Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dying sunshine...

I am sure many people must have seen the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. A character (the receptionist to the memory-eraser doc) in the movie mentions the quote from which the title of the movie is derived:
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;

This quote is actually a prose from a popular poem called Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope. It's a long one- and a very dark and sad one. It creates a dreary picture in the mind- a dream turning into a nightmare- joy being just an illusion while sorrow is the cold truth.

I found the complete poem here. A word of caution- this is written in 18th century English and not everyone might understand or like the constitution or the style of expression. Also, some part of the prose that I have put below in this post is not in the same order as in the original poem.

Want to try your emotional strength? Read this poem when you are upset. I happened to read it at a time when I was not in my happiest moods- and it took me deeper into it till I thought I would not see light at all...

Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
Far other raptures, of unholy joy:
When at the close of each sad, sorrowing day,
Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd away,
Then conscience sleeps, and leaving nature free,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee.
Oh curs'd, dear horrors of all-conscious night!
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Provoking Daemons all restraint remove,
And stir within me every source of love.
I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms,
And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms.
I wake — no more I hear, no more I view,
The phantom flies me, as unkind as you. I
call aloud; it hears not what I say;
I stretch my empty arms; it glides away.
To dream once more I close my willing eyes;
Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!
Alas, no more — methinks we wand'ring go
Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe,
Where round some mould'ring tower pale ivy creeps,
And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.
Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies;
Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find,
And wake to all the griefs I left behind.

Yet here for ever, ever must I stay;
Sad proof how well a lover can obey!
Death, only death, can break the lasting chain;
And here, ev'n then, shall my cold dust remain,
Here all its frailties, all its flames resign,
And wait till 'tis no sin to mix with thine...

But it is only in my darkest moments that I have found the courage to go on with even more determination! The pessimism in the poem acted like an antidote for my depression. It charged me up enough for me to smile and believe that Sab achchhaa hogaa :)

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