5 Ways To Remind Yourself Of Your Own Mortality

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Let’s face it.

We’re all going to die. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people push this thought to the back of their minds, or never dwell on it at all. You’re going to die one day. I’m going to die one day. The cat, the tree in your backyard, your loved ones, the insects. Every living organism that has ever existed on this planet will one day return back to the ground, to the air, to the universe, as an arbitrary scattering of atoms.  

I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m not suicidal. I just want you to face this inexorable truth.

Death shouldn’t be a taboo subject in our society. As a kid, when I asked adults about death, they patted me on the head and told me I shouldn’t think such dark thoughts. I was given no answers and taught to not explore thoughts about my own mortality. Now that I’m older, nothing’s changed – my peers do the same thing. This shouldn’t be the way things are. We should show people the reality and not cloak them in ignorance with the excuse of keeping their pretty little heads bright and happy, all songbirds and sunshine. We shouldn’t shy away from topics just because they are gloomy and depressing. Talking freely about death should be acceptable, not socially improper.

The fact is, as living organisms with a heightened awareness of our consciousness and sense of self, in a society that doesn’t want to consider the demons that lurk underneath the glitter of our world, we don’t think about our own mortality enough.

But, you say, I know I’m going to die, that I should live my life to the fullest, yolo, I think about it!

Are you sure about that?

Maybe you do think about it. But so many don’t. How do I know that?

If people truly reflected on their own mortality on a daily basis, they wouldn’t be stuck in jobs they hate. They wouldn’t stay in unsatisfying relationships. They wouldn’t procrastinate. They wouldn’t be afraid of following their heart. They wouldn’t think they have something to lose in life.

Your life is so short. Shorter than you can possibly imagine, in the full scheme of things. It’s all you’ve got. This consciousness, this body, this mind. Do yourself a favour. Remind yourself of your own mortality, so you don’t waste your existence. Here are a few ways to do just that. You might find some of them to be macabre, morbid. That’s fine. But all of them will help you face the abyss, the truth, to acquaint you with the nothingness at the end of this road, and that’s what we want.

1. Become aware of your bones.

A skeleton is the ultimate symbol of death; but sometimes, we forget that underneath our own flesh padding, there is the same, wintry structure. I want you to, right now, press your fingers against your cheeks, your chins, your forehead, feeling the hardness of the skull underneath the skin. Twiddle your finger bones. Tap your kneecap. Count your ribs. Now imagine this. One day, that skeleton inside of you will be all that is left of you. Your flesh will melt away from your bones. You will be a crumbly, calcium frame, sleeping an eternal sleep in a dank coffin in the earth, while the world above you trembles and changes, the grass growing, the sun shining, the birds fluttering.

2. Visit a cemetery.

I find cemeteries and graveyards to be some of the most peaceful places in the world, at least during the day. When you visit, take your time. Sit down on the grass near one of the headstones. Read the inscriptions. Realise that every body buried underneath the earth was once a person just like you, with their own dreams and aspirations and hopes and loves and desires, and now they’re dead, just as you will one day be. Don’t feel anxious, scared or afraid. Just be, feel, experience and know.

3. Touch a real human skull.

This might seem a bit icky; the skull has negative connotations of fear and death and danger (pirate flags, anyone?) in our society. Get over your squeamishness. I haven’t done this myself, not having the chance to come across or obtain one. Perhaps you could visit a museum, or a science lab. Perhaps you could buy one, though they are astonishingly expensive. If you ever do get a chance to, touch it, examine it, poke your fingers through the eye holes. Look into its eyes and realize that your own head is not far from looking like that too. Am I grossing you out yet?

4. Watch a movie, read a book or listen to a video made by someone who has died.

That voice in the video, composed of sounds and signals, is speaking to you from the past. That actress on the screen, the one smiling, walking and talking, is gone from this Earth. You are looking at an image, made up of pixels landing on your retina, of a past person. The words before you were once penned by another human being, in another time, another age, whose flesh has long melted from their bones. These mediums provide snapshots of humanity, preserving souls like dried flowers between the pages of existence, and remind us that, though our corporeal form will one day evaporate, our mind, our thoughts and our words can live on.

5. Imagine your own funeral.

Pretend that you are a ghost, spying on your own burial ceremony. Who has come to say their goodbyes, place lilies at the base of your headstone? What will people remember you for? Are you content, watching the funeral? Do you have any regrets that make your little ghostly heart waver and wisp like smoke inside your nebulous chest? Imagine seeing your pale form in the casket, your eyelids withered closed, one last time, before they place on the lid and lower you into the earth and cover it up with more earth. Make it dramatic, if you want. Add in black umbrellas and pouring rain. But know that the sun will continue for the living once you are gone.  

Death isn’t a morbid thing. It isn’t scary. It isn’t depressing. It isn’t even sad, though the grief of the living can sometimes make it seem like it is. Death just is. Trust me, you won’t be bothered by death once you’re dead, because it is a total absence of existence. But you can control how you spend your time in the realm of the living. And perhaps, by reminding yourself of your own mortality now and then, and how little you have to lose when everyone is headed for the same trapdoor on the great stage of life when the curtains fall, you will try to live the best life you can in the time that you have.

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I Don’t Want What Other People Want

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I just spent the last few minutes repeatedly banging my head against the wall.

Well, not banging exactly, because that would have given me concussion. More like knocking gently, enough to convey to my family members that I was in the throes of despair.

You can probably guess what I’m despairing about based on the title of this post.

Warning: This is going to a mostly stream-of-conscious, blubbering, blathering rant that may or may not make any sense. Proceed with discretion.

Note: I would love for some comments, pretty please, anyone who can understand, even a little bit, just, out of the kindness of your heart, from one fellow human being to another, so I can just stop feeling so strange and crazy. This is my version of tragically hollering into the abyss of the cyber net in the hopes of receiving an echo back.  

I don’t want what other people want. I REALLY, really, really don’t. You can’t imagine how much I don’t. And it’s REALLY, really, really isolating.

1. I don’t care about money.

I literally have zilch care for money. As long as I am not starving and out on the streets, I’m fine. My most treasured possessions are my books, laptop and phone. I don’t care about anything else. As long as I can have a teensy weensy room that is relatively clean for myself, an internet connection, a source of relatively nutritious food and clean water, I’m happy. I don’t want an apartment. I don’t want a house. I don’t care for fancy clothes, I can still write in rags. I don’t care about cars. I don’t care about makeup or jewelry. I don’t care about ‘financial security’. I don’t care about eating out at restaurants. I don’t care about having fun at parties, going to the movies or even going on holidays. Sure, I don’t want to be homeless. But between slaving away at a 9-5 job I despise and being homeless yet having the time to write and do the things I want, I would choose the latter.  *takes a deep breath* Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE LUXURIES OF LIFE.The only reason I’m not leaving society and going to live in the wildness is due to my dependency on the internet and fear of wild animals. Also, I’m get cold really easily and a sleeping bag in a tent might be okay for the summers but not so great for the icy winter nights.

2. I don’t care about conventional success. 

I DON’T CARE ABOUT GOOD GRADES OR PRESTIGIOUS JOBS. I don’t! Society, just, please, yes, I’m looking at you, just please, stop cramming down my throat that I am only intelligent if I have excellent grades and go to a prestigious school and get a nice, cushy job that will get me a nice cushy retirement nest and let me live a nice, cushy, safe life. Bloody hell. Personally, I don’t think I am a stupid person. You may beg to differ of course. I may not be a prodigy or some otherworldly genius, but I can THINK, and quite well. Yet, all throughout my time in the education system, I was told I was stupid and lazy, a daydreaming IDIOT, simply because I didn’t get the excellent grades because I found what we learnt to be POINTLESS and spent most of my time writing. I would rather chase my own literary dreams, spend time with nature, live in my own imagination and toy with philosophical thoughts. Sure, you may you say you need to compromise to make a living. Do know how much time a job sucks away from your life and happiness?  Call me lazy, retarded, an utter cretin, I don’t care  – I would rather be homeless than get a job I despise. All I want to do is write and read and learn. It makes me happy and keep on living.  And maybe, after years of grueling work, scribbling down my imaginings, I’ll get published. Maybe I won’t. But I’ve only got this one life and I want to give it all I’ve got, damn it. I really think I have something, some spark, call it what you will, talent, intuition ( though I doubt my writing capabilities to the point of depression), I truly think I can make it. But I can’t make it if I sell my soul to society’s version of success.

3. I don’t want to get married and have kids and live the disgustingly boring suburban life.

I’m actually crying right now with frustration. Real tears, man. It feels like I’m the only one who feels this way, like I’m the only one sees the ghosts that wisp and waver beneath the thin film of the reality of our world. I don’t want to get married. Marriage is a social construct. A shiny rock and splashy ceremony isn’t needed to prove the love between two people. You promise each other with your actions and words, not showy stuff money can buy. I would only marry someone if they shared my views on existence. You may think that’s narrow minded of me, but it’s true. And, about the kids. I love kids. I think they are beautiful angels. I would love to have a kid of my own. But I don’t want to have a kid and lapse into the normal kind of life, where I am either a stay-at-home mum or juggling work with kids and then the relationship between my husband and I stagnates and one day I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, heart pounding in the  dark, and realize I want a divorce and I’m not happy, I’m not happy, that I’ve wasted my life, the tears streaming down my face.

4. I don’t want a life of comfort.

That might sound a bit strange. But I’ve found that most people like to be comfortable. They work hard their whole lives just to get comfortable. To feel secure. To feel safe. Then they blow their time on usual past times like television and other pleasurable activities. I don’t want comfort at all. I want to feel like I am alive every single moment of the day. I want to strive towards achieving my literary dreams. I don’t want stagnation. When I was in school, the other kids dutifully memorized what was needed for the exams, while I asked questions beyond what was being taught and was actually criticized for wasting class time. Everyone’s too comfortable. Everyone wants comfort too much. What’s so great about comfort? Maybe I’m missing something.

Just. JUST. I want to leave society. No, some parts of society are good, like the internet and libraries. I want to buy a single room somewhere and camp out there for the rest of my life. I want to go to some isolated community in the middle of nowhere and live there, writing. I want my time to be my own, to be spent on things I want to do. Yes, it’s sort of like financial freedom, but financial freedom needs some imprisonment to attain.

I feel so trapped. I feel so strange. When I tell people I don’t care about these things, they look at me condescendingly and with pity, like I’m a stupid angel that recently lost its wings and hasn’t adapted to the reality of my winglessness. My mum thinks I’m mad. I feel crazy. Am I crazy? I don’t know. I must be, if I’d rather choose homeless over the usual lifestyle.  

I want to be free. I want to live. I want to write to my heart’s content. I want to be able to stroll in the woods in the middle of the day, be around nature. I want to be able to lie in the grass and look up into the night sky and just revel in the beauty of this existence. I want to find someone who understands me, ME, wholeheartedly, because I’ve never met anyone in real life who understands me, not even the slightest, and that makes me curl up and cry at night from loneliness. I’m surrounded by people but I’m lonely.

I don’t want what other people want. So where does that leave me?

 

To All The Sensitive Males Out There

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You are sensitive.

Never view that as an insult.

It’s not. The only reason you might see it as an insult is if you have swallowed the image of the ideal male that society has fed you.

I realize that it is harder for males to be sensitive in our society. We have these paradigms of masculinity which are enforced upon boys at a young age. And everywhere you go, these enforced stereotypes slam into your face, whether you are with your family, watching the news, hanging out with friends. They’re all the same. They’re all about being tough. Don’t cry. Be a man. Be strong. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t show your emotions. Be stolid, stoic, a warrior. Laugh. Have fun. Stop caring so much. Stop feeling so much. Sure, you can be upset now and then, but for heaven’s sake don’t be weepy.

That’s complete and utter bullshit.

Look. I know one little blog post isn’t enough to iron away all the ridges of social conditioning patterned on your psyche. You have probably hated yourself and been depressed because you don’t live up to societal standards of masculinity. I am a sensitive female and I have hated myself and been depressed because I don’t live up to societal standards of the ideal human: extroverted, happy and thick-skinned. And you having the whole masculinity thing thrown upon you as well  – that’s a lot for anybody to have on his plate.

But I’m going to try. Because I care about you. I know I’m just an anonymous human being on the internet but being the emotional and sensitive little soul I am, my heart breaks when I receive comments or see posts on the internet written by sensitive males lamenting their lot in life.  

The main thing I want to get into your head is this: to hell with what society dictates is masculine or feminine. I know that’s easier said than done, as most things in life are, but you’ve got to realize that those rules or regulations don’t apply to you. You are not just having a hard time following the rules. You are following the rules in the wrong game. Step out of the boxing ring. Dust your hands. Just, step away. Cut yourself off from these poisonous expectations. They are not for you. Doing so doesn’t make you less of, not a man, but a worthy human being.

Cut off the friends who don’t accept your sensitivity and who hoot or jeer when you are simply expressing who you are. You don’t need them. Every time a friend rejects you, whether for voicing a thought that is too sensitive or doing something that isn’t ‘masculine’, they are drilling into your head that who are you are is not good enough. That is a disgusting way to treat another human being. You are good enough, in more ways than you can imagine.

Cutting off family members is harder. You mostly likely have a not-so-sensitive family member who wants you to toughen up and ‘be a man’. Gosh, just writing that odious phrase makes the bile rise in my throat. That is wrong. Realise this. They are not right for trying to mold you into what they think being a male member of our species should be. But don’t judge them. They have swallowed and digested society’s paradigms, especially if they have been around on Earth longer than you. So here’s what you do. Whatever they say to you, don’t take any notice of it. Don’t internalize it. Don’t hate yourself. Don’t feel like you are inadequate or not living up to expectations. Don’t feel like you are weak or useless, because you are not. Try to ask them to stop but if they continue with their behavior, just let the words wash off of you. Imagine the words are droplets of water and you are wearing an emotional macintosh. They can’t affect you. You have to accept yourself, which I am going to talk about further on, but just don’t take in the words. Zone out. Play along, act, pretend. Sometimes, you have to give people what they want for a little while to make them leave you alone and let you live your life freely. Next, and this is very important, find a haven/s – your bedroom, your garden, a group of caring friends, other sensitive males and females. Let the expression of your soul flourish in these havens. This is where you will grow. Society will try to stunt you with its pesticides, thinking you are a weed, but you will find your own corner of soil and flourish into a thing of beauty.

Yes, that’s right, beauty. Because being a sensitive male is not a curse. It is a gift. Clichéd as hell, but it’s true. Sure, you may not be able to reel in the ladies at the bar as well as the other boisterous lads, but those females who are attracted to those kinds of males are probably not going to be compatible with you. Do you realize how many sensitive females there are out there who are just wishing their paths will one day cross with a sensitive male like you? Trust me. I am a sensitive female. I know.

There is a special spark inside of you. You know it. You are know you are unique. You know you are different. You know you experience life more fully, see the world more vividly, feel the ups and downs more strongly.

If you accept and love your sensitivity, if you disregard the voices that try to put you down and stroll down your own path being your own self, you will live and experience life with a exalted jubilance that so many people in life never achieve. You will attain this joy because of your sensitivity. You have already experienced snippets of this joy. Staring at the beauty of a flower and feeling your heart ache with the wonder and magnificence of it. Creating a piece of art which makes you feel like you are riding a chariot flanked by seraphs into the heavens. Sure, you might feel the pain and disappointments more keenly. But, if you truly think about it, would you give up those shining moments of joy in return for less sorrow? Even in sadness, even in grief, even in suffering, there is beauty, because to feel, to experience, makes you feel alive, as if the universe were expressing itself through your body in surge of cosmic power.

Now, how do you accept yourself, you may ask?

Because none of the above things will work if you don’t accept your own sensitivity.

What I am about to write is something you HAVE to understand. Sear it into your mind. Stick it somewhere in your room where you can see it everyday and remind yourself.

It is this.

Gender may be fixed but the expressions of our gender are fluid. A woman can be stoic and strong. A man can be sensitive and nurturing. Or it can be the other way around. Your behavior, your interests, your desires, are not dictated by the gender you were dished out with at birth. Your gender has no bearing on who you are or should be.

We are all human beings. And human beings cry. You are allowed to cry. Human beings feel and show pain. You are allowed to show and feel pain. Being sensitive isn’t a weakness.  Being sensitive just means you are a human being, a living, breathing, intelligent and conscious creature, who just so happens to have a more sensitive nervous system and psyche than other people. These views of society’s which have poisoned your views of yourself are constructs. They are built, manufactured. They are not real. Sometimes, if we get enough people believing something is real, then everyone starts to believe it is real. But that doesn’t mean it was real in the first place.

As a sensitive human being who cares, sometimes too much, I just want to say that I love you. I love you because you are a human being. I love you because you are an expression of this universe. I love you because you and I and everyone else, we’re all in this together.

So, please, love yourself.  

Reasons Why I Am Actually An Alien

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I have some news for you.

Good or bad, you say? Well, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

I know this must be hard to grasp, whether you are a reader of my humble little blog or chancing upon it for the first time.

I have a confession to make.

*takes deep breath*

I am actually an alien.

Okay.

Just going to let that sink in. No, no, not the human-eating kind! No, I can’t go back to my mother ship. No, I told you, I’m not going to eat you or that man over there! Why are you backing away? Don’t you dare throw that banana at me, I’m warning you!

I know. I look remarkably normal, thanks to the craftsmanship of skin-clothing by the talented tailors of my home planet. But don’t judge a book by it’s cover, as you Earthlings all are fond of saying. How am an alien? You want me to prove it you? Fine. I will. Behold. Reasons why I am an alien.

1. No one understands me. Goodness, I sound like a irritating adolescent human bemoaning her own incomprehensibility. But I have a legitimate reason. It’s because I’m an alien and my brain is super weird.

2. I hate pop music. I hate loud music of any kind. I only like quiet, lullaby-like music. But, mostly, I like silence. I know, it’s crazy.

3. I have no interest in the bits of coloured paper which you humans use to purchase things.

4. I like being by myself. Okay, I’ll wait until you all finish gasping in shock. I actually hate human company. I like being alone. I wouldn’t mind being alone all the time. If everyone had a unique disease which prevented everyone from contacting anyone, it would be a blessing.

5. I have no interest in the economy, in politics  or in current affairs. At all. Zilch. More gasps? Wait, why do you look so offended? What, I’m not ‘cultured’ enough? Your petty human troubles bore me. It’s all just a bundle of messiness that wants everyone to know that it’s messy.

6. Other humans don’t like me at a higher frequency than is normal. I can see through people who are being transparent or artificial quite easily. It’s part of my emotional x-ray vision. It makes humans uncomfortable because I can see the dark shadows that writhe beneath their skin and the skeletons clattering inside their bodies.

7. I don’t want to work, not because I’m lazy, but because I have no interest in being a slave to the system and selling my time and soul doing something I will probably hate. In fact, I would almost rather be homeless than work at a job I loathe. I know, it’s astounding.

8. A permanent melancholy pervades my thoughts. You humans have tried to diagnose me with depression, told me to ‘cheer up’ and even thrown glitter and confetti in my face on multiple occasions. But it’s actually part of my psyche. Sorry.

9. I SEE DEEPER MEANINGS AND TRUTHS. Not to honk my own horn, we aliens are humble creatures at heart, but the things I can think about and the concepts I come up with about life and existence are so freaking deep and convoluted that it sometimes makes me feel like I’m insane just thinking about them. All I’m saying is, everything is an illusion. Literally.

10. I have no interest in personal adornment. You humans seem particularly fond of this past time especially the female members of your species. How little interest, you ask? Well. If I’m not leaving the house, I will not brush my hair or get out of my pajamas. Sometimes, I even forget to shower. Okay, I saw that, now you’re really backing away from me.

11. I can’t communicate well with humans. See, I’m a different species, so it’s just pretty darn difficult. I stutter, I feel awkward. Just having a human look at me makes me feel unbearably vulnerable and self-conscious.

12. I don’t like parties. Period.

13. No one understands me. I know, I said this at the beginning, but it deserves another mention. Do you have any idea of the wackiness of my brain? Do you have any idea how lonely it can get, being the only alien for miles around?No, I thought not.

14. Aliens are more sensitive than humans. It’s why I hate loud noises and bright lights and those horrible movies with random scary faces that pop up.

15. A library is my ideal habitat. I feed off of books and creative energy.

16. I am very scatterbrained. I will get lost on the way to my own house. I will lose my own sister at the shopping centre. It’s the magnetic poles you have here, throws me all out of whack.

17. I have a special kinship with cats because it has been my long held belief they were imported from my planet to yours.

18. I am particularly susceptible to the love bug, which is spread through Valentines Day and romantic comedies. My immune system just isn’t strong enough to fight it. Symptoms include self-pitying weeping, fantasies about the perfect romance and lots of cat cuddling to assuage loneliness followed by yelling at self for being a stupid dreamer and idealist. 

18. Back at my planet, procrastination is necessary for survival. See, over there, everyone lives for at least a million years, so if you did not procrastinate, you would get bored and run out of things to do. Unfortunately, this trait is still a part of me despite my abridged lifespan here on Earth.

19. I love the night sky. It makes me wistful and think of home.

20. Existential angst is a trademark of my species. I don’t understand other humans and how they can do the things they do everyday and think the things they think everyday without having an existential crisis every weekend.

Now, I know this has all been a bit of a shock for you. I must say, you’re taking it better than the last group. They wanted to take me to the laboratory. Thankfully, I sorted them out. I don’t think they’ll bother me again.

Well. I’m sure you’ll gradually adjust to the idea. I must admit, you humans are pretty good at adaption and survival.

And I’m sure there are many of you out there reading this who are fellow aliens. Greetings.

To you, I say: Uogoegyouvouvdfvjflfvjiueorvoeifhbfdohbauerybuerbhlfhblbflbdlfbm.

To those who do not speak Alienish, here is the translation: When is the mother ship coming back, gosh darn!

Please, Let My Heart Touch Yours…Please? Part I Of Why You, Me & Everyone Else Are Depressed

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Everyone’s hearts are dead. 

Or at least wrapped up in so many layers of bubble wrap that nobody can get at it. Not even themselves. Or maybe some people’s hearts are not dead, but still pumping, but dead in their life, and that’s even scarier.

Now, what do I mean by that? No, people’s hearts are not actually wrapped in bubble wrap. Don’t be silly. That would be highly uncomfortable and impractical, maybe even life threatening.

What I mean is, people don’t communicate at a deeper level with other people anymore.

Most of our interactions these days are superficial, the coloured ink that bleeds onto surface of the water and looks pretty for a little while but eventually dissipates and fades away and leave the dark depths of the sea unplumbed. Sliced up, disjointed texts. Giggles with friends. Fun at the theme park! Let’s go shopping. What did you do on the weekend? 

Now, being the emotionally volatile, sensitive and needy lass I am, it is possible that I feel this detachment more keenly. But I don’t think I’m alone in this. At least, I hope I am not.

And, contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think the Digital Age of emails, social media and lack of face-to-face contact has worsened this situation. Written communication is a medium I am far more comfortable in. People find it easier to pour out their feelings in an email rather than in person, because it is less threatening, there is less risk of instant denigration. I think it has, in fact, enhanced relationships, at least for introverts, and alleviated my sense of loneliness and detachment in the modern world.

But. If it’s not the Digital Age, who is the culprit?

Us. We. You. Me. Society.

Society dictates that conversations should be light-hearted and frivolous. Everyone just wants to have a good time. Why would you want to talk about death? You must be depressed for wanting to have a serious, philosophical conversation about death over the dinner table. Yes, I probably am depressed, but I wanted to talk about it even when I was not. Why do you want to talk about the meaning of life? Why do you always have to be so detestably dull? You like watching sad films? What is wrong with you? Why would you not want to watch Captain America and laugh and cough your heart into your hand like the rest of us?

Here, I’ll just flat out say it: this artificiality of communication disgusts me. It’s cloying and clings to my skin like gooey strands of congealing honey. Even after I wash myself of the day’s ugliness, the fake sweetness still lingers on my lips.

It’s one of the reasons why I’m depressed (yes, got diagnosed yesterday, along with severe anxiety, working towards healing, still have uncovered issues, thanks for your support and comments that encouraged me to seek medical assistance) and why I think so many people these days are depressed.

It’s why I just want to escape to a secluded cottage in the woods somewhere. Why I feel like I robot, going through the motions, when I leave the house. Why I sit on the train and see the hordes of people rushing in and out of the carriages with the same bored, blank look on their faces and feel an immense tiredness seep into my bones. I feel old watching them, and that’s not right. I may be an old soul but I’m still a young, sprightly lass and I shouldn’t be feeling tired of life before it has even begun. Why, as much as I like silence, sitting on a silent bus of strangers makes me sick with isolation, all of us sitting on our own sandy islands, stranded in the sea of life, calling for help while others, their throats hoarse, have given up hope, ears plugged with music, fingers jabbing at phones, seeing and feeling and knowing nothing. Fahrenheit 451 has arrived, ladies and gentleman. I’m sure Ray Bradbury would be devastated at the state of things if he still lived today.

And it’s not just strangers or friends. Even family. We’re all so broiled in our own affairs that sometimes, we treat our family members like flies on the wall, something to be tolerated, something that’s always there. We don’t even touch hearts with our own flesh and blood anymore. We all come back from school or work, sit and eat dinner in silence and then everyone retires to their own rooms with their own computers and phones and stew in their own misery or anesthetize themselves with work or books or movies. And then you wonder why people are depressed?

It’s why I find solace in the company of my neighbour’s very affectionate cat. Let me emphasise this. A CAT provides me with more love than people do. And why do I want people to love?

Because, deep down, I do love people. I just don’t like what this society has turned some people into, these desensitized, slack-jawed, heavy-lidded creatures, many of whom are depressed, hating their life, their job, their financial situation. Or maybe I don’t love all people. I don’t love the ones who will always laugh high-pitched and never take a look inside themselves and see what they find. Who are well-adjusted to this sick society. Who go to sleep satisfied, a smile on their face, pockets stuffed full of cash, lips greasy with their last meal. Happy because they are worshipped for their success, status, physical attractiveness. I don’t love them. They are the truly sick individuals. I think there is a hollow indentation in the spongy softness of their insides. A heart-shaped one.

Deep down, I crave affection and deep connections with other human beings desperately. You can’t imagine how much I want to receive and give love. I want it so much it hurts and I end up fumbling and bumbling to create deep bonds with other people, because I’m so starved of genuine connections. Too bad you need the cooperation of two hearts to make it work. And it’s not romantic love. Just, love, an appreciation of the human condition with another creature of my species. I want my heart to touch the hearts of others, even for a fraction of a second, because in that second, when I see into your eyes and my glance lances straight down like an arrow into your soul and I catch a glimpse of its shimmery wonderfulness, life is worth living for me. Okay? This is kind of a big deal. Life becomes worth living for me.

In the meantime, I will reach out to other hearts through this blog. I’ve contacted some of my readers and they were the sweetest, most beautiful people I have ever met. So, perhaps not all hope is lost. Perhaps the dreamers will just bide their time until this entire mud brick of a society disintegrates into a brown cesspool of misery and people wake up to the cold stone slipped between their rib cages and nurse them back to life, the warmth trickling down and melting icy veins. I hope we don’t have to wait too long. I hope the hearts will thaw soon. I hope.  

Oh, and my heart? It’s wrapped up, too. It still lives, still beats, but it’s rather battered from overuse. I take it out now and then and show it to people who are also willing to unwrap and take out theirs.

And, on those occasions, we let our hearts touch.