Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Analysis: Rustling Leaves

Posted at — May 8, 2020

This is an analysis of a poem I wrote recently, titled Rustling Leaves – it might help to read that first.

Writing this poem was a really interesting experience. I had just woken up, and heard some leaves crackling through the open window sill of my room.

I was immediately absorbed by the sound that interrupted my morning meditation, and I entered a consequent trail of thoughts.

I entered a line of thinking rooted in anthropomorphism, or personification. That is, I imagined the life of a leaf, in the human context. A leaf with human thoughts, emotions, and problems.

I drew some parallels between the leaves and humans, and ended up thinking about some big ideas like fulfillment, purpose, and the ephemerality of life – through the lens of these fallen leaves.

I thought to myself, and circled around the life cycle of the leaves. The innate impermanence of leaves. The freedom, or perhaps lack of stability, they face.

A fallen leaf doesn’t belong anywhere, and it knows no home.

A fallen leaf doesn’t have anywhere to go, it’s at the whims of the wind.

These things are fundamental, perhaps even obvious, but thinking about them that morning refreshed, or perhaps, emphasized some of these ideas.

  1. Our time is limited, and we, like the leaves, are temporary.

We often forget about the timeline of life, and the role death plays in the timeline. Perhaps, role isn’t the most precise term. Death is what cements our life as a timeline; the only thing guaranteed.

  1. We have the ability to control aspects of our life, though life itself we cannot control.

Without exploring in detail the ideas of free will versus determinism, my belief is that we’re akin to being spectators of the lives we choose to live. Perhaps my beliefs reside somewhere right in the middle of the continuum.

It’s extremely easy to get lost in the trivial moments of life. It’s easy to think there’s a destination, a time, or an instance, that will suddenly bring fulfillment. With my current understanding, that isn’t the case.

To realize there’s nothing out there that will fulfill, is in itself a fulfilling realization. It’s also paradoxical, and isn’t something that can be manufactured. I think it’s an internal realization that takes fruition in many different forms.

I think the entire poem, or at least the idea I was trying to convey, is rooted on this idea of life being too short, and temporary.

Is that thing that’s stressing you out deserving of your well-being?

If your demise was on the way, what would change today?

Reminder: it is on it’s way, unfortunately. Or maybe fortunately? I guess that depends on how you use it.

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