Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stepping aside

When entrenched in one’s own ways
Embedded in stone becomes no ordinary phrase
When the mind turns into a fossil
Fixed ideas are difficult to jostle

There’s a constant fight for success
Bringing along unwarranted stress
As one braves through battle fatigue
All in the name of prestige

A lowly stone can outlive us
Why do we make such a fuss?
When it is time to step aside
And take defeat in stride

That is not the defining light
Of one’s future, that’s out of sight
It isn’t hidden behind a corner
Time holds out till we can’t take it any longer

Only coming into view
When we step aside from the queue
Of conventional wisdom
That is passed off as freedom

Enslaved between skin and memory
Is hidden agony
That’s the foundation for a life on a cloud
Making one so lofty and proud

Stepping aside for a moment
Doesn’t turn us into life’s major opponent
It helps to be wisdom tested
Before the vesture is finally rested

A false rendition of life’s account
Makes it difficult to surmount
The twin pleasures of the body and mind
In a manner that is kind

They are tools
With their system of rules
Whether they are kept sharp or blunt
Each one has to bear the brunt

Of carrying them around
Weighing the soul, struggling to be unbound
Stepping aside for its sake
Is something alien to each individual flake

Even if tossed around in a turbulent cauldron
It’s never seen as a problem
Many more would step aside
Only if they knew the upside

Of boundless awareness
Where one comes into the presence
Of the soul’s hidden face
Which longs for our embrace

In all fairness, it isn’t hard to do
If one stops to accrue
Memories and dreams
Before they become embedded in genes

It’s a train that never stops
The mind has innumerable tracks as props
It is ultimately a limited circle
Ignorance is the only hurdle

Creating fear of stepping aside
But with the promise of a reliable guide
One can enter that rarefied space
It has room for the entire human race

The soul has infinite reach
When it encompasses all, it has much to teach
Stepping aside paradoxically makes us complete
The world then need not be fearful of one’s deceit

It can finally march forward
Leaving behind unspeakable horror
That goes on even now
Committed with the attitude of holier than thou

Stepping aside involves living in awe
When lost in nature’s grandeur, frozen relations thaw
The world can then work together
To give poles back that bitter weather

Restoring balance before the scales tip
Beachgoers will be rewarded with a return trip
Nobody wants nature’s unbridled fury
To be the judge and jury

That’s where we are heading to
If we don’t step aside and take a long view
Growth is not complete
Unless the inner world is replete

With humility and acceptance
Disavowing any reluctance
To change one's ways
In a manner meriting universal praise

Turning the mind from a fossil to a beacon
From where love gushes forth to sweeten
Poisoned waters, we are now forced to drink from
Even the sturdiest would succumb

All it takes is one right step
To prevent a catastrophic misstep
Rather than the glaciers, it is us who must retreat
It cannot happen unless it’s spearheaded by the elite

Stepping aside isn’t a defeat
It makes life wholesome and replete
A harvest everyone wants
Their futures to ensconce

  • N. Seshadri