Staring down the barrel of Maya-devi’s gun

Friday, 3 July 2009 · 3 comments

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/screamingam/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If I were still caught in my usual low-grade mental illness, I’d be feeling very ashamed about this situation, further evidence that I’ve not lived up to my “potential.” Oddly enough, I’m not, even though a part of me thinks I should be. I’ve come to realize that this kind of mental assault—in the forms of fear, regret, shame, etc., etc., etc.—that replays itself over and over, long after the behavior that triggered them is over, is simply another bullet in the arsenal of the illusory energy, Maya-devi.

At the risk of sounding like a fundamentalist Hare Krishna, I’ll say it: she’s got me in her sights. I’m staring down the barrel of her cocked revolver. Inscribed on the bullet is a single word: Loser.

This is not necessarily the truth. At least, it doesn’t have to be. You’re only a loser when you stop trying, isn’t that what they say? Like Neo in the Matrix, I can choose to see that this is only an illusion of the mind, and pluck that bullet out of thin air, before it embeds itself in me forever. I may be over the hill materially, but I no longer subscribe to a material point of view.

It’s not everyday that you can recognize that you’re being tested. That’s what my friend’s request feels like, a test. At first I thought it was a threat, because I forgot that the original idea behind the Eastern Side blog was given to me first. I forgot that I had at least some faith, foresight, and initiative to buy the damned domain name, to waste invest money for hosting I’ve hardly used.

So I did do something. It just wasn’t enough.

Not yet.

To shift gears and go back to my original analogy, it’s like I had a baby but no place to raise it. Now, Child Protection Services, in the form of this perceived threat, is up in my grill, saying, you can’t raise this kid in a stolen grocery cart. Give him a home, or we’re putting him in foster care. It’s really an opportunity to clean up my act.

So, I’m not going to merely hand over my blog name because somebody asked me. There’s no guarantee he would grow it the way I would if I gave it my best effort. Everybody, unless they’re outright abusive or severely neglectful, has the right to raise their own child. You don’t have to be rich, a genius, or (completely) emotionally stable to be a parent, if I’m to judge by the way my friends parent their kids.

(I’m joking, people.)

Your child simply has to be yours.

My problem has been the thought that I have to be worthy of my vision before I even start to develop it. That I have to be brilliant, have perfect sadhana, the laundry done, lose thirty pounds first, etc. Most of all, I thought that I’d have to feel confident about it. That I would have to become the kind of person who would have such a brilliant idea before I actually do anything.

But like I said before, the ideas don’t come from me, they come from Krishna. I simply have to become the instrument, nimitta-matram. I’ve been trying so hard to control the outcome in my mind before even beginning, that there’s been no outcome at all. It’s like digging up a seed to see if it’s sprouted, or stretching a child to make her grow. It’s perverse. It’s not humble. It’s actually more humble to put yourself out there, feeling unqualified, than to think you have the world by the tail. So I’m trying to be humble, see: “Read my blog!”

Unlike with real children, you can mold or stretch a project to fit your vision. But then, like what does happen with a real child, your brainchild  forces you to grow in ways you can’t foresee. I can’t afford to deny myself that opportunity, just because somebody else might be more qualified. I’ve thrown away too many chances already. And besides, it’s still my baby.

And so I will face this test on my own terms: I’m giving myself a month to make this blog a home for my brainchild. A thousand words a day, give or take a couple hundred. But more than that, I want to make a family for my brainchild. I believe extended families are good for kids, so I’m going to try to attract readers by writing about stuff that will inspire them to read and comment, which will further inspire me.

If I can’t pull it off, then I’ll let my friend have the name of this blog. Because every child deserves a proper home.

Unlike how it was in high school, it’s not cheating if you help me ace this test. A few good friends wrote to encourage me, which was profoundly….well, encouraging! Thank you.

If you’re so inspired and you didn’t already do this yesterday, you can share your own struggle(s) of how you let an opportunity slip away, faced a test, or turned a failure around in the comments below, or send me an email.

Hare Krishna.

Photo by Screamin A-M under Creative Commons License:
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Shanna August 28, 2010 at 11:26 am

Fuck that. Tell your friend to get off his dead ass and figure out a different name for his own creative endeavor. You don’t have to function within a ticking-clock deadline, self imposed or otherwise. It’s not a baby. It’s not being neglected. It’s more like a piece of furniture or sports equipment you’re not using. It’s not disintegrating; it’s just waiting for you to show up. (Your inability to show up is a whole different conversation.) xoxo

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tulasi-priya September 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

“Dead ass” is merely descriptive, not slagging. And since you don’t actually know the guy, how can you truly slag him? I like your slant; it mitigates the guilt.

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tulasi-priya September 7, 2010 at 2:43 am

Oh, and he did come up with a blog name, perfect for the kind of blog he’s doing, which is kind of cutesy: Om Sweet Om.

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