Guilty till cured

Do you feel guilty about day and night?

From the earliest human to me, and people after me, are governed by this mystery — day and night.

Keep aside the physics — day and night are formed by earth going round the sun. Each planet has its days.

Keep aside the numbers — 24 hours, 365 days, 60 minutes and 60 seconds. That is a human definition.

Animals don’t know these definitions. So let us down to that level, like how all living beings thing. The most obvious definition of time is day and night.

Guilty till cured. Image by Glauco Gianoglio from Pixabay

Day is when the sun shines, and night is when the sun does not. The sky is blue or azure during day, the sky is dark in the night — well, may be, the moon spoils that a bit.

Our body cycles, habits, mental makeup are all defined by day and night. We are supposed to be up and about during the day, and sleep during the night.

They call it ‘follow the sun’. Following the sun defines cycles — repeatable patterns that we habituate and get acclimatized.

But do we all follow the sun? There are nocturnal individuals — in animals, and in us. But even they have their cycles. They sleep during the day and hunt or are active during the night. They are the anti-cyclers.

What about the in-betweens? Take me, for example. I work till midnight and wake up late. Am I not an anti-cycler? I am a deviant that way. No cycles to follow.

They say most successful people wake up early. They even have a 5 am club — a club I have long dreamt to be part of. That means switching off at 9 pm. Can I? My tired mind still wriggles out to watch Amazon Prime, YouTube or read a novel. Or write. Write that little bit.

I have tried routines and somehow they don’t seem to work for me. So far, I have been writing poem or book reviews, but somewhere a blog like this is necessary. It is a valve.

For example, this article came out as I stared at the ‘new draft’ screen — on a Monday morning, when I am supposed to be on the phone with clients.

So what goes on in the mind of a day-deviant? Here is my admission. Sigh. Finally, I get it out.

I feel eternally guilty. I carry guilt every moment of the day, like a baggage. This guilt is my own assessment — I find myself as a short performer as a husband, son, father and a human.

My heart races and my head pounds. I am told to breath in and breath out. But even when I do, I end up at the state of being guilty.

My mind is often confused between various shortfalls. Which one do I fix first? I feel that I am short on time.

Does the sun feel guilty? The sun defines the cycles. It sets the norms. It defines my deviation. I feel guilty when I take it easy or I feel that I waste a day.

Life is long enough, but it is still a journey to a definite end. An end that nobody knows when it will come. But the journey is defined by days and nights. Unless I do something about the day, I feel guilty.

But somewhere, there is a valve — that keeps me sane. Some writing. Some running. It does not erase the eternal guilt. But it keeps me sane and alive. To jump to another day of guilt. A guilt that is defined by the sun.

I wonder what other humans feel about missing a day or falling short on things that they have to do. I feel a bit relieved, now that I have written about it.

I know that I have to get off the guilt train. Rework my thoughts and my definitions. Look at the day and night cycles differently. May be, there are answers if I follow the sun.

The sun does not express its feelings. It cures and makes the cycles. One day at a time. Somedays it is behind a cloud, on others, it blazes away.

Answers lie out there. I have to get this monkey of my back and travel light. Then I can follow the sun. I type away, as the sun sets and another cycle begins. I still feel guilty about nothing.

~Ashok Subramanian

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Ashok Subramanian

Ashok Subramanian

Poet and Author. Poetry and Book Reviews. Investment Banker. IIM C Alumni. Engineering Graduate.