Paradise is defined as ‘an intermediate place or state where the souls of the righteous await resurrection and the final judgement.’ In the literal world, there is a downside to paradise and that is that even a place so heavenly can leave you unhappy.
One of my biggest flaws has been my inability to cope with change. I reckon I’m not alone in this battle. We reward ourselves with oxytocin when we are depleted. Beat ourselves up when we’re elated. I, like most people, grappled with depression in my teens and like a favoured few, found joy in many places from then on. I am lucky enough to be able to say that. However, every now and again, just when I feel like I’m soaring with the wind beneath my wings, I find myself falling with only the hard ground left to catch me.
It has become an ever present part of my life that sometimes I wonder if I’m even living at all if I don’t see the darkness for a while. What is it that causes this rubber band effect? Why is that when I have structure I want elasticity and when I am in a state of disorder I want resolution?
Still, some might say that I am charmed. I wake in the same stupor as a working man on a Monday. Trudge on through the weekly toil, often breaking myself down and tearing myself apart for the lack of creative stimulation. But, on most weekends, I get to stand on a stage for three hours and shed my problems through the words of others and my own. It works sometimes but not always.
You see, I like to think that we are merely forest rivers. We swell with the weight of the monsoon rain and wither with the summer sunshine. Somewhere in between we find our place. Flowing gently at the pace of the wild orchid petals in a winter afternoon breeze, breathing comfortably and coexisting. We are just the consequence of the changing seasons - if we accept one, we must accept the others.
Anjuna, in this regard, is an object. A construct where one can find illumination for those darker times, and darkness when there’s too much light. Everybody has an ‘Anjuna’ that they call their own. This is mine.