I was down with covid earlier this year. It wasn't too bad luckily, but I still had to isolate and wait for the fever to die down. Isolating was mentally intense because I had a lot of "time" to deal with, without any distractions. That wasn't easy. It unleashed a barrage of existential thoughts & fears about what life was all about and where everything was going.
Mortality is real and unlike my 20s, my mind is not completely aloof from it. Now, it has to be confronted, accepted and embraced. "Future" used to seem like an endless phenomenon back then; the recurring thought always was, "there's a big wide open future out there and that's gonna be glorious" (I was a blind optimist back then). There seemed to be enough time to build & re-build yourself. I always thought success and money can wait. Let's chase the "real stuff". The rabbit hole of exploration was most alluring and I refused the real 3rd world to come into my stream of consciousness - when I say third world, I mean stuff like thinking about savings, taking care of health, etc. etc.
A strong incident shook me in Jan of 2021, when my grandmother fell down in the house and broke her hip bone on an early morning. Just the previous night, I was wondering how it would be to record a Hungarian cimbalom in a big hall. My mind was rudely dragged from my indulgent 1st world onto the 3rd world and I had to take her to the hospital when she was shouting in pain. What followed was a very difficult 2 weeks where I hardly got to sleep and I was with her in the hospital, trying to get her to cooperate with the medication. She had poor memory and constantly wondered why she was in the hospital and at the same time dealing with a lot of pain. Thankfully, she recovered and is doing much better now, but it has taken a toll on me and others in the family as her recovery has been very gradual.
To cut a long story short, these incidents and the things that followed, came to me as thoughts and memories during my covid isolation. I confronted the fears of mortality, bad health and bad luck fully, with no defence mechanisms or distractions. I fully embraced it. Like Andy in Shawshank redemption, I crawled through 600 yards of a shithole and emerged free. The gloom flipped into a peaceful acceptance and I realized I had witnessed this 'cycle of life' all my life. Every form of life - plants, animals, insects and humans has been coming and going; this pattern has been there for aeons! The body forms, accumulates and dies and that's how it has always been.
I found a new, healthy embrace of "time", with all its flavours. I somehow felt my third world - first world see-saw coming to a healthier balance. I still take my "flights" and plunges, but with much more awareness of the ground now. When I stay on the ground, I know I can fly again as well. It's all about time.
This theme occupied me in a big way and I thought I should do a piece to reflect this. I wanted 'Time, a Butterfly' to be a happy embrace of time, ageing and mortality. It was liberating to do this without words - you can communicate so much more without words.
I am happy I did this piece. For those of you who liked it, thank you! As I always feel, music is a litmus test between 2 souls. If we met and never spoke our thoughts, but we like the same music, we have a connect beyond thoughts. So thank you to all those, with whom I share a connection through my music. :)
If you haven't listened to the track yet, here's the link -