I See The Jewel But Don’t Have The Pickaxe? Metaphors. Yep.

frustrated

I’m a writer.

I’m an amateur. A novice. I have yet to put in the hours of grueling work to become a master at it. I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet.

This is very frustrating. I wish I could convey how frustrating it is, to want to be able to write beautiful, flowing prose right now, but not being able to. I suppose it’s like a magician’s apprentice trying to fabricate illusions and then have a dove poke out of a sleeve, or hidden cards spill out from pockets, much to the disgust of the audience. A bumbling fool so desperate to showcase real magic, instead of cheap, flimsy tricks.

But I could live with that, if it weren’t for the wonderful fancies that pop into my mind.

Now, I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet here, ideas are nothing without execution, without transmutation into reality. A blueprint isn’t a house, you’ve got to fill up the ether with bone-boards and flesh-plaster to make it anything more than a piece of paper.

Nevertheless, I get some pretty good ideas for stories and novels. I have good taste. I know they’re good. Really good, sometimes. I get that wonderful, shivery surge of creativity, and the nebulous cloud begins to condense into a fascinating premise, and I know, in some metaphysical region of my soul, that, damn, this is good.

So then I try to write it.

And promptly fall flat on my face.

I can’t bring the world I see in my mind to life on paper. The characters wheeze and flutter like baking-paper dolls. The dialogue is clunky and stilted. It just doesn’t work, and I know as I write it that it doesn’t work, and oftentimes I just feel like crying, because I know it’s great, but I can’t make the greatness into a thing, something tangible outside of my head.

I see the jewel, but I don’t have the pickaxe, the right tools. It’s winking at me, the ruby, from the wall, just waiting for me to extricate it from its stone tomb, but I can’t, I can’t reach it, I can’t get it out, and damn is it frustrating.

The ideas coil temptingly within my mind, like jeweled pythons, hypnotizing me with their slit-eye glares, their flashing reptilian skin, and sometimes they’re so wonderful I can’t breathe, so wonderful I can only smile, so wonderful that I am in awe of how creativity works, awe of the power of the imagination, delighted, and yet the bright, beaming balloon always falls to the earth and deflates in a disappointing splutter.

It’s a feeling of impotency and inadequacy. It’s having these beautiful, cryogenically-frozen babies and being unable to thaw them out of their frozen state. It’s hacking away at a marble lump and creating a deformed, humanoid shape instead of a rippling-muscle Adonis. I feel so powerless and inadequate and useless that it makes me wonder if I’m cut out for this at all.

Maybe I can only spot the jewel, and notify others so they can dig it out. Maybe I can draw up the blueprint, but only others can build the house. Maybe I’m just ideas and no products, all wind and no substance. Maybe I can write the songs, but don’t have the voice to sing them.

It makes me feel really bad about myself, and hopeless. But I’m not going to stop practicing. I don’t know why. I just won’t. I just won’t, out of sheer determination, and maybe a dash of hope. I’m just going to keep going, until the flesh withers from my fingers, and my eyes plop out of my skull. Then, and only then, will I stop, will I give up, because time will have swallowed me and spat me out, a skeleton.

Who knows. Maybe they’ll hear a tapping beneath the grass at the cemetery, and find a couple of finger bones still tapping at a keyboard.

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Time To Give Up On Soul Mates?


I don’t know about you, but I’ve always believed in soul mates.

That there is a single human being out there, strolling upon this planet, who is perfect for me, and I for him, only we are currently unbeknownst to one another, and one day we will meet, and our souls will merge as one and it will be perfect, man, just perfect. Our lives will be complete, and we shall view the world through a film of lovey-dovey joy of mother-of-pearl sheen.

Even after I scoffed at it, derisively terming it a ‘stupid fantasy’ hatched from the mother-hen of Hollywood which we all gobbled up as shit-filled omelets for breakfast every morning, even then, some tiny part inside of me, deep down, whispered to itself and hoped. Some part of me wasn’t repelled, even after society presented to us its idea of true love on a rusted platter as a chunk of beating, spurting heart-meat, and crammed it down our throats until we tasted iron on our tongues before we fell asleep each night.

As if pretending not to believe would it make it come true. If I just ignore it, maybe it’ll come to me. Surprise me when I least expect it. That’s how the world works, right?

I wanted it to work that way. Desperately. I wanted soul mates to exist, not only because I had bought into the movies and the books, or wanted to be saved by a knight in shining armor, or wanted romance.

No – it was mainly because I was lonely, as an introverted and sensitive dreamer who no-one seemed to understand.

So I placed all my hopes on this concept, in the hopes that it would plug up the holes of my existence.

Now, I’m truly waking up. I’ve dragged my head out of the clouds to prevent the tearing disappointment of shattered illusions, an experience I know all too well.

I don’t think two people are destined for one another, that pairs of souls are carved out of the same rocks by the great Something before the beginning of Time, distilled in random physical bodies, pulsating in these flesh receptacles. That the world, if seen through a pair of metaphysical glasses, is thronged with these floating, multi-colored pulsations, moving around, the shimmery souls beneath the transparent skin of human beings each a unique kaleidoscope of color, pumping out a unique beat, trying to find their other soul-stone originating from the same geode.  

It’s a lovely fantasy. But, even as a dreamer, I realize it’s not real.

What’s real is compatibility. Empathy. Other people in the world who are HSPs, introverts, INFPs, dreamers, idealists or writers, who can understand, not as soul mates, but as fellow humans with hearts and minds. It’s about people, not a tantalizing illusion of an often god-like omniscient partner who can turn you inside out and know the path of every vein from the tips of your toes to your brain.

It’s about not-perfect people who have not-perfect minds, whose opinions are clouded with prejudice and well, themselves, the particular lenses of their eyes. People who sometimes can’t see into the depths of your soul, can’t read your mind all the time. People who find you confusing, and you them. People who can’t fill up the gaping wound of existential loneliness. And it’s messy, and there are misunderstandings, and it might make you want to throw in the towel and escape from the reality of love.

And that’s okay. It’s not as good as the fantasy, obviously. But it’s okay, and though not better, still pretty good, because it’s real and not hinged on the wing of a fairy. Fantasies are all fine and dandy, but sometimes, the realness of reality, the blood-and-flesh closeness of it, is more magical. More fantastical. Just, nicer, because you can touch it and feel it, and it’s not just in your mind, where the romantic reel sputters to a close the moment you open your eyes.  

I’m not cool with it, but I can accept it.

It’s okay.

Unspoken Words

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A lot of what communicate comes from what we don’t say. The unspoken words. The dark undercurrents beneath the sun-glitter surface of our words. The pauses. The hollow empty silences that roar in the vacuum. The gestures, body language. It’s the subtle things that we pick up, perhaps even sometimes subconsciously, that make up the bulk of our social interaction. Here are a few of them.

1. The glances. One flick of the eyeballs, accompanied by a well-placed arch of an eyebrow, and we have disgust, lust, understand, pride, envy, pity. Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul, but rather kaleidoscopes we arrange into the patterns we want other people to see. There is power in the human gaze.

2. The silences. You know the ones I’m talking about. The awkward absences of sound in the midst of bubbly, plasticine-mouth conversations. When someone asks something, and though no-one answers verbally, it hangs in the air, screaming, like a tortured fiend. The protracted droughts of speech, often known as the cold shoulder. Silence speaks louder than words.

3. The evasions. These are the fossil fuel words, the peat words crammed to the very bottom of the strata of meaning, while the jungle fronds of levity above wave about happily, hiding their oily, dark secrets of dead vegetation, hiding, yes, but not completely, exuding a whiff of petroleum. It’s the answers that don’t match the question, the light hearted replies that fail to attack the pith of the request, which cause the recipients of these prevarications to flare with anger or go to sleep with unease congealing in the pits of their stomachs.

4. The secret knowledge. This is when one person knows something the other doesn’t, usually a snippet of potentially life-wrecking information, and tries to look happy and act normal as they talk to said ignorant person, while the suffering accumulates like dried salt behind their eyes.

5. Body language. Shifting body away, cowering, chest thrust out, fiddling with hair, fiddling with fingers, biting fingers. The flesh of our interactions are composed of body language. They are a physical reflection of our innermost workings. So you may be saying you’re completely fine and okay with something, but your knuckles, clenched white as pebbles, tell a different story.

6. Physical gestures. A brusque brush against the shoulder, a squeezing of fingers when handing over the money. This kind of unspoken communication is deliberate, and can have Herculean, earthquake-shattering emotional effects on the recipient. A touch is far more provocative, far more deadly, far more meaningful. The tactile convey a dimension of feeling words sometimes cannot.

7. Plastic. The words are pretty. The mouth is smiling. The eyes are sparkling. But it’s all not real, glossy as a boiled sweet, and can shatter just as easily. You know they’re acting fake, they know that you know they’re acting fake, but you all just play along, because that’s how our society runs. We don’t yell at people to their face, we curse their name later on at night into our pillows. We don’t walk away when people approach us, unless there is a chance, an opening to do so – no, we smile, and stand and greet, as the bile rises in our throat, ripples behind our eyes like green seawater in the porthole of a submarine.

These are some of the unspoken words I have observed during my brief existence on this planet, and my interactions and observance of the interactions of other human beings. The slimy, putrid guts that broil beneath the satiny skin of our interplays.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, words may break my mind, but the unspoken breaks my soul.

When Nothing You Write Sounds Right


It’s one of those days.

When I write a sentence, delete a sentence, write a sentence, delete the entire paragraph, and then proceed to thump my forehead repeatedly on the keyboard so that random letters whizz across the screen that are not much worse than what I had just erased.

Nothing I write sounds right. Even this post does not sound right. I am not writing rightly. I am not right when I’m writing. Okay, now I’m just not making any sense. Right.

This experience isn’t unique. I’m sure many writers have experienced it before, when instead of jewel-words dripping from your figures, ugly, cobbled stones thud out, desecrating the page.

At times like this, I find myself thinking the three following things.

1) I can’t write.

2) I hate my writing.

3) I hate myself. I am useless. I am washed-up. What is the point of living? *insert long, drawn out, dramatic wail followed by fading to darkness*

These thoughts are coupled with a dash of hair-pulling and face-in-pillow screaming.

Suffice to say, that is not helpful. So I am going to give you some helpful advice, and in the process, gain a better perspective myself, too.

One of the first things I, and you, have to realize is that not every day is going to be the same. There are going to be bad days. There are going to be good days. Yin and yang sort of thing, y’know? The point I’m trying to make is life has its ups and downs, and writing is the same. Acceptance, people. Acceptance of the vicissitudes of this damned existence.

Next, the most important thing you and I have to do, even though we would rather pry out each of our teeth individually without anesthesia, is to keep on writing. Yep. I know, you don’t really want to do it. Like, at all. But, you have to. Sorry. That way, even if it’s a bad day, you have a couple of paragraphs or sentences to work with the next day, no matter poorly put together they are. That way, you can reach your word count. That way, you’re still getting in some practice, even though it feels like you’re being raked across the coals of Hell in the process.

Finally, you should be forgiving towards yourself. Tell yourself that it’s okay, that these things happen, that you’re human, that you’re not perfect, whatever it is, find a source of comfort and latch onto it with all the will of an obstinate toddler clutching its favorite toy, because if you hold onto this self-hatred and resentment, all you’ll do is mess up tomorrow’s day of writing, and maybe even the day after that, and maybe you might even not ever write again, and that’ll be a tragedy, because the world needs your words (that could be a possible source of comfort?). So, forgive yourself. Don’t scream in your head as you’re writing ‘OHMYGOD, YOU ARE PATHETIC USELESS EEEP NO HOPE’. Instead, be nice to yourself. Morph the barbed aspersions into soft, blunted words of encouragement, ‘There, there, that’s okay, just keep writing, it’s just a bad day, just do your best.’ See? Do you feel better already? I do.

Anyway. Good luck with all of your writing endeavors. And, honestly, this applies to all creative folk out there who make new things out of other things. And sometimes, it’s even a matter of perspective. Maybe your work isn’t that bad, it’s just that you’re in a critical mindset, and are viewing it in a distorted, negative light.

Just tell yourself that it’s okay, and keep on going. Okay. Bye.

Creativity Is A Curious Creature

Creativity is a curious creature, and has been studied greatly over the years by imaginologists. Though their work still leaves much to be desired in terms of the breadth of information, what has been uncovered is intriguing.

Its habitat is the mind. However, as is the case for many organisms, creativity has been found to be fastidious in regards to the type of mind within which it dwells – though it can survive in the bone caverns of any noggin, it prefers open, spacious and playful environments, filled with bursts of neural activity, rather than enclosed, insular and rational ones which only spark intermittently now and then with little in the way of intensity.

One of its most striking features is its diet, which is renowned for its variety. It has been found feeding on ideas, books, people, current affairs, science, nature, and, well, pretty much anything present in the outside world, and sometimes in the inside world as well, such as despair and euphoria. In fact, creativity is a psychological autotroph, and able to weave together complex chemical strands of inspiration from the radiation energy emitted from nerve synapses alone, though it needs exposure to the outside environment before such reactions can occur.

This creature is renowned for its fickle disposition. Countless imaginologists have tried approaching the creature with mixed results. Sometimes, it pads over to them, docile as a cat, and licks their hand and purrs, or snootily ignores any advances, no matter the degree of coaxing, and struts off into the corner with its psychedelic tail in the air, or, worst of all, at other times, simply lies down to sleep, curling up among the brain crenellations, and no amount of cajoling can rouse it.

Creativity undergoes procreation through parthenogenesis, that is, it reproduces alone, without a mating partner. There is no yearly cap on the number of offspring it produces, though, depending on the breadth of the panoply of its diet, its offspring are also varied, birthed in the form of sundry art, such as books, films, artworks, business models and clothing.

The creature also has many natural predators, including procrastination, self-doubt, lack of confidence, television, video games, the internet, anxiety and stress. However, if an optimum habitat is chosen, or an area groomed to an optimum level through the erection of mental fortresses and suchlike, many of these predators can be easily avoided or warded off.

As to its physical appearance, well, that still remains a mystery, for it is a constantly reproducing, its offspring gestating inside of them during all months of the year like butterflies wriggling and squirming inside chrysalises, resulting in them taking on the color, form and shape of whatever creature it is currently bearing, so that it often has the appearance of a perpetually flickering and shifting phantasmagoria of images, ideas and words. Thus, so far, imaginologists have been unable to isolate its true appearance from those of its offspring, and are not hopeful they ever will.

For those of you who want to own one of these creatures and rear them as faithful pets, imaginologists have good news – they are free, and can be found in your nearest mental habitat, most likely the wrinkled nub between the lobes of your ears. Yes, that’s the one. However, make sure you build a proper habitat for it, to keep out the predators, feed it properly and take it out for regular walks and exercise, so that it remains healthy and strong. Doing these, though you may never tame it completely, will increase the likelihood of it approaching you with friendliness and giving birth to wondrous offspring in the years to come.

Heart To Heart Talk

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Hello.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s another one of those long, boring thank you posts.

Sorry. It is. But it won’t be long! I just wanted to express my gratitude towards the dreamers and readers who have stumbled onto my blog, and give you all the cybernetic equivalent of a group hug.

I know my writing isn’t the best. I’m still learning. But, based on the comments, my words have helped so many beautiful souls around the world. And it makes me super happy. Like, really happy, that I get to express my thoughts on here, and receive feedback from people who understand.

I am an INFP. Highly sensitive. Inveterate dreamer. Extreme introvert. That mixture can make a person seem a little wacky to others. I was different, isolated, blah, blah.

But then I started blogging and I found all of you. People who understood me, and could relate to my thoughts and experiences. And you helped during my hard times, and I hope I have, in some measure, helped you all during yours. Words aren’t enough. As much as I love the written word, there comes a point where the words ‘thank-you’ or ‘love you’ or ‘bottom of my heart’ aren’t enough, mere hollow sacs compared to the fleshy, beating sentiments I want to convey.

I want my soul to evaporate out of my chest and fly on ghostly wings to every corner of the Earth where you all reside, and thank you personally, and hug you, and cry, and laugh. I honestly love you all, and I’m not just saying that. My emotions are bounteous, and sincere. I love you all. You’re all beautiful, lovely human beings who deserve the kisses of angels.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  

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Born Alone, Die Alone

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“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and — in spite of True Romance magazines — we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely — at least, not all the time — but essentially, and finally, alone.” – Hunter S. Thompson

You are alone, and always will be.  

It can be hard to wrap your head around this reality. Loneliness conjures up images of barren wastelands and stranded skeletons like scattered dice with but the vultures for company. Loneliness is bad. I don’t want that, we say, and push it away.  

But you’ll only be playing with ghosts, a child stuck in a world of imaginary creatures between the lobes of your ears.

You must stare at the skull, even as the maggots squirm and wriggle in the dark orbits, even as the bone mouth cracks open to scream a cry from another world, and a ghastly, sinuous creature of the darkness erupts from its throat to haunt your dreams until the end of time.

For there are some realities even dreamers have to face.

And it is this:

You exist in a tabernacle of flesh from which your soul peeks forth. This is your existence. All you have ever known, seen, felt, experienced and thought, exists within this one soft sac of vitality. You have only seen the world through your eyes, filtered it through your own mind, felt things with only your own fingertips. You know nothing beyond, well, you.

Now, imagine this being the case for every human being on earth. Just like you, they have never felt, seen and experienced life except through their mind and body. We are all embroiled in our own brain-frothed universes, telescoping and stringing the stars without into our own constellation configurations. One person, in a scattering of bright pinpricks, connects the dots and sees a girl drawing water from a well, another, a cavorting clown sipping bubbles from a spitting fountain. We are all wearing glasses clouded over with different frosted patterns which dapple and shift the outside world in a kaleidoscope of shadow and light.

Do you see? Even right now, as you stare at this screen, reading these words, you are viewing the universe through your eyes, processing the words with your mind, touching the keyboard or mouse with your fingers. All of us know nothing beyond our being, just as we know nothing of the yawning fathoms of space and time before our embryos blossomed into being and will know nothing after our bodies have rotted in the ground.

And it is because of this isolation that we are all alone. When I first came to this realization, my blood chilled, because from it sprouted tendrils of more terrifying realizations.

It means that no-one will ever understand you. It means that no matter how hard you snuggle up to your friend, your family member, your lover, no matter how long you plumb the depths of each others’ being, there’s always going to be that unbridgeable gap, that existential loneliness. There will never be full understanding, because no-one can know what it’s like to be you, and you can never know completely understand and know what it’s like to be other people. 

People can get close, very close, but, unless their body and mind can be absorbed into yours, unless they can get under your skin, possess your body and see the world through your eyes, the rift will always be there.

It means that belonging is an illusion. You may feel you belong, to this group, or that group, to the sky, the earth, but, in truth, there’s nothing you belong to – you’re just a floating consciousness trapped in an earthbound body, toddling about the land searching for other consciousnesses to embrace and feel less float-y.

It means that you will suffer, rejoice and cry alone. That, in the end, no-one cares if you live or die, feel pain or joy, because the experience is all your own, and other consciousnesses in other flesh-sacs are too busy feeling their own pains and joys and dying and living to care about you.

It’s the same for everybody, for every human, every living creature on earth. We are not lonely in our shared loneliness.

So, what does this all mean? What’s the point, if, deep down, as we close our eyes to go to sleep at night, we’ll be alone, no matter how many people who surround ourselves with?

I’m not sure if I can articulate what I want to say next in words, but I’ll try. Please, bear with me, because, and, not to harp on like a unscrupulous salesman, but what I’m about to say will probably change your life, or at least, your view on it.

I hope what I’m going to write next will revolutionize your little universe. That will make my own universe spin with starry happiness.

You are alone. Literally. So, stop caring what other people think. Stop trying to pander to the wishes of others. Stop moaning, complaining, lamenting the pitifulness of your existence. Stop letting others tear you down. Stop giving others the power to make you feel unworthy. Stop feeling sad. Stop feeling angry and impotent. Stop hating. Stop hurting. Stop. Stop. Stop.

Instead, concentrate on you, because you are truly all you have. This body. This mind. This soul. This. I’m not encouraging selfishness here – I’m just trying to show that you have nothing to lose. Why not make something of yourself? Why not expand your talents? Why not stop wasting your time on Candy Crush and better yourself as a person? Why not do what you love? Why not speak up, face your fears, ask that girl out? Why not reach for the stars?

In the end, no-one can help you, make the decisions for you, arrange your life they way you want it, pat you on the head and tell you you’ve done a good job at living. No-one can know you, be you. You’re alone. You’ve got this one consciousness, this one life, which is hurtling like a rocket towards death. So, why not fly with a fiery trail, and then end in a bang?

Why not?