By Vijay Phanshikar :
Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors.
- A haiku
by Mastuo Basho
WE cannot miss the tired intensity of this expression. That’s so mainly because of the universality of experience. So many people come across such a stage on their journey of something higher than the mundane. A big dream drives them, propels them, to undertake arduous journey to a distant destination -- perhaps practically out of reach, or at least feared to be so. But the journey is tough, demanding, and rather merciless. It tests every grain. It dares every dot in the dream. It stops you at every step of the way. You are tired to the bone, sick on the journey that is taking such a heavy toll of your conviction. Enough, you tell yourself.
Of course, you may still want to drag on, may not want to give up the dream. For, wasn’t it for that dream that you had embarked upon the journey? Then -- at the start -- you might not have known the detail of how tough things would be, but doubts must have assailed you. And then, at some point in the day-dreaming, you must have said in half-intoxication of the romance of the dream that you would still step out, and start the journey -- no matter how arduous, no matter how hazy. Such a journey -- arduous and maybe hazy -- is sure to sap you of all your energies, making you weary, rather almost ready to give up. Yes, you may do that -- giving up! But on many such occasions, the dreams refuse to douse or die. They don’t want to abandon the chase.
They want to wander further and farther -- despite the swamp and the damp of the terrain, despite the slush and flush of the chaotic moment pulling you down. The moors -- such ones (meaning messy grounds or even chains) -- do not and cannot stop the dreams from wandering through, though towards the now-unreachable destination. Yes, my dear dream, I am weary -- and also wary -- now. I would not venture pushing on. But my dear, you may go ahead. You are abstract, without body, without boundaries ...! Please go on and ahead, no matter the moors, no matter the obstacles on the way. You can and you must wander on. For, dear dream, haven’t you been given a fairy-like presence, physical as well as metaphysical! Then, dear dream, jump ahead beyond your own no-boundary existence and chase yourself. In fact, you were the destination for me.
You were the point where my journey would have ended. But now I am sick on the journey, beyond myself. I am at a stage when we must part ways. I will stay back, but you must go on -- pierce through the moors, slice through the swamp, and chase yourself. For, me the chaser cannot go on. So, you must chase yourself, dear dream. When I started on the dreamy journey, dear dream, you were the destination. Now, as I give up tired and maybe bored, you take over the journey -- to yourself. ‘There is no way to peace; peace is the way’, a little school kid had written once. I borrow her idea and say: Dream it was that I chased. Now, the dream chases itself -- having taken over from me. Good luck, dear!