’s my interpretation at least. There’s much more to the movie though. Okay I’m glad we chatted in the comments too lol.

      • I will look it up. Ahh yes, solitude is very nice. My goal, if you believe it, is to be as detached to an identity as I can so I can develop better characters in my writing or something like that. But I’m as transparent as I can possibly be I won’t comment the same way every time. And I enjoy our conversations so I added a little more today.

        Consciousness is so tiring lol. Got that from Jung. But I don’t know I agree with everything he says. I just agree with that line. Lol and I can’t remember that connection but that was somehow connected to this conversation.

        Ah anyhow I like your writing and our conversations. That’s mostly the point.

      • I have not read Carl Jung in detail, but I did study his work, when I did my masters in psychology. I disagree with the view of a collective consciousness. I think that’s stretching genetics to metaphysics. And whole notion of an archetype is just another word for stereotype. Deane means Divine and it also means Diana lol. And since she called me Tony, and comments like that sometimes, and my mind works in these random ways, I thought, could it be? And she liked my post that mentioned the movie. Being detached to an identity intrigues me. I separate my artistry from me often when I write, and I guess that poses a lot of questions to people. And yes, consciousness is exhausting. Thanks Daffni. I like reading your work too.

      • Ohhh I get it Deane Diana Daffni lol no, I’m not Diana. I think it’s interesting you don’t believe in a collective consciousness. That’s the only way I’ve ever thought of it and didn’t think there was another option. Now I have that to think about that being an option. I agree with the archetype thing. I’ve never really articulated that though. So much to think about. Thanks for the chat. :-D

      • Lol if you’d used the word fabulous, then I would have had serious doubts lol. As far as other options are concerned you might have to look into existentialism. And your welcome Daffni *cough* Deane.

  4. Bleeding on the page. I am not you, but know the experience of “lost.” I can only find answers and God on my own terms, since my mind-journey has taken me too far away from agreeing with the strange ideas associated with my religion of birth.

    • Yeah. The thing is that it’s better not to agree blindly. Eventually you might feel it piercing your heart, and then what happens in your mind is more of a battle with blasphemous thoughts and stuff. But you’ll know love in your heart. In my case it didn’t last, and I don’t know why, but I’m not the only one. If you read William Cowper’s or even Van Gogh’s story which are very tragic, you’ll find similar things. We cannot refute the existence of mental illness, but the church often sadly does. Thank you for your comment Chelsea.

      • I’ll have to look into their perspectives. I have seen the erroneous assumption of others in my faith and family that they consider their mental struggles a “trial” that they must overcome with God’s help -though, never that idea officially stated by our leaders. For me, looking at any physical issue like that causes me to resent deity, and beat myself up for failure.

      • Yeah, I guess anybody with mental illness will resent deity, if you look at it as only a trial. It is not a trial, it is present for reasons that we cannot really comprehend. I guess the only way to understand it, is to think that we live in a broken, disease ridden, cruel world; and as far as matters of faith are concerned, it is best not to push faith. That only leads to a person becoming dogmatic. And yes, seeking help for a condition is a must. A lot of people sadly don’t.

      • I understand your perspective, since I have felt this way often. In terms of actual living, however, I am told the view of “broken, disease ridden, cruel” to be incorrect. Both sides (positive and negative) exist, and I focus on the negative. Probably true.
        For faith, I wholly believe in a personal relationship with God, or your inner self, or whoever connects you divinely.
        Seeking help has been more beneficial than I thought. I was terribly worried about negative side effects of therapy and medication. The process has its flaws, of course, but it’s been better than going alone the way I was.

      • If you go with the Calvinistic or traditional Christian notion, after Adam’s fall, everybody is totally depraved, and often virtues are just masked vices, and even a good dead done is grace. A personal relationship with God is the right thing. As far as medication is concerned, take it slow, and make sure you’re on the right combination and consulting the right therapist. The process took me years, and I had to often discontinue, but I’m finally nearing stability. As far as people are concerned, yes, there are a few people who will stand by you, come what may, and they’re worth finding and keeping.

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