A Bolt of a Man

The other day, I was expecting a parcel, a work surface to station in my newly unpacked room. A sleek top made of glass, with an adjustable function that raises and lowers the table. I was rather pleased and elevated by this piece of technology. As I was dispensing with the boxes and separating the parts, I got about two handfuls of screws, the surface, and its footing on either side. Navigating through the manual in an attempt to figure out the whats and the wheres, I found myself bolting screws and affixing the parts to bear aloft this exquisite piece of furniture, in all its august appeal. To my childlike wonder, but no so surprisingly, an imposing thought came to me as I was screwing up – literally – with this thing. I thought to myself, how emblematic can this painless bolting possibly be, in all its manageability and apparent ease? How inescapably unerring, how inexorably firm is the birth, and the end of everything justifiable. Here I am tightening this petty little screw whilst mulling over the signification; this screw twists and turns as I administer it, almost effortlessly and with scarcely any strain, but it then suddenly comes to a point where it must be strengthened by the tension of the tool, to be thoroughly secured and stiffened, thereby fulfilling its function. This is the point at which the screw is pursed and squeezed in, breaking through the toughening until it at last meets the bottom of the opening and is cemented in place. Once that screw is strengthened, it is effectively in working order and could be depended upon. Loosening a fortified screw is tough stuff, it doesn’t unfasten itself so undemandingly, and on numerous occasions, it continues to harden with time – the same way a solidified man is more disposed to grow stronger rather than weaker in his unity and robustness.

Discernibly, I recognised a correspondence between the two, for man’s escapade through the barren lands and the holocausts of life is characteristic, in some sense, of that swift reinforcement of the screw. Allow me to flesh this out. Man, in his infancy, gets going with an infallible peace and freedom from privation, hopefully guided and overseen by a vigorous parenthood that warrants his nourishment and endearment. Up to this time, that developing child doesn’t have to contend with the ticklish responsibilities of the fully grown sensible man. In other words, he is still merely surfing in the heavens of youth. Others, such as his parents, are at the helm of his upbringing, consoling his triviliaties, and showering him with desired attention and warmth to embolden his tinges of character. This utopia of sorts, however, does reach its eventual closure, and that soon to be man is in due course instituted to a modish and altogether dissimilar reality; one that’s more cataclysmic and less paradisal than he intended in his creative fancy. Much like the screw, this modernist reality calls for a nature firmly found in strength, natural supremacy, and a manly barbarity, in addition to a worthy opposition to grow vigorously in a world that mercilessly leverages feebleness.

Almost abruptly, that man, once wallowing in the naivety, irreproachability and inquisitiveness of boyish youth, is thrusted in a milieu that’s pervaded by unseeable darkness, and the objectionable need to establish one’s liberty, among the myriad other tasks that beat off the man who just retreated from a heavenly immaturity. Everything that comes before that commencement into manhood is often evocative of a kind of portable obligation that doesn’t overtax a young man’s vigour, while mollifying the taste of his youth, thus making it more vividly special in his eyes. Besides, a boy in his youth is still largely resting on his family’s welfare, his general sturdiness is subject to vigorous nurturing. Let us not, furthermore, misplace the indispensable role of the father in that little boy’s cultivation. Shadowed by the necessity to move a heavier burden, that man’s tentative apparition of the world is shattered at full tilt, and is left bathing in a shivering and turbulent sea of actuality.

This is precisely the point where he ploughs rashly into the tip of the iceberg. Moving towards revelation and mastery, he is put through the paces by pain and catastrophe, moderately ushering him down the course of reinforcing his power and smothering his weakness. If he fails to materialize, exchange blows, and persevere in the spirit of bravery, not only will he fail to fortify, but will find himself in a position that can be analogized to the screw still interminably fluttering around in disagreement – loosened, movable, untrustworthy, insecure. If man, then, is to bolster up his might, if he is to administer himself and tighten his screws to honour his manliness and conform to his incentive – in much the same way the screw suffices by reinforcement – then it stands to reason that man ought to be willing, and further, be dense enough to stand his ground against all possible odds, in spite of the discomfort, and the irresistible hankering to succumb. There is nothing more aberrantly hateful than a man who’s loosened his moral values and sullied his passions. It disrupts his dependability, while provoking an impassioned distrust in him toward people who may otherwise be downright trusting and devoid of ill-will. It is a serious failing for the man of modernity to disintegrate and slacken in this sense, while doing his best to steer clear of his greater task.

Man can, if providence permits, keep fluttering for the rest of time, in an attempt to guard his childlike and fanciful youth and undergo a drawn out and wonderful ‘freedom’, but such extrication from mature duty is no bolt for liberty, or happiness, or fulfilment, or significance, if that’s what man sincerely stands in need of to flourish. Man can benefit from freedom only when he has overcome impetuous desires and learned to restrain himself, without plummeting in the gloomy confines of servitude. Anyone who did it can tell you; it’s a laborious task to deal with, and it entails something more than tightening one’s screws. It demands adaptability, single-mindedness, and an explicit course. I carry a discrete conversancy with the effects of non-confinement, or shall I say, of too much wiggle room. Too much of anything not only seduces, but shrouds one’s sight, making a poor bastard of him. Perhaps, you’ve been steered to believe that so-called freedom will redeem you from suffering, or lead the way to that paramount contentment, but this is simply a fabrication that will dash your hopes when you ought to face the unvarnished truth. Suffering, as a matter of fact, can – as it often does – spring from immoderate liberty, which you have come to believe you can endure and command without suffering any impairment whatsoever. But, that’s the lunacy of the lie one sells himself, the haughtiness of one’s guesses. Freedom, especially an undue portion of it, corrupts the puny hand that has been graced with it. And pleasure of any kind, however spotless and righteous, can be corroded at a gallop through a lack of moderation.There are but so few who can take pleasure in liberty without disfiguring themselves, even fewer who can perpetuate it without fumbling.

Knowledge and understanding will disseminate the truth: when you have few responsibilities, there is a lingering feeling of sprightly stagnation. Further, a growing languidness befalls your spirit, your vital force stifled by staticity. Such a fatigue is symptomatic of carrying too weightless a burden. Its corollary is a touch of an apparently sunken soul, leaving you in a state that could be compared to aimless wandering. An unabating laziness subdues your functioning, stripping you of your charge and turning you into a sufferer with a loser’s disposition, a victim of your own inadequacy. Every living being is degrading – this is sure to happen – but one ought to especially launch himself at stinking forms of decay, doing everything in his volition to preserve a degree of cleanliness and robustness, rejecting all abominable forms of dissolution; these poison one’s soul. In general, life is a process of disintegration, and this happens to be one of those realities that is many a time liable to ruffle one’s awareness, putting innumerable things to question, while exciting in a person a sense of profound despondency and prolonged dread, a kind of murkiness suggestive of attachment and at that, desire. To see before you the comings and goings, the bitter close, and the white dawn; the demise, and the renaissance. However life-giving the birth, and however vital the departure, one can’t dismiss the soreness of heart that likes to escort withering death. To welcome your irremediable fate, and more prickly, to embrace the fate of the ones you painfully love. Neither they nor I are undyingly at hand, having to agonize forevermore – and thus we are all, in the fullness of time, rescued by our final exit. In spite of the transitory suffering that accompanies eternal rest, there is a latent beauty in the tragic, and by the same token, a tragic detail in beauty. It not only delivers, but gives life. And if one is accepting, he ought to grasp the cyclical nature of things, and recognise the spectacle in the transience of everything that happens to come about. One’s flesh is decomposable, but encapsulated within it is a consciousness that is impenetrable, unchanging, and eternal.


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