SEPARATION – (noun) the action or state of moving or being moved apart.
That is how the dictionary defines the word. But the beauty of it is what meaning it holds, even without a particular context. There itself lies the irony of it. A detailed discussion with a friend today suddenly made me realize the importance this word has held in my life. It has been a great teacher. That is why I treat both, the teacher and its teachings with reverence.
Love, is like a fabric. Not a silk one, that’s just how you picture it. In reality, it is a fabric with the irregular texture, comprising of patches and holes. Some area of it seems worn out and the other feels quite new. Sometimes the fabric feels like a second skin, whereas at other times you realise that it just doesn’t fit your taste.
Separation, thus can be compared with the cut placed on the bundle of this fabric you own, each time a piece is taken out of our life.
My grandmother passed away when I was 14. I remember clearly, how my brain simply found itself unable to process the reality. I still feel that this statement lacks the ability to justify the depth of my inability to get in terms with it. Your parents always love you and have faith in you, same as mine. But Naani was a person who made me feel that there was a hidden power inside me, something about which I am still not aware of. In her eyes, I was the epitome of a good human being, brimming with possibilities. Even today, whenever I face a situation which leaves me clueless and raises questions at myself, the memory of my reflection in her eyes gives me an immense boost of confidence. It makes me believe, that I’ll definitely be able to come up with something somehow.
My love towards her was the piece of fabric that had been cut a long time ago. Strangely, the cut was so clean that by the time I could comprehend her loss, the separated piece had already woven itself with my conscience in the form of an unlimited reserve of confidence based on her belief in me.
But the transition is not so smooth each time. Not every piece of the fabric called love is cut with such finesse. On the contrary, most of the cuts just refuse to be neat. The struggle through which the pieces go when cut off, is clearly visible, not only on them but on the entire bundle itself. At times, the fabric is unwillingly torn apart into these pieces by others. In any case, what we end up with is a tattered piece of fabric, giving away loose threads from its edges. Unrequited love, unfulfilled love, incomplete love, failed love, these all are samples of the above-mentioned tattered piece. They are the ones which deteriorate over time, as the threads of the separation loosen up and disintegrate the fabric each time it is used, be it in as a memory, or a reference.
However, these odd pieces, putting their threads of separation at the display, are the ones which have also taught me about the importance of the two key things. Acceptance and Closure. I cannot dare say that I have come even close to embrace either of these. But yes, I do accept the fact that they are the key to put the odd pieces into better use. Maybe weave them together to create something new altogether. A blanket of love, ending up the way love is, imperfect. A reminder of all the components that have been involved in the making of it. Maybe that will aid in finding a continuous piece of fabric that is constantly being used and doesn’t need to cut till eternity. Or it will just teach us how to cut it cleaner; cuts after cuts after cuts.
Hence, Acceptance and Closure themselves are the sewing machine to stitch close the loose ends of the tattered piece of the fabric. They give a final definition to your complex feelings. They try to even out the torn edges, give it a seam maybe, to preserve them as a standalone memory. So you end up with the ability to recollect the old and once familiar warmth of the fabric, without the baggage. I just wish if the world was so ideal.
These machines are quite costly. And no, you cannot just throw money to own them. The currency they deal in involves a combination of patience, empathy and most importantly, love. Sometimes they ask for self love, whereas in other cases, just the respect towards the love which once existed, irrespective of the presence or absence of its traces around. People who can shell out this cost with the blink of an eye can be deemed uber rich, marking less than 0.01% of the total human population. Normal people like us take our time, first to assess if the machines are worth it, because it will take a lot of time emotionally to collect the droplets of all three for it. Then some more, to actually go through the process.
The sadly honest part is, majority of us decide against it. We decide to get rid of the piece itself. Why bother spending so much? Why put so much efforts to save something which is no longer a part of you? Let it rot or wither away and get lost in the passage of time. Even better if you could shove the piece of fabric in the other person’s throat and let them choke on it. Ain’t it convenient to blame others for what went down? “Chuck it and move forward” ranks in as the second best option. However I feel if you could go through the second option, we might not be talking about the same fabric altogether.
Another lesson I have learned from separation is the beauty of a relationship. I learned to see it and appreciate it. Separation does that to you. You learn to understand the intricacies of a close knit relationship, and to respect it for what it is. I know that the word relationship in itself restricts the imagination to a limited examples in your life, but look wider. The truest essence of what an ideal separation is, could be found in your childhood memories.
Your best friend when you were 6, do you have any clue where they are or what are they doing now?
If yes, are you still in contact, in touch anyhow?
Then are they still your best friend?
It’s most probably a no.
Did you forget the person?
The memories you had with them?
As clear as they come.
What happens when you tap into them?
You end up feeling warm, nostalgic. You are completely aware of the fact that these days will not come again. Maybe you would like to revisit them together someday. But you don’t bet on it. You accept them for what they were, what they meant to you then and now, acknowledging their place and importance in your life.
That’s how separation should ideally be. But we don’t live in a perfect world. I hardly think that the separations you will go through would end up even close. However, as the lines of one my all time favourite song goes –
You’d have to walk a thousand miles
In my shoes, just to see
What it’d be like, to be me
I’ll be you, let’s trade shoes
Just to see what I’d be like to
Feel your pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other’s mind
Just to see what we find
Look at shit through each other’s eyes
Because the most crucial thing which you must always remember is, the fabric called love gets cut in pairs. It’s never just about your bundle. These little threads of separation are possibly the only thing common left. Savour it.