THE JOY OF LOOKING UP
Looking Up has never let me down!
You remember growing up, the advice most adults offered us was simply this— ‘Neeche dekh ke chalo (Look down & walk). It was fairly a good one; especially handy for a dreamy eyed-curious child who runs the risk of stumbling over the next rock, if not paying attention. But somehow, I feel, we took remnants of that suggestion, marinated it in our complicated lifestyles, and blew it out of proportion. Instead of being a distant cousin, this advice has become our conjoined twin. Nurturing in the very womb of contemplative growth and healthy gazing, are now festering limitations of an overwhelming vision that lies either below or at the horizon.
The cellphones have made it worse. Over and above the gravity of the earth that keeps us rooted, there is now an additional magnetic pull of our devices. The smallest beep, the red notifications, the pings, and the pongs of our high definition cellphones with the fastest internet connectivity, somehow have sneakily stolen the time our eyes spent looking upwards. When I find people with tilted heads, looking up–either at the sky or probably staring into nothingness—I want to applaud them for finding time to daydream or think aloud. No wonder, most rumination happens gaping overhead. When asked to pause and think, the most natural reaction it to look up into an imaginary space for the answer.
I try to practice (or rather preserve), with all my might, this little tool of looking up to build upon ideas, playback scenes from a conversation, or just anti-meditate (drifting as far with a thought as possible). Almost always, the modest act of inclining my head back has never left me disappointed. It’s always unpredictable up there. A floating cloud, a canopy of trees, a swaying branch, a bird enjoying her afternoon siesta, the carvings of the tall magnificent building, the colors of a setting sun merging with the last stroke of the sky canvas, far away from the horizon a flower fountain gushing from the edge of a terrace, art pieces and statues that have been placed so high up that they command our vision moving up to admire their entirety. No matter what I was feeling, there is a positive shift to better thoughts when I attempt this.
When I searched the synonyms for looking up, I wasn’t one bit surprised to find words like get-better, find, look, advance, progress, come-upon, improve and discover. The bounty of the beyond is always reassuring.
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