On Detachment

There is plenty of sunshine for a December morning and I am sitting in my balcony, reading a newspaper, thinking about what to write next. I can’t really focus on anything in particular. The newspaper is in shambles. I am all over the place with my thoughts. I feel inspired but undecided. Commitment seems to be lacking. Commitment to what, you might ask. Commitment to anything. A promise to submit myself to just one specific, one particular. But, I am detached. I like being detached. I like sitting in my balcony thinking about nothing in my particular. It’s embalming, in a screwed up kind of way, because one must really commit to something/someone to get hurt. Isn’t that the basic premise of life. No pain, no gain. No risk, no reward. No commitment, no love, no hurt. I have flown through life, detaching myself from ideology, notions, prejudices, relations, fear, love and people. I look at it with reverence and disgust. Odd? I guess not. What seems to me the product of man’s weakness may also be, the greatest measure of his genius. But then, isn’t commitment a hindrance to realization of a man’s true potential. He commits to a job, a wife, a husband, a business, a living, an idea of life, an ideology and he is forever lost trying to find a vindication for his decision. When he finds that vindication, he is still unsatisfied, when he does not, he is forever filled with regret. However, I may have faltered along the way, “committing” to unsound logic. May be, our commitment is our vindication, may be to submit yourself to hurt and disaster is our real purpose. Aren’t we, after all, living to die some day?

I am reminded of Tony Kaye’s ‘Detachment’-a narrative about three weeks in the life of a charismatic substitute school teacher, Henry Barthes (Adrien Brody), who roams from school to school, never staying anywhere for long and always detached from any sort of emotional connection. However, his worldview and his lifestyle is challenged by three different women, a school teacher, a teenage prostitute and a student. He connects, he revels, and then he fights against his supposed emotional weakness. But, something happens, which jolts him back to the temporal nature of the human condition, and our only solution to its consequent oblivion. The only escape, ironically enough, is participation.

Where we are in the world, whoever we are in the world and whatever we do in the world, our only context is the social connect provided by our commitment to a specific, a particular. It is the only perspective to an otherwise, incomprehensible life.


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