Hey, Have You Heard? It’s A Beautiful Day.

Sunset

I was coming home on the bus today, daydreaming as usual, when I looked outside the window and saw the sky was bleeding in a wash of reds and oranges and yellows, this gorgeous profusion of rosy colors staining the heavens.

It looked like the world was on fire.

It looked like the angels had been taking a leaf out of the books of their darker brethren of the underworld and dabbled in a bit of arson.

It looked like…a pretty apocalypse.

This overwhelming sense of the beauty just welled up in my chest, until I felt those colors flicker and swirl within me, pooling around my heart, trickling into my muscles, like I was on fire, exquisite, fiery rapture.

A thousand gateways flew open inside the twisted crenellations of my brain, and a thousand thoughts flooded out. My mind felt smooth, liquid, brimming. I thought of rebirth and the phoenix. I thought of the Egyptians, seeing this same sunset, and proclaiming it to be the great Ra. I thought of death and blood, I thought of rubies, I thought of canoes on still waters basked in the reddish light, of birds flitting past the fiery expanse. But most of all, I did not think. I just felt. Experienced. I felt alive. It was wonderful.  

And then I turned away from the window and looked around.

Not one person on the bus had even noticed the fiery bacchanalia of the firmaments.

They were all on their phones. I’m not even kidding. Heads bent, hands clasped tightly around a lump of metal, earphones nestled in shell-cavities. Look! I wanted to scream. Look! It’s red! It’s orange! Oh, now it’s turning purple, it’s turning pink, OMYGOD, look, isn’t it freaking amazing?!

I wanted to cry. I know that sounds pretentious, but I so wanted them all to see, these worn out, bored souls back from a day of school or work, plugging into their daily dose of music and gaming and social networking. Forget your friend’s status page. The sky is wounded, it’s bleeding for you to see, see, see! I had had an awful day too, filled with people and bad treatment and noise and fear, but this sunset.

It changed it all. I felt light. I felt free. I felt good. Good. After days of gloominess, of having a big lump of not-rightness in my chest, the sunset made me feel good. And I wanted it so badly to make everyone else on the bus feel good. I wanted us to crow about the beauty of it together, applaud Mother’s Nature’s spectacle, and each return home with a smile in our hearts.

Instead, I stopped jiggling in my sunset, and watched it slowly fade away, into pinks, and then dark purples, and then to darkness.

And then the only lights left were the overhead lights, and the rectangular glows from the phones, lighting up the empty faces of the people on the bus.

PS: Photos don’t do sunsets justice. Pretty please, the next time you spy a beautiful sunset, will you bask in it for me? Or instead of staying glued to a screen (I do it as much as the next person), look outside the window as the day ends, and just feel it, okay? Just feel alive.

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: We’re All Saints. We’re All Monsters. We’re All Ordinary.

What you looking at

You’d be surprised at how similar you are to other people.

You feel unique. Of course you’re unique. After all, there’s been no-one like you in the history of the earth, right? Right. But the truth is, we’re all very, very human. Boy, are we. Only we tend to get trapped in our own little universes, like those clunky antique deep-sea diving helmets. Because we can only experience life through our consciousnesses, and spend all of our lives with, well, ourselves, basically, there’s a tendency to start thinking only we are complex, only we do such and such, only we feel this way, only we notice these things.

But that’s just not true. Sorry. And I’m going to take this opportunity to take off that helmet. To list some of the little things that unite humanity, from that pimple-faced boy who works at the corner store to Oprah lounging about in her mansion having avocado facials and whatnot. You’ll warble bubbles for a little while, and the cold water of truth will rush uncomfortably into your facial orifices, but don’t worry – you’ll get used to it, just as you do with everything in life. You may feel a little wounded about feeling less unique than when you began reading, but there’s some joy in knowing that you are not alone in all of your fears, your quirks, your anxieties. There’s some joy in knowing that no matter what you’re experiencing or thinking, you’re probably not alone, even though it often seems that way.

Let’s begin.

Okay, let’s get the mild stuff over and done with. Everyone picks their nose. Now, now, I know it’s icky, but don’t you dare deny it. In those solitary moments, you’ve let your finger have a good wriggle up that nostril. There’s no shame in it. And while we’re in the shallow end of the pool, let’s include other natural tasks of the human body, such as urinating, farting, excreting, masturbating, drooling, etc. Let’s be mature, now, and face the often unsightly, animalistic aspects of being human.

Everyone procrastinates. It may seem obvious, but when you’re putting things off and feeling horribly unproductive, you also tend to feel that other people must be working so hard at making their lives better. The reality is they’re probably slacking off a bit too. Everyone has those days where they just lounge about, watching Youtube videos and eating themselves sick. Everyone has those days when they check the clock, almost choke on their own spit at the time, and work in a three-hour frenzy to get everything done that needs to be done by tomorrow. It’s cool.

Everyone has those moments when they stub their little toe on the corner of some furniture and curl up on the floor in absolute agony, wondering how unfair it is that so much pain can be concentrated in one spot. Those really suck. I mean, you’re just walking, happy as can be, and then your world is just cut in half by blinding, ridiculous pain. Stupid and annoying, isn’t it?

Everyone has those moments in public when they feel self-conscious, as if all eyes are on them. It’s just a facet of being human. We focus on ourselves, and ourselves in relation to others. But, trust me, no-one notices your bad hair, or that you stumbled on your way to work, though reading this won’t stop you from feeling self-conscious the next time you go out.

Everyone puts on a mask sometimes. To make socializing easier. Out of insecurity. You act differently around different people. You’re not being fake – it’s just adaptation.

Everyone has exploded into freakish anger before. People may seem calm in public, docile little lambs, but trust me, behind closed doors, at home, the woolen façade is frequently shed to reveal wolfish pelt and snarling maw. Hey, admit it, in the throes of anger, you’re even horrified at the way you are acting sometimes, voice ripping out of throat in an inhuman roar, porcelain face cracked. You wonder if you’re actually a horrible human being and would anyone ever want to still be with you after seeing such an episode. It’s okay. After all, your family still loves you, even though they’ve seen you in all your ugly glory.

Everyone has felt miserable and grumpy, as if all the light has been sucked out of their life by some vampire of the darkness. You know what I mean. You just feel off, dissatisfied, unhappy, bored, queasy. You’ve got a headache and life is without colour, meaningless, and you’re just a sack of flesh being dragged about in a horrid capitalistic, empty, vapid modern society. We all feel so alone in our misery, but trust me, I’ve been there, everyone has. We just don’t admit it, or tell people, because complaining doesn’t change anything and it’s unattractive.

Everyone has hurt or bullied another human being before. I don’t care how much of a goody-two shoes you are. At some point in your life, out of pure spite, you hurt someone, whether physically or mentally.

Everyone has felt worthless and inadequate and incompetent. You think you’re the only bumbling fool about, but that’s JUST NOT TRUE. We all feel like bumbling fools sometimes, but we all act on the outside like virtuosos who have our act together, so it’s like this pantomime in which you hide your sense of inadequacy because everyone else seems so confident in life but in truth they’re insecure too, but hiding it, because everyone, including you, seem so self-assured. It’s hilarious if you think about it. Ah, humans.

Everyone has hugged someone before and felt it was all going to be okay. Funny how great an impact a simple gesture of bonding can have. The entire universe could have been spinning crazily like the whizzing hand of a compass, but somehow, in that warm embrace, even the stars still, and the heavens cease their chaotic thundering and sing a sweet, tingling lullaby of infinity.  

We all do these things. Some of them harmless, some of them bad, some of them good. And you know that? It’s kind of cool. It means that ultimately, we are equal. We are the same. Next time you start idolizing someone, placing them on a pedestal, a corona of heavenly light encircling their precious head, just imagine them sitting on the toilet, and realize that we’re all human, we’re all icky and angry and funny and happy and strange and unpredictable and messy. Next time you look down on someone, or hate anyone, realize they’re not that different from you, and that you’re not that much better than them.

We all sit on the toilet. We all cry. We’re all saints and monsters, and we all are ordinary and special. We’re all human. Yippee and hooray.

Meaningful Questions? Mhm.

Butterfl

1. What is the point of life?

The point of life is to live. It’s that simple. To live, to exist, to be. And perhaps along the way you can create art, help people and just make living in this world a bit better for others as well.

2. What is love?

Love is a feeling of deep-seated affection. It can make life momentarily worth living without knowing why we exist in the first place. It is a source of comfort in a chaotic and merciless world. Just don’t get too attached, because like all things, I assure you, it is temporary. That’s how people get hurt or disappointed. They clutch to love like drowning men, only to sink to further depths once it leaves them. Treat love like ice-cream. It’s yummy, but only for a short while, because soon you will have consumed it, and it will be gone. Sometimes you can even lose love while the source of your love is still with you. Stagnant marriages, for instance. People get used to people, and try to find new people to feel excited about all over again, a different flavor of ice-cream. Enjoy it, but always remember, it doesn’t last.

3. Does life have meaning?

Nope.

You are just a manifestation of the universe. You’re extraordinary, but you weren’t bestowed with any divine path. It’s like asking whether chocolate has any meaning. Chocolate doesn’t have any inherent meaning. It’s just made of beans, from a plant, or, if want to go deeper, just atoms assembled in the right way to create what humans call chocolate. But it’s tasty, isn’t it? Humans find it tasty. It makes us happy. So, we give our lives our own meaning, knowing that it is overall meaninglessness, but, hey, this chocolate sure tastes good doesn’t it?

4. What is death?

Death is an absence of existence. It is nothing to be scared about. The only reason humans fear it is because we can’t imagine a world without us in it, we fear the abyss, and rightly so – the moment you die, your view of the world, your little bubble of existence, one pair of the universe’s eyes with which it uses to view itself, so to speak, dies with you. Think about the time before you were born. Can you recall any of that? Nothing, right? And how can anything bother you when you aren’t there to be bothered? There have been billions of years during which you did not exist, and there will be billions after you die. It’s just the way it is. All of existence is a puddle of water, and sometimes here and there little crystals form, and others melt, an endlessly shifting white kaleidoscope of building and disintegrating patterns. Look, there you are. That little snowflake. And aren’t you pretty!

5. I am depressed, fat, ugly, lonely, single and worthless. No-one would care if I died. I just want to kill myself. Should I?

No.

And I’ll tell you why.

Whether you kill yourself or not actually doesn’t matter. Either way, the universe doesn’t care. The world won’t care, people won’t care – they’ll just go on with their lives. The earth will continue to revolve around the sun, the grass will grow. This does not only apply to you – this is the case for every single living creature on this planet. The opposite is true as well. Most people on this planet do not care that you’re alive. Everyone is much too busy worrying about themselves and their own lives.

So why not live?

If both mean nothing to the universe, why not live, since living has greater meaning for you, at the very least? If they’re both sides of the same coin, why not choose existence, choose to be conscious and experience life as a homo sapien? Living is always better than dying. Always. If you’re dead, you can do nothing. If you’re alive, you can do things, you can improve your situation, you can make things better, you can get help, you can fix or change your reality. And if you live, you can also make life worth it, you can make people care, make the world care, by bestowing your gifts, by helping people, by making the world shimmer with your own brand of magic, even if it’s for a little while, and that’s nice. That’s damn nice.

Besides, you can’t enjoy chocolate or ice-cream if you’re dead, so there’s that.

PS: These are only my opinions and insights, as an atheist. You are completely free to disagree.

PSS: Being the philosophical little lass I am, I’m wondering about making meaningful questions a regular thing. What do you guys think? If you’d like it to be so, comment and ask some of your deep questions and I’ll answer them all in another Meaningful Questions post. I love you all, fellow human beings, and never stop dreaming.

– Dreamerrambling

What INFPs Appreciate. Romantically.

my heart

Though I can’t speak for all INFP women, dating and I do not mesh well, to say the least.

My general tactic towards any of that lovey-dovey stuff is to ignore the existence of my object of affection, as if he has been blasted off the face of the Earth by turbo-engine Alien shooters and left only a smoking black hole where he once stood.

I know. I get all the boys.

No, but, seriously. In high school, I pointedly ignored my crush until he thought I hated him. Poor guy. And I have absolutely no idea why I do it. After all, I’ve done scarier things than confess my feelings, like give speeches before hundreds of people (quite terrifying, if you’re an reclusive introvert). But, when it comes to love, my heart meets a brick wall.

So.

These are some ways to get on an INFP’s good terms, romantically. Though I can’t speak for all INFPs, nor all INFP women, well, this is just my point of view, ‘kay? Coming out of my little noggin. Please note, bad attempts at humor may be forthcoming.

1. BEING APPROACHED FIRST. PLEASE.

Oh gosh, that sounded desperate. Well, it’s true. Like I said, I completely ignore anyone I have any feelings for because rejection for INFPs is like a rejection of our entire being, our souls. I remember this one fellow snubbed me once when I tried tentatively to engage him in flirtatious conversation. Let me tell you, that feeling? It’s crushing. So, please, approach us first. Trust me. That INFP is not going to come to you. Just, make the first move, and we will be very friendly, and also very grateful.

2. Weirdness.

I think INFPs are generally a bit weird. I mean, we all are, but INFPs are a little bit more, crazier, if you know what I mean. If you chanced upon me at an inopportune time, you’d probably find me gallivanting around the room in a series of wiggly dance moves, singing a song in my head and having a conversation out loud with an imaginary person just to practice the words before I say them in real life. Must be all that latent creativity and staying-inside-our-heads-too-much business. Either way, if you’re a little weird, too, and are unafraid to show it, chances are INFPs are more likely to notice you, find you more approachable, and appreciate you.

3. Kindness.

Look, I know some women, and men, like the ‘bad boys’, or the ‘bad girls’. They want a bite of the forbidden, exciting fruit. INFPs aren’t like that. We appreciate genuinely kind people. In fact, when we see potential romantic partners open doors for people, help old ladies cross the road, let friends borrow their money, offer words of encouragement, you rocket up on our good list. Hey, all I’m saying is, guys who pet cats and talk to animals make my heart flutter. Just give me a male version of Snow White, and I’ll be happy. Um. Minus the incessant singing, though. That’d get on my nerves.

But, let’s be serious. Let’s stop here. I know what you’re thinking. This is list is frivolous. It’s shallow. Anyone would appreciate these things. Okay. Fine. Let’s dig our fingers into the guts of life, shall we? Twiddle a couple of veins, prod at some squishy organs? Okay. You are asked for it.

THIS. IS. THE. SINGLE. THING. INFPS. WOULD. APPRECIATE. YOU READY?

Many INFPs experience existential depression. Trust me, I checked the internet, and have met other INFPs who have experienced it too, through this blog. So. This is it. This would be kind of like a deal breaker for me, and probably for many INFPs too.

You know what would really seal the deal?

If the love of my life put his hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said, with the fullest conviction he could possibly muster, ‘I know. I know how you feel. It’s crazy, how I exist, you exist, and we’re looking into each other’s eyes right now. Life is crazy, death is crazy, existence is crazy, and all the world and the universe is a interstellar loony bin. I don’t understand anything, either. But it’s okay. I’m here now. I’m here now. And we will love each other, we will spend mornings having philosophical rambles about life, we will pet cats until our hands fall off, we will get that little isolated cottage, we will spend evenings reading books by the fireplace, and damn it to hell I don’t care if we’re going to die and our rotted bodies will fade into the wash of time and oblivion, we’re going to laugh and love and scream and live and be happy, you and me, okay?’

That’s what I would appreciate. That’s what an INFP would appreciate.

Ta-da.

*shuffles off into a corner, sniffling*

PS: Having trouble getting images to show up on my actual blog. They show up in the reader, but not on the actual pages. Any pointers? The WordPress publishing format has changed, and, being the technologically inept gal I am, I am befuddled.

Homes Are Pockets Of Existence

Home

Hm.

Homes.

When I look at a city, I see shards of imposing grey-glass fragments shooting up into the sky. They are impassive monoliths. Devoid of feeling. Human constructions, like metallic hives. But what I never thought about were the bees. The people, that is.

The people who inhabit the skyscrapers and apartments, people tucked into various metal niches, playing out their lives, their sorrows, their fears, their joys, hundreds, thousands of them, all in these multitudes of catacombs like a mass of bees clustered in a magnificent and endless tessellation of hexagons.

I guess this post may seem pointless, but I just wanted to share this feeling of wonder. All those people. We never think about it, do we? And all those houses in the suburbs, quiet, windows grey and empty, lawns neatly trimmed. Filled with families, filled with people, whose lives are being enacted right this moment, hearts cracking behind bedroom doors, hidden fears curling like black steam in bathrooms.

All the fights. The arguments. The moments of suffering, curled up on the kitchen floor, or tear-stained face smashed into pillow. The bathroom moments, of brushing one’s teeth, singing in the shower, staying in the silent bath until our fingers wrinkle. The love, the kisses, the sex. The laughter, sitting before a television. The delicious meals that make life suddenly seem okay, and the not-so-nice ones that make us want to escape to a land of sweets. Dogs and cats winding their way through rooms and around legs, bringing a furry kind of comfort to the people. The quiet hours at night, while adults talk about life and finances and hopes and dreams and fears in the dark beneath the bed sheets, and children read books beneath their blankets with torches or stay up late on their computers and chew over their own dreams and pains.

You wouldn’t think this flurry of activity occurred behind glass, metal and plain brick walls, would you? It’s astounding, when you really think about it. Why is it that all the violence of life happens behind an emotionless façade? Why do our heated and toxic emotions squirm behind still faces, and suffering festers quietly within the hearts of smiling people?

Home sweet home. There is more than meets the eye. Don’t judge a book by its cover. All of life is an iceberg. The clichés accumulate, meaningless individually, like shards of broken glass, but, together, create a clear window through which to look at life. We see the tip of it, the front of a house, a smiling face, and assume that is at all that is there, not seeing the looming bulk that stretches fathoms beneath the waters, down into the dark depths of a world older than the sun.

Let’s step back further, pull away the microscope, shall we? Zoom out. Did you remember the first time you went on a plane, and saw the land spread beneath you like a motherboard of streets and houses? The green swathes – grass. The clusters of red – houses. The blotches of dark grey – cities, skyscrapers. How insignificant did it make you feel, to think that most of your life occurred in that black or red dot, so small you could squash it like a bug. That’s when you truly realized how tiny we are, looking down at the homes of humanity from an equally tiny plane, a metal fly. My god, we’re so small, we’re so small, and look how big we make out our lives to be. The worries evaporate like smoke, and suddenly all that matters is the sunshine setting alight the wisps of the clouds, like glowing candy floss, and your sense of aliveness.

I wonder what it’ll be like after people have disappeared from the surface of the planet. I know people say that the sun will swallow Earth up, like some fiery white blood cell consuming an invading microbe, but suppose it’s something different, like a disease, and all the people just…disappear. It’s happened before. It’s happening right now. Animals are dwindling to extinction every day. I feel frightened when I think about the end of everything, but strangely peaceful as well, without knowing why.

Yes. Suppose the people disappear. And all that will be left are our monuments, our infrastructure, our bridges, our dams, our statues, our churches, our government buildings, our tombs, the pyramids, the Champs-Elysee, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, Taj-Mahal, all the man-made wonders of the world and…our homes.

It would be like Ray Bradbury’s short story, ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’. Empty hollow shells of plaster and brick, or perhaps some futuristic substance that can withstand unimaginable temperatures and ferocious elements but are no match for the tiny things that can squeeze between the cracks of the world’s armor, the wriggling germs, the blackness within human hearts.

The wind might rustle the curtains of an open window, grassy tendrils curling their way into beds and the cutlery, sprouting from electric sockets like green hair, twisting around doorknobs as if Mother Nature wanted to open all the secret rooms of the murderers with a morbid curiosity, like ransacking a psychopath’s briefcase.  

Birds might roost in pillows, deer make themselves at home beneath kitchen tables, butterflies alighting in the nursery. The air once filled with Pine Air-Freshener now smelling of grass and spring and living things. The buzz of appliances replaced with the hum of insects. All of it sunshiny and quiet and lovely.

I think there will be echoes inside the homes. I think that if Mother Nature takes a good long look inside some of them, after a while the ghosts of past times will fill the rooms. Negative images, shadows, of people eating at the table, watching television, making beds, playing with their pets, sleeping, reading, loving, laughing, hating, crying. Living. Crayon scrawls on walls. Notches showing the increments of height over the years on the kitchen doorpost. Little markings of a by-gone organism, like the hearts notched into the barks of trees that will eventually be worn away by the wind, filled out by bubbles of new wood growth.

And perhaps the aliens will come, and see these after images, these nebulous people refracted beneath the waters of time, floating in a dream. See our homes the way we see the hollowed-out dark caves of the Neanderthals and the red and brown paintings of ocher and dirt on the walls, and, like us, for a split second, their psyches will blossom with past shadows, just as our vision expands with fleshiness and the smell of smoke at the sight of these caves, with images of bulky humans cooking hunks of meat over a fire, dressed in fur. And we wonder about the world seen through the eyes of these past people, and their secret fears and dreams and joys and loves.

I wonder if the Neanderthals ever thought about their homes before they disappeared, and the ghosts and echoes they would leave behind, as we do now.

Whether they did or not, I hope they were happy, living inside their homes. I hope the caves kept them warm, and were the birthing grounds of good memories.

I hoped they enjoyed their little pocket of existence, a tiny bubble on the frothing waters of Time in the sea of the great Something.