Chaos is a Ladder

These are the excerpts from the Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 6. I loved the exchange of words between Varys and Little Finger. Read this and this for more detailed context. I however, loved the words a lot. I find them appealing personally in the world we live in!

I did what I did for the good of the realm.

The realm? Do you know what the realm is?

It’s the thousand blades of Aegon’s enemies. A story we agree to tell each other over and over till we forget that it’s a lie.
But what do we have left once we abandon the lie?

Chaos. A gaping pit waiting to swallow us all.

Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again.

The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse.
They cling to the realm
or the gods
or love.

Illusions.

Only the ladder is real.

Depends what metaphor you attach to realm, blades, lie and illusions. But chaos rules ;-)

Death and All His Friends

Just finished watching Season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy. I somehow love Grey’s Anatomy because of the medical profession (always had the small desire to be a Dr – imagine saving a life!), close life and death experiences and perspectives, relationships, drama & gossip!

My parents had recorded the finales thankfully as I was travelling around a lot in Jan and Feb. Star World is very late in showing the seasons in India, Google says season 9 is out! :-) Just listing some of the awesome quotes from the episode titled “Death and all his friends” which I totally related to.

The human life is made up of choices. Yes or no. In or out. Up or down. And then there are the choices that matter. Love or hate. To be a hero or to be a coward. To fight or to give in. To live. Or die. Live or die. That’s the important choice. And it’s not always in our hands.

I’ve lived. I’ve really really lived. I’ve failed. I’ve been devastated. I’ve been broken. I’ve gone to hell and back. And I’ve also known joy. And passion. And I’ve had a great love. See death for me is not justice. It’s a … end of a beautiful journey. And I’m not afraid to die. The question is, are you?

I don’t hurt anymore. The pain’s gone. That’s a bad sign isn’t it?

Some other quotes from previous episodes of Season 6

Ask most people what they want out of life and the answer is simple – to be happy. Maybe it’s this expectation though of wanting to be happy that just keeps us from ever getting there. Maybe the more we try to will ourselves to state’s of bliss, the more confused we get – to the point where we don’t recognize ourselves. Instead we just keep smiling – trying to be the happy people we wish we were. Until it eventually hits us, it’s been there all along. Not in our dreams or our hopes but in the known, the comfortable, the familiar.

It’s a common belief that positive thinking leads to a happier healthier life. As children we are told to smile, be cheerful, and put on a happy face. As adults we are told to look on the bright side, to make lemonade, and see glasses as half full. Sometimes reality can get in the way of our ability to act the happy part though. Youre hope can fail, boyfriends can cheat, friends can disappoint. It’s in these moments, when you just want to get real, drop the act, and be your true scared unhappy self.

No matter how thick skinned we try to be, there’s millions of electrifying nerve endings in there. Open and exposed and feeling way too much. Try as we might to keep from feeling pain, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. Sometimes that’s the only thing left – just feeling.

The skin is the largest organ in the body – it protects us. Holds us together. Literally lets us know what we are feeling. The skin can be soft and vulnerable. Highly sensitive, easy to break.

We have to constantly come up with new ways to fix ourselves. So we change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves. We just need to be sure that this one is an improvement over the last.

He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn’t even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn’t, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn’t Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would’ve married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I’m finally me again, I can’t. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy’s page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again

Number one rule of surgery is limit exposure. Keep your hands clean, your incisions small, and your wounds covered. Number two rule of surgery is when rule number one stops working, try something else. Because sometimes you can’t limit exposure, sometimes the injury is so bad you have to cut, and cut big.

Doctors live in a world of constant progress and forward motion. Stand still for a second, and you’ll be left behind. But as hard as we try to move forward, as tempting as it is to never look back, the past always comes back to bite us in the ass. And as history shows us again and again, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

When we’re headed toward an outcome that’s too horrible to face, that’s when we go looking for a second opinion. And sometimes, the answer we get just confirms our worst fears. But sometimes, it can shed new light on the problem, make you see it in a whole new way. After all the opinions have been heard and every point of view has been considered, you finally find what you’re after - the truth. But the truth isn’t where it ends, that’s just where you begin again with a whole new set of questions.

What do you do when the infection hits you, when it takes over? Do you do what you’re supposed to and take your medicine? Or do you learn to live with the thing and hope someday it goes away? Or do you just give up entirely and let it kill you?

We begin life with few obligations. We pledge allegiance to the flag. We swear to return our library books. But as we get older we take vows, make promises, get burden by commitments, to do no harm, to tell the truth and nothing but, to love, to cherish till death do us part. So we just keep running up the tap ’til we owe everything to everybody and suddenly … what the.

We’re all susceptible to it, the dread and anxiety of not knowing what’s coming. It’s pointless in the end, because all the worrying and the making of plans for things that could or could not happen, it only makes things worse. So walk your dog or take a nap. Just whatever you do, stop worrying. Because the only cure for paranoia is to be here, just as you are. (Paranoia gives you an edge in the OR. Surgeons play out worst-case scenarios in their heads. You’re ready to close, you got the bleeder. You know it but there’s that voice in your head asking. What if you didn’t? What if the patient dies and you could have prevented it? So you check your work one more time before you close. Paranoia is a surgeon’s best friend.)

According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, when we’re dying or have suffered a catastrophic loss, we all move through five distinct stages of grief. We go into denial because the loss is so unthinkable we can’t imagine it’s true. We become angry with everyone, angry with survivors, angry with ourselves. Then we bargain. We beg. We plead. We offer everything we have, we offer our souls in exchange for just one more day. When the bargaining has failed and the anger is too hard to maintain, we fall into depression, despair, until finally we have to accept that we’ve done everything we can. We let go. We let go and move into acceptance.

Madras Music Season

Finally 45 days of awesomeness in Chennai. The real beauty of living in Madras ( Chennai ) is here to be enjoyed! Its winter (albeit some small rain hung over) and its time to listen to great carnatic music, great food, party over New Years and top it with some sports action of the Chennai Tennis Open.

A quick short guide on the MMS i.e. Margazhi Music Season

Locations of sabhas (halls) http://goo.gl/maps/GIOdh

Schedules
http://kutcheris.com/schedule.php
http://www.kutcheribuzz.com/december-season-home
http://www.indian-heritage.org/musicseason/sch.html
http://www.sabhash.com/home
http://www.chennaidecemberseason.com/

Schedule for Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – best according to me :-) { AC and food just across the road}
http://www.chennaidecemberseason.com/2012/11/bharatiya-vidya-bhavan-music-festival.html

Best part is till Dec 14th all the Halls have free music. All you have to do is show up!

Zahir – Freedom, Happiness and Letting go

Some great quotes from The Zahir (by Paulo Coelho) { From Wikipedia : In a recurring theme in the book, Coelho[3] compares marriage with a set of railway tracks which stay together forever but fail to come any closer. The novel is a journey from a stagnant marriage and love to the realization of unseen but ever increasing attraction between two souls.}

I loved reading the book around 4 years back. Recommended it to a friend recently, wanted to blog these quotes that I got some online sites from the book some 3 months back. Here are those quotes that appealed to me as absolute truths.

We don’t always choose the best solution but we carry on regardless, trying to remain upright and decent in order to do honor not to the walls or the doors or the windows but to the empty space inside, the space where we worship and venerate what is dearest and most important to us.

I was not I, I was nothing – and that seemed to me quite marvelous.

In the world of my imagination, Esther was still my companion, and her love gave me the strength to go forward and explore all my frontiers. In the real world, she was pure obsession, sapping my energy, taking up all the available space, and obliging me to make an enormous effort just to continue with my life. How was it possible that, even after two years, I had still not managed to forget her? I could not bear having to think about it anymore, analyzing all the possibilities, and trying various ways out: deciding simply to accept the situation, writing a book, practicing yoga, doing some charity work, seeing friends, seducing women, going out to supper, to the cinema (always avoiding adaptations of books, of course, and seeking out films that had been specially written for the screen), to the theater, the ballet, to soccer games. The Zahir always won, though; it was always there, making me think, “I wish she was here with me.”

Free again, but it’s just a feeling; freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit yourself to what is best for you.

Some people appear to be happy, but they simply don’t give the matter much thought. Others make plans: I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, a house in the country. As long as they’re busy doing that, they’re like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they react instinctively, they blunder on, with no idea where the target is. They get their car, sometimes they even get a Ferrari, and they think that’s the meaning of life, and they never question it. Yet their eyes betray the sadness that even they don’t know they carry in their soul. Are you happy?

That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.

This is from the movie Remember Me (not sure though)

Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it, because nobody else will. Like when someone comes into your Iife, and haIf of you says, “You’re nowhere near ready,” but the other haIf says, “Make her yours forever.”

The wall and the egg

Just read an amazing article about a speech by HARUKI MURAKAMI {About him from Wikipedia: His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize and the Jerusalem Prize, among others. Murakami’s fiction, often criticized by Japan’s literary establishment, is humorous and surreal, focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness.[2] He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. The Guardian praised Murakami as “among the world’s greatest living novelists” for his works and achievement}

The article The novelist in wartime at Salon talks about the individual (egg) and the System (wall). Some nice excerpts (for my reference mostly) – applies a lot to India!

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

What is the meaning of this metaphor?

It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: it is “the System.” The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others — coldly, efficiently, systematically.

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow the System to exploit us. We must not allow the System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: We made the System. That is all I have to say to you.

Life is good

I came across these amazing words while watching various seasons of Dexter. Simply love the seasons – great acting, direction and screenplay. Just wish the Indian TV Mega serials come up to these standards in the next 50 odd years! :-)

Last 2 years have been challenging. I am slowly recovering and my views about me and the world around me are evolving. Loosing control, grasp of reality and then choosing to forgive and moving on – a circle I am experiencing second time in life. Just sharing these hoping someone will read and reflect.

This is Dexter at the end of a season thinking where he stands in life

Maybe I’m making the biggest mistake of my life. But who’s perfect? Certainly not me. Sure I’m still who I was, who I am.

Question is what do i become? There are so many blanks left to fill in.

But right now at this moment I’m content. Maybe even … Happy!
And I have to admit when all is said and done … Life is good.

Dexter and sister have this conversation on how she got back to being normal post the trauma of finding out that her fiance was the killer she was trying to investigate and she almost got killed by him

I’d have done almost anything to get out from under the weight of it all.

How’d you finally do it?

I just – just saw through it. You decide who you are, who you want to be… and you hold onto that and ride it out. Like an old-west sheriff.

And Dexter’s thoughts when he starts learning that his Dad was not a perfect man and he needs to choose his own path in life and society

I’m a master now. An idea transcended into life. And so this is my new path. Which is a lot like the old one. Only mine. To stay on that path I need to work harder. Explore new rituals – evolve.

Am I evil? Am I good? I’m done asking those questions. I don’t have the answers. Does anyone?

You squeeze me like a lemon

The Speaking Tree’s column yesterday was simply superb. A simple letter by Janina to Life :-)

Dear Life,

You promised me a lot. But what you have given me has surpassed all that you promised. I knew that both beauty and ugliness would come my way for nothing comes unalloyed in life. My life has encompassed both good and bad because you have made me understand only too well that nothing comes unalloyed. When i look back and also regard the present, i realise that the richness of life is in bringing all these experiences together and weaving a beautiful tapestry of them.

When i try to achieve my goals in haste, you slow me down. You teach me patience; the value of waiting for what is worthwhile. You teach me that life is ever-flowing; like the river that gets around so many bends and boulders, you also make me flow over and around obstacles and difficulties.

The trajectory i choose for myself now is different, on account of the lessons you have taught me. By choosing not to identify myself completely with difficulties that come my way, i look beyond them and myself, despite my multiple identities, to the spiritually awakened Self that’s inside me.

I had the same expectations as many others do – marriage and family. But you showed me that there are infinite ways of reaching my full potential. There are conventional structures and landmarks, but not all of us pass by the same way.

You often squeeze me like a lemon and so stress, pain and defeat become part of my experiences. You make demands on me. I was made to take on responsibility, to care for others and to give something back to you. However, when the demands became excessive you have shown me that sometimes i have to be squeezed to give out my best.

You have also given me the chance and opportunity to recover when the feeling of being squeezed of all energy threatens to take over. There comes a healing touch – or there is sickness that forces one to stop and take stock, and helps one emerge fitter and stronger for the experience.

Looking, back, i find that you have enriched me with a gamut of experiences. You’ve let me experience the fact that being tested does not mean one has to seek escape from you. When we say ‘yes’ to life, we are really saying ‘yes’ also to surprises, setbacks and personal tragedies, and not only to happy times.

In the course of my life, so many things have happened, but not every happening was significant. I have now learned to skip and not mull over or get bogged down by happenings that could have been accidental, coincidental or negative, and therefore they do not say much to me anymore.

Life, you are a twin sister of Time. In learning to make the best use of time and putting our talents to best use in activities that are essentially time-bound, we are really living life to the full. There is time for everything under the sun. But you have impressed upon me that i should do and undertake only work and activities that promote life, not destroy it.

Yet, may i request you: Please don’t squeeze me like a lemon. I have learnt my lessons and the need to put up a good fight and keep the faith. I will celebrate you and not waste the opportunity.

And when i whisper a prayer, i will say, ‘Thank You Life, for the gift of Self to me’.

With gratitude,
Janina

The items in bold appeal to me a lot! From my heart – Thank You Life. I will try to keep the faith to continue to celebrate you and not waste the opportunity. Love, +Vinu