The Keepers of Endlessness

 

“The oceans never stop. They know no beginning or end. The wind never finishes. Sometimes it disappears, but only to gather momentum from somewhere else, returning to fling itself at the island, to make a point which is lost on Tom.”

― M.L. Stedman

 

Endless is the sky over my balcony

when the neighbours are all asleep

and I am convinced

the day we discover boundaries,

and colonise the universe

is the day

we will stop being human.

 

When we hurt

from our bodies splitting open

and imagine frightful hours

of endless pain for ourselves

the sky exists to tell us why

we will remain whole –

‘only I am endless

and I know’.

 

When we feel alone

like unheld hands in a room

with no lights and worse

no switches

the sky rumbles in a timelapse

and introduces us to others

who lived beneath it feeling

the same endless darkness

and it starts to glow

a little.

 

 

When we are waiting endless waits

when we are fighting endless fights

the sky absorbs all our mistranslations

of reality and time

all our anxieties, all our complaints

soaked up with a deft hand

it gives us pause

it turns them into rain.

 

And oh, when we find

endless love in tinted eyes

who is it but the sky

that lets us elevate

that unfolds like a scrapbook

where we too can hang up like lamps

if only for moments.

 

And when we weave

experiences into metaphors

into words

who do we gift our stories to?

is it not the sky

who sits on them

and keeps them warm

for generations?

 

If I could tell you two things

I would say

look, look at the sky

stretch your plastic film corneas tight

and search for its edges –

you won’t find them

but I promise you will find

humbling stains

of your mortality.

And I would say

speak, speak your stories

let them go, weightlessly

I promise that unlike everything else

they will live forever

and this is when I will also let you in

on a secret, you see –

 

There is no sky above

without life below

what is the sky

but for our stories

it breathes only in the telling

it exists only in the asking

of upward looking eyes

and I am convinced

the day we stop telling stories

is the day

our race will die.

Clevon Peris for MTTN

– Photographs by Manan Dhuri, Jyotinder Singh, Sagnik Talukdar, Aryaman Desai, and Krishna Hemant

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