THAT DREADFUL SOLITUDE

It is impossible for me to exist on my own. I think being connected to everything around us is not something we do but a fact that we cannot escape. The mere fact that I came from another human being means I am connected to that person and the people before. I believe it is Alan Watts who says “the fact that you’re distinct doesn’t mean that you’re separated”. I think of humanity as one body that expresses itself in distinct ways but is not in any way separated. This is really a comforting idea, and this idea doesn’t only extend to human beings, the connection exists even with something as distant as the sun. It’s quite obvious that without the sun’s rays life on this planet would be impossible.

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So I think about all the things and people who exist or existed and made it possible for me to here today. These are things I ponder in my solitude. Does the fact that I don’t have people around me at this very moment mean that I am alone? That cannot be possible. There’s memories, dreams and ideas all around me, I don’t need to be in the company of tangible or living things to feel connected. We all need to zoom out at some point, to imagine the bigger picture before understanding the details. After watching the movie Interstellar I had a conversation with the friends I was watching it with about how it would feel like to be on a planet where you’re the only human being there. How would it feel like so be so alone with just yourself and your thoughts, and how many of us can honestly say we can survive that kind of solitude. I have a different perspective about all those questions. I think it isn’t really solitude but rather stillness, and stillness means you are without any distractions.

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Most of us are apprehensive about being in that kind of state because we can’t really bear the thought of confronting ourselves. This is why prisons use solitary confinement as a form of torture. Being isolated and disconnected is a frightening thing. So I think that if I were to experience that kind of solitude I would accept the stillness, I would confront everything within me, every fear, and every thought and knowing that I am not disconnected or separate, I would learn to appreciate a life of stillness and without distraction. I suppose this is better said than done though. How often do we make the time to be by ourselves even for a day? Being alone means eventually finding out what kind of person you truly are.

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WHILE YOU WERE GONE

Her bag is on the floor, there’s shoes and clothes scattered around. It’s strange how these items are no longer things but memories to me. I prefer this kind of solitude. I’m not alone but surrounded by fragments of herself. This is a bit comforting. I suppose it’s knowing that somewhere in the world there is someone who will eventually return for pieces of herself that she trusts you with. This way life can go on, and I can continue with my life but knowing that she will return at some point. I stare at the necklace hanging on the desk lamp and imagine her neck, soft and delicate. She wears her forever with such pride and courage. I obviously cannot understand this, I’ve become so cynical. The thought of forever crosses my mind and leaves me shuddering with fear. I’ve had to survive my childhood, she tries to remind me that this is no excuse to stop believing in everything. It’s not that there isn’t anyone that I trust, I just prefer to only trust myself. She knows how to come in and leave herself here, she knows how to dance around the fire of my fear until the flames cease to be threatening. I of course have no idea how she does this, how she manages to waltz in and rearrange everything, and not only am I okay with her doing this, there are those moments I wish she could return and do it all over again. It’s quite strange when the one thing you fear more than anything is the same thing that gives your life some kind of meaning. So this is the person she is to me, she’s a symbol of all that I’ve attempted to let go of.

KNOW THYSELF

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I haven’t seen the sun in 144 days. Know thyself. I can’t remember the last time I completed a thought, they drench the couch, perched and abandoned. The war is upon us. I keep drifting further from the enigma that is the world outside. Another dead star, there should be space on my ceiling for these celestial orphans. Take out the trash, write, read, fix the bridge, I am not the source, spill the clutter. The mind should be a decent abode at all times, I live here. I remain still, the future draws near , I live here. I’ve never met the rain. The windows are draped and it’s a moonless midnight. I’ve been searching, gazing at the mirrors above me, I dread the return and I should do something about that coffee stain on that manuscript. The Milky Way muffles the words.  Shit! I should see the sun, there are too many of us without fathers. Write, cradle the light, and know thyself. There is nothing to do because we are already that which we seek. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you. There’s just so much to do, I should get some sun. Shit! Another orphan

HER

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All she knows is faith. I told her that I am a myriad of changing truths and I cannot be her religion. Her prayers, sacred murmurs, still ascend to meet a God I once feared. I know that she thinks about me on her walks, she peers over her shoulder and wonders if I’ll ever follow her to church. All I know is grim tempered saints, I know that he’s our father because he’s seen the chambers of all our mothers. I know those devout sinners who have surrendered themselves to the kingdoms at the corner. We’ve all prayed and came to wipe the blood of our loved ones from these altars.

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I do, however, love her spirit. She descends from a legion of women who carried rivers to distant villages, humble shadows who’ve tossed the now immortal kings around as mere pawns, noble queens with ferocious hearts and gentle eyes. It is this spirit that appears before me when I catch her gaze. I have of course since displaced my taste for fragile things, she’s a gentle Empress but far from fragile. It is this unyielding spirit that makes us kindred souls.

THE TRIP

I’ve been thinking for some time now about this notion of what I call “The Trip”. It is the idea that we all possess an inherent urge to escape the mundane, to depart from what we are familiar with. I find it quiet exhilarating to visit a place I have never been to before. I think what is even more liberating is being surrounded by people who haven’t the slightest clue of what kind of person you are. “The journey is a chance for rebirth” Jason Silva, in this kind of setting you can be anything that you want.

The Trip, however, is not merely a physical journey. We can be immersed in a book we are reading, this is the moment when belief is suspended and we are consumed by this work of art.  We can be so engaged that we become unaware of the world around us. In such moments we take the trip with our conscious minds, we follow the words as they guide us across unknown terrain, and spaces that are foreign to our minds. So why is it so important for us to take the trip? What is it about traveling to another place that kindles within us this overwhelming sense of freedom?

The writer Alain de Botton puts it this way “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to”. I believe this means we are happy with seeking the journey itself. We anticipate how leaving behind what we know might change us. It is this change that we are essentially chasing. No one wants to be the same person for the rest of their lives. The change is inspired by what we’ve learned on the journey. The knowledge we acquire when we go on these quests, whether it’s a trip to another country, or when a work of art takes us on a voyage through parts of ourselves we haven’t dared to explore, or even the trip induced by smoking weed where you are plunged into the depths of your subconscious, this knowledge that we return with is what creates a shift in perspective, and we are therefore forced to perceive ourselves and the world in a different way.

I’m also very interested in what becomes of us when we don’t take the trip, or rather what happens when we are only exposed to what we know, when you are only surrounded by what is familiar. What does it mean to live a ‘monotonous’ life. The dictionary defines the word ‘monotonous’ as “dull, tedious, and repetitious; lacking in variety and interest, unchanging, routine, mechanical, mind-numbing, soul-destroying” This is often the truth for people living under poverty, or just anyone without the means to somehow change their circumstances and escape the mundane. But as I said in the beginning, I believe that we all possess this inherent urge to escape or depart from what we are familiar with, this is what drives us to find, and sometimes by any means necessary, a way to take the trip, which is in essence a way to change ourselves and the world around us, it’s a way to disengage from the seemingly inescapable reality. I read a book about addiction a while ago, and the author (I forgot his name) said he believes that at the bottom of any addiction is pain. When the human spirit is in a situation where all it knows is hardship and pain, it will fall back on this intrinsic desire to find a way out, even if it kills the body in the process

So I say take that trip, read that book, go to that concert or simply  roll a joint, however you choose to take the trip ( oh yeah, and your trip should preferably not be something that hurts you or other people), it is necessary for your wellbeing as a person. So whether you decide to turn you entire life into a trip or it is something you do on weekends or in your spare time for recreational purposes, Although, according to the etymology of the word “recreation’: The term recreation appears to have been used in English first in the late 14th century, first in the sense of “refreshment or curing of a sick person”,[3] and derived turn from Latin (re: “again”, creare: “to create, bring forth, beget.), taking the trip is absolutely necessary, it is a chance to change, a chance for rebirth.

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And this is what I’ve become. Raining cinders, a thousand kites burning, pulling strings from blistered palms, no one is ever prepared to extinguish the sky, and this is what I’ve become the wanderer, headed for the seams in attempts to pull the horizon asunder. A mere quiver beneath a cage frail, ribs folding, creaking hinges I am quiet nights and tunnels that speak in whispers. Forgive me for I have since fled that crimson village….abandoned the ritual of digging wounds into the earth for the living. When the sun returns I gather all that I belong to before the light turns these bones into something that resembles a “desolate” home. Forgive me…you fell into the embrace of eternal slumber and I inherited a war. The living should never be imprisoned by a dead man’s cause. How we’ve offered our names to oblivion to make sure that history always recalls yours. Forgive me. Once we swore, but it’s a different war. Behold you people,  “men without a common enemy find one within themselves.” You fell into the embrace of eternal slumber, they inherited a thousand hells. Behold a nation bleeding rainbows, their daggers still question the color of my blood.  Tears and dust, I am an exodus of daydreams and mud. A movement of burdens, I am certain of nothing more than the bitter twilight I am leaving behind. Nailed on the crossroad. On a quest for nothing more than moving. An exiled God, nailed to a crossroad, railways. Strangers are priests, train stations and confessionals. Father forgive me for I have since fled that crimson village…