A Tiny Call For Help

I know very well that I’m only one tiny organism out of billions, and that my life does not matter much in the long run, that nothing matters, really, seeing as the sun will one day expand in a red wash of fiery energy and engulf the earth and instantly vaporise every single living creature on it, but…

                   …I skipped school today.

So many thoughts are swirling in my head, a crowd of vultures pecking at my skull for attention. I’ll try and stand still and let them descend, one by one, until they pick me clean. I would like to be a skeleton.

My loathing for school has reached an all-time peak, to the point where it is making me physically ill to attend classes. One of the main reasons for this is the impersonal nature of the educational system, where you have all these students crammed into a small space, chattering and laughing and socialising, while I’m left dangling at the fringes, trying to suppress immense anxiety at my own awkwardness. Today, in class, I sat next to someone who I had interacted poorly with many times, and almost had a panic attack right there in class. I seem to have a lack of ability to tolerate people at all, especially in crowds, and feel so starved of solitude my soul is withered with the deprivation.

Motivation for my classes have plummeted. Even some of my favourite subjects, like English, hold little allure for me anymore; every single class is so regimented and dull, it’s more like a game of connect-the-dots than actual learning. Teachers talk to us and we parrot back whatever they say. Hundreds of students clip-clop down the corridors down like automatons, faces gleaming with fixed, metal smiles. The entire affair is an object of horror, like lying down in a casket crawling with cockroaches. I want to scream. Hard little bodies are tickling over my tongue and down my throat to skitter among my organs. I want to scream.

After one of my classes, during which the teacher publicly showcased by incompetency for not keeping up with the coursework, I walked slowly by myself into the bathroom, locked myself in a cubicle and cried until I felt like I’d squeezed all the juice possible from my face. It was very dramatic, and stupid, but I was in so much pain, over everything, that I simply had to release it, though silently, so no-one in the cubicle next to me could hear. Then I just picked up my bag and strolled out the school gates and caught the bus home, even though I still had two more classes until the end of the school day.

Just like that.

A sense of surreality now overlays everything. I’m so detached and dead inside, even reality has begun to thin, and what lays beyond I do not want to see.

Honestly, what I’m writing may sound lighthearted, but it’s not. I’m really struggling. I hate saying that, because I don’t matter, but I just have to write it out, if only for the sake of catharsis. I’m really depressed. Social isolation at school has only grown worse: it seems as if I can’t relate to the other students at all, like they’re these gleaming, shiny, highly-developed creatures while I still remain stunted and unseen and strange, an abnormality from the Old Age. I can’t stand the lot of them. Teachers used to tell me I’m talented (before I started getting serious about my writing dream), the school counselor told me it would be a shame for me to drop out when I was such a bright student, but how can I POSSIBLY be a halfway-smart human being if my grades are falling like shot birds and I can’t even manage basic social interaction with my peers without a panic attack?

That’s the worst thing: the attacks from the inside are far stronger than the external. My desired path in life is to drop out of school, get a part-time job and obsessively pursue writing in my free time. But the self-doubt is overwhelming, clawing up my throat like goblins, until I can’t swallow, I can’t breathe, I can’t think, I can only choke and choke and choke. If I can’t even talk to the kids at school, how on earth am I supposed to land a job anywhere? And what places hire a highschool dropout? But the biggest doubt of it all squats squarely on my chest like a bloated slug the size of a bed, slime dripping into my eyes and mouth and nose: I doubt my own abilities. I doubt them so much I can’t even see anything except the slug, taste anything except the slime. I live in the swamp, every minute of my life, trying to keep the marshland out of my lungs. To take a gamble on my own writing and creative talents when I’m sure I’m delusional and fooling myself, is terrifying. I can’t speak for the terror. Even now, every word I write is atrocious, so terrible, that it makes me cringe. You are an idiot, the voice screeches. You’ll never be a writer. You’ll die with your words unsung, your books still locked away in the library of your heart. Quit dreaming.

Unfortunately, writing is the only skill I have. Anything that requires the slightest social interaction is odious to me – I do have social anxiety – and I have trouble relating to others which I’m sure is some terrible, personality defect. But I must get a part-time job to help my mother somehow, who barely scrapes by as it is without a drop-out daughter. My existence will be a stain upon her heart, and I don’t think I could bear to live in this world anymore if I were not able to get a job, if I failed my mother, my mother, who has already gone through so much.

These words are disgusting smears of excrement on the page. I blame sleep deprivation, to preserve my waif-thin ego, as last night I was so caught up in the web of my thoughts, so feverish with anxiety, that I did not sleep the entire night. At this rate, I’m afraid of becoming a downright dysfunctional human being, one of those twitching, haggard, neurotic ladies who cart around plastic bags like old ghosts. I’ll end up homeless, trailing the streets with my ragged dress and broken dreams, too dirty and lowly to even gain admittance to a public library and enjoy the books I so love.

I just feel so wrong. So broken and wrong, so bad and stupid, so silly and pathetic, so hopeless and useless. And I don’t know what to do. I fear that if I wallow in the black sticky pool of my thoughts any longer, I’ll drown. Today, while on my way home, for the briefest of seconds, I contemplated just running out onto the road on the off-chance I car would hit me and end this suffering. I obviously didn’t, but I was frightened that I’d even considered it. It would have been so easy.

The world is so loud. The cars are so loud. Everyone talks so loud. Everyone is coarse and hard around the edges. My aura is starting to gutter like a candle flame in their presence – soon, it will wink out, I know it will, it’s just a matter of time. Existential depression lurks always in the corner of my mind, an elegant demon in a gray-suit and with eyes cold as the universe. Books hold no allure. I can’t write. I can’t write.

I don’t even know what I’m writing about anymore. Words that once seemed to me a ticket to bliss now hang like fleshy growths from my body, misshapen and bloated and veined. None of my stories work, and each time I try to begin a novel, it runs out of steam before it leaves the station, sputtering and disintegrating into a mass of rusty parts and wheels. What do I have? Nothing. Not even hope. I just don’t…know…anything.

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Why I Do Not Celebrate Australia Day

Uluru

I am not of Indigenous descent. Both my parents migrated to Australia from Asia. I am Chinese-Australian (or Asian-Australian, if you prefer the collective term). I was born in Australia. I speak with an Australian accent. I’ve grown up with Australian television, gone to Australian schools.

But each year, when the 26th of January comes around and people start hoisting up their Australian flags and cheering for the nation, I die a little inside. And I can’t keep my anguish bottled in anymore.

Sure, people say Australia Day is for celebrating the unity of a wonderful, prosperous nation. But, at its core, it celebrates the genocide of a race of people. The 26th of January was the day Captain Cook raised the British flag for the first time in Sydney Cove. We celebrate a day that began a killing. A massacre.

But that’s all in the past, people say. It doesn’t matter anymore. Let us look toward the future. But why do we celebrate Anzac Day, then? If the past does not matter, why do we mourn the diggers (Australian soldiers) who died in Gallipoli on April the 25th each year? Why don’t we mourn for the Indigenous people of this land on the 26th of January, instead of shouting and hollering and cheering?

I’m lucky to be Asian in Australia. Sure, I am discriminated against on a daily basis, but as a community we do relatively well for ourselves economically, and are able to assimilate fairly well with mainstream Australian society. But the descendants of the Indigenous people of this land are still placed on the back-burner in this country. In these communities, unemployment and suicide rates are higher than that of any other group. Their rights are often ignored by the government and co-operations, and most people seem to want to forget and ignore rather than care and amend.

Can you imagine walking the streets each day knowing that this is the land that was stolen from your ancestors, a land in which you are now an outsider in? To be discriminated against in a land that was once your own? To be told to “get over” a past genocide of your own people? By celebrating Australia Day, people are effectively ignoring the sordid stain on Australia’s history.

The level of patriotism I see from certain Australians is a little hard to swallow. I have nothing against any race, any human, any skin colour, gender, whatever, but it is disgusting to see privileged blond-haired and blue-eyed people come hollering down the streets wearing Australian flags as capes on Australia Day, drunk and yelling insults at anyone who is an racial outsider. When I see Australian flags hanging from balconies, or poking up from the tops of cars, or flying proudly in someone’s backyard, I am sickened to my stomach. Why? Because in this country it is a sign of blatant patriotism. It is a sign of staking one’s possession of this land. It is a sign of exclusion. This is Australia, the flags seem to crow. Unless you are white, or born here (we’re being extra lenient with you guys, though), get out. This is our country.

Can you imagine what it must be like, to be walking past as an Indigenous-Australian and seeing those flags? A crushing of the spirit.

We own this place, now, not you. Deal with it.

In truth, there is no such thing as countries. No-one owns anything in the world. The Indigenous Australians got it right: we humans belong to the land. The land does not belong to us. We are all citizens of the world. We are creatures of the earth. Do birds and panthers think they own the jungle? Of course not. I’m sure they would find the concept ridiculous. Well, it’s the same thing.

Racism and discrimination and oppression is an inability to see beyond skin-deep biological occurrences into the similar human within us all. Land is meant to be shared. Hatred against other groups in this day and age is nothing but pure ignorance. In ancient times, when tribes were smaller and close-knit, everything was shared. Now that our populations have ballooned to extraordinary size, we have lost sight of the human within us. We’re all part of the one tribe, the one species, so why can’t we act like one?

I’m not saying that anyone should feel guilty for celebrating the beauty of a nation. No-one who is living today was responsible for the decimation of the Aboriginal people. No-one is “guilty”, apart from those who have the power yet are not helping those less fortunate than themselves, apart from those who oppress others instead of treating them as equals.

But we should not celebrate the nation way some of us do, on the date we do. Imagine if people started celebrating the Holocaust. Outrage would break out across the world. So why do we celebrate Australia Day, when it is no different?

One thing brought me to tears tonight, as I sat at the table eating my dinner. Outside, in the dark, dark night, I suddenly heard a volley of booms, like those of an enormous cannon. It occurred at periodic intervals: ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom. I was confused. I stopped eating. I listened. What could possibly be making that sound?

Then it dawned on me. They were fireworks. Fireworks, somewhere in the vicinity of where I live, unseen in the sky but still heard, celebrating Australia Day. Celebrating a day that began a great wash of blood. Celebrating victory of the powerful over the weak. Celebrating the death of our fellow humans.

The sounds went on and on.

The fireworks sounded like guns shooting. Like an echo of the massacre not so long ago.

Ba-boom. Ba-boom.

I started to tremble. My fingers contracted on the tablecloth.

The booms increased in intensity, the intervals between each one growing shorter and shorter, until it was as if the night air was choked with a barrage of frenzied shooting.

Boom, boom, boom boom boom. Sprays of gunpowder. Fallen bodies.

I imagined what it would be like, to be Indigenous Australian and hear this sound, on this night. My throat closed up. It was so loud, it seemed to thump against my ribs. It was so loud, it made me scared, as if the skies had turned into a drum. It filled the world, building to a mad crescendo, before falling away.

The sound of fireworks. The sound of celebration.

And in my tiny kitchen, by myself, just a girl eating her dinner, I cried quietly, to mourn for the Indigenous people of the land.

C’est la vie.

Life is hard. It’s a private battle. Scars remain on the inside.

No-one cares. No-one cares about anyone, and everyone is uncared for.

Reality is dull. Day-to-day life is dull.

People are good and bad and in-between. Most are in-between. That’s worse, somehow.

Physical pain is the greatest pain. Torture is worse than mental-flagellation. Sticks and stones do hurt more than words. Our bodies fail us, and we rage, and whimper.

The strong hurt the weak because they can. Compassion is a limited resource.

No-one can truly understand us but ourselves. We live on tiny, separate planets in the universe of consciousness.

You are who you are. You must live with who you are, until the end. You do the best with who you are.

It does not matter if you die. It does not matter if anyone in the world dies, right now. The living are good at living on.  

There is laughter, but mostly sorrow.

There is love, but mostly loneliness.

Nothing is as good as we wish it to be, but surprises still delight our hearts.

We don’t know much. We are kind of scared because of that.

But we cling to the threads of joy that we can.

So that our death shroud can glimmer slightly in the dark tomb of eternity. Because we are vain like that.

INFPs Never Grow Up

Fairy

I will never grow up.

I think I’ll always be a kid. Deep down, I am still trapped between the pages of the fantasy books I read as a child, crystallised in time. No matter if I end up having a family, getting a job and shouldering grown-up responsibilities, one of the fundamental reasons I feel so different from people is because I will never grow up.

Rather like Peter Pan, only without a Neverland to return to. Is that how it is, with most INFPs? Or perhaps it is just me. Look: I only have interest in delight and magic and wonder and fantasy. That is all I care for. The world, with its problems, its racist and prejudiced people, politics, stocks, shares, laws and legislation – all of that, though important, is a tremendous bore. I react to all of it as would a six or seven-year-old child. In other words, all that feels like a big, stately study-room in the house that awes and intimidates me, with its smell of leather and sophistication, but which I have no interest in occupying, not with the nursery a few paces down the corridor.

This inherent childishness is the source of my idealism. Through my childish lenses, the problems of the world seem silly. Why can’t people just have fun with each other? Why must we hoard all of our toys? Sharing makes the game more fun! Oh, look, that creature is hurting. Poor thing, let’s go see if we can comfort it and make it smile so it can get up and play once more. Are you sad? Here, I’ll give you a cookie and let you play with my teddy bear. I’ll even make it talk for you.

Sure, I know that ‘that’s not how the world works’ and ‘life is hard’ and ‘bad people succeed’ and all that ‘realistic’ stuff. Children can be aware of that, too. But they know it distantly. They do not make it the core of their thoughts. All that negativity, that harsh reality, takes a backseat to fun and games and magic and play.

No wonder so many of us INFPs might be at odds with the world around us. We truly are children masquerading as adults, playing dress-up, giggling behind our masks at everyone else’s serious faces. I play. When I’m alone, I’m ridiculously childish. I can’t stand formality, or prissy people. I can’t stand authority. I’m just kid. I want other people to be happy, I want to care for animals, I want to read and imagine.

Growing-up is overrated. Inappropriate thought it might be, I laugh at the stresses people place on themselves over random pieces of paper and numbers in a bank account. It seems all wrong, to stray so far from what the core of life is. Trafficking humans, hiding from the police, killing others, smuggling goods – all that feels wrong, like children who are hurting because they’ve been pushed into the adult world, of indiscipline gone out of control. Some adults need a good time-out session, and I only wish there was some universal parent to enact some order. Teach them to do good things, right things.

Nothing gives me more joy than contemplating being by myself in an enormous library with high ceilings and wooden walls and shelves upon shelves of books. I will sit in the corner, on a pile of cushions, and devour one book after the other. That is childhood, for me. That is happiness. To be away, far away, to fly to other lands and worlds, because they still seem more real and true than the one that exists outside my front door.

Peter Pan may never come knocking on my window, but I can create my own Neverland, here in the real world, whether through reading or imagining or writing or watching movies. Any living that I do outside of these things is a sham. It is a wrongness. It is not life.

And so I dream.

My Tiny Love Life.

Happy

So. There’s this boy I like.

I think that’s the most teenager-ish phrase I have written on this blog.

Years ago, I tried to talk to him. When he socially rejected me (not really, but I was in a sensitive phase at the time), I promptly swore to ignore him for the rest of my school years. He, having picked up on what I was doing, did likewise.

So we did this for a few years, this strange tension hanging in the air between us whenever we came in close proximity, all the time, invisible to everyone but ourselves.

And I hated it. I hated it because I wasn’t in good state of mind at the time. I hated myself, a lot. I had an inferiority complex, knotted and gnarled from a young age, and didn’t even know how to begin unraveling it. I hated that I was hurt by his lack of attention, as if I were a beggar starved of love. I hated my own idealization of him. I hated my own coldness towards him. I hated that I felt lesser than him (he is a very confident and extroverted person) and I hated, most of all, that I liked him.

He is nothing like me. Nothing at all. They say attraction doesn’t always make sense, but my brain is truly open-mouthed and agog at the idiocy of my own heart. For one thing, he denounces (if playfully) everything that I believe in: creativity, imagination, literature, books, art. He prides himself on his rationality, adores numbers and science, and believes anything other than what is objective and can be proven is airy-fairy dream dust. He’s blunt. I’m sensitive. He’s assertive. I’m passive-aggressive. He’s intimidating. I’m about as intimidating as an earthworm. He’s loud. I’m quiet. He’s surrounded by crowds of people. I always walk alone.

That just screams incompatibility.

But I…like him? Why? It doesn’t make sense. Really, it isn’t my heart speaking at all. It’s something else. Lust? No. I’m not a lustful person by nature. It’s more about the mind than the body. The body is just a flesh receptacle. Is it my soul? I don’t believe in souls. I think. I don’t know what I believe. I’m a mad, alternating mixture of rationality and irrationality. One moment, I believe in destiny and fate; the next, I denounce it as mere coincidences.

That’s another thing. Despite forcefully telling my brain to forget about him, we keep on bumping into each other. Everywhere. Not just at school. Out of school. Just, everywhere. In the most unlikeliest places, even far from home. Once, I was at some far-off area, and then I literally froze at hearing his voice right behind me, talking to someone. I couldn’t believe it. I just stood there, in utter disbelief at my own senses. Was this happening, in actual reality? Of all the places, times and days, he just had to be where I was, for, what, the fifteenth time? It’s happened often enough to veer into the surreal.

And part of me wants to shut it all down. To fire arrows at each of my flying feelings so they fall to the earth as wounded birds. Better for me to hurt myself than for him, or my hopes regarding him, to hurt me. It’s just coincidence, that’s all, I scold myself. The universe isn’t prodding you two closer. That’s just your stupid, little, hopeful heart talking, and you know how much trouble that can get you into.

Sure, he is intelligent and a lover of justice, but are you sure that it’s not all in your head? You can’t trust your heart because you dream too much. He can also be calculatingly cold and conventional and arrogant, at least in public, though you secretly think it’s a social front he puts on. You know very well you idealize people. Maybe you’re just seeing what you want to see.

But I there are some things I can’t ignore. Some things that I feel are true. That slightly embarrassed but disarmingly sweet smile when he greeted me in person for the first time. That internal pain and sensitivity that he tries so hard to bottle down by building up an armor, kind of like the way I put on a cold and aloof front so that people can’t hurt my feelings or get too close to me. And just a feeling. Of rightness. A chirp of golden light behind my left rib.

When he smiles and looks, I smile and feel seen.

Gosh, this is melting into sappiness.

I’m in a much better place now. Though I’ll never be the girl strutting down the sidewalk, I’m much more content with myself. I’ve accepted myself. I like myself. My confidence is not flashy, but quiet and understated. I have a surety in regards to who I am, what I want, what I love, and that keeps me strong. Of course, I’m still prone to the odd surge of self-loathing and criticism, but I’m getting better at it. I’ve always had high standards, and I don’t think that’s always a bad thing. Everything in moderation, as they say.

And even if nothing happens between us, his existence has been a blessing. Each time he crops up in my day-to-day life, I’ve re-thought some thoughts I have regarding other people and myself. His very existence has made me a more optimistic person, because he is an optimistic person. It has encouraged me to smile and laugh more, to not take everything so seriously. To even love myself, by using him as an example of steady confidence.

I do dearly want love. I want to be understood, for who I am  – to be seen. I feel like he can understand, better than others, but I don’t want to think about that because I don’t want to hope too much. If I ever did love someone, I would be utterly loyally, and give it all my heart. I love very, very deeply, when it’s the right person. It’s just the right person has never really come along.

And now maybe he has. Or maybe I’m just seeing shapes in the clouds that aren’t there. Either way, I’m learning, I’m growing. I’m concentrating my efforts on bettering myself rather than pining. Love isn’t about devotion, laying your life down for someone. It’s about deep, mutual respect and deep friendship and sweetness and laughter.

Love is a gift. If it comes my way, I’ll be incandescently grateful. If it doesn’t, I will still be wonderful. I will still carve out my own dreams. Build my towers. Weather the rains and storms. Become a better person. Grow. Live my life.

I’m happy with me. I’m nice and kind to myself.

Inside. Outside.

Outisde

There is nothing more romantic than snuggling up with a loved one to watch a film.

There is the comfort of another human by your side, along with the prospect of a brief burst of sweet escapism.

And as the movie unfolds, so the two joys twine and blossom as one: delight in the magic of the motion picture itself, the playing out of life, and delight in cupping love against your body.

Occasionally, the two of you will laugh at the same time at a joke onscreen, and that only sweetens the experience further. We enjoy more the sharing of joy than the source of the joy itself. We like to hear our loved one laugh, to know that he or she is happy. That is love: to be happy, because they are happy.

Soon, it culminates in a bittersweet, lovely ending, that leaves a black but ripe ache in your human heart. To soothe the bruise, the bruise that is like a black-hole wound, empty, empty, you turn to your loved one. Arms embrace; necks lower to allow heads to alight upon shoulders, safe as swans nestled in each others’ nests.

Such a flourishing of gorgeous feeling. It tastes like a soft, jeweled fruit. It feels like thousand rains and a thousand more safe cozy rooms and crackling fires. It is the pressing of hand against hand, so they warm each other and warm the hearts, even when the body is cold. It is quiet ecstasy. It is the creating of womb atmosphere. Two squirrels, curled up against each other, in the hollow of a tree, while lightning slashes at the forest without.

But from the outside, you are just two flesh bodies occupying a close space, with the yellow-green flashing glow of the television illuminating your faces. Your smiles are black shadows, secret. Hands clutch beneath the blankets, unseen. And then someone turns out a light, plunging the room into darkness.

So it is.

Roiling storms on the inside.

All is quiet without.

Love Is Very Simple.

Love

I have no time, right now, for love. The romantic kind, at least.

There is growing-up to do, stories to write and books to read, futures to plan and scrap and plan again.

But I have thought about it. I have thought about it a good deal. It seems silly not to, being so central a part of the human condition. Follow the umbilical cord of anything, and you’ll return to the same, warm womb: love. All we do, all we feel, is but a manifestation of it – yes, even hate, which is but love turned sour.

So many people yearn for it. Our culture is saturated with the concept. For some, it has turned into an obsession, a fairy wand that will magically create happiness and self-esteem. People kill for love. People weep for love. Debase themselves, manipulate others like tin soldiers, froth into monsters. Many things are mistaken for love: lust, ego, status. There are entire industries catered to those who are having trouble with it, and still more for those seeking it.

Frankly, it all seems like a lot of unnecessary hullabaloo.

Love is very simple. You don’t even need to experience romantic love to know what it is, what it feels like, and what it’s true form is. If you have anyone you love in the world, be it a sister, a brother, a mother or a father, or even a pet, then you already know.

Love is a feeling, in your chest, warm and liquid.

Love is when you wouldn’t mind hugging someone for an eternity.

Love is cuddling up to another human being at night when the world seems so big and strange, so you don’t feel so alone in the universe anymore.

People lie, side-by-side, across the globe, knitted into pairs, in their little bedrooms, because they are lost and confused, deep inside, and being with each other makes us feel a little better. Never underestimate a hug or a kiss, or any sign of affection. That kind of thing can heal you, in a tiny way, each time, and in the absence of it, souls wither.

All we have is each other. We are spontaneous organisms, swirling in a mesh of unasked-for consciousness, sleepwalking and dreaming strange things. No matter how much success, wealth or status we have, at the end of the day, we all just want to come home to a pair of warm arms.

Love tells us everything is okay, and we need this because everything is not okay. Everyone is making it up as they go along. No-one knows anything: why we are here, if there is a purpose, what it all even means.

So we cling onto each other, so that we don’t tumble into the abyss.

It may be a false comfort, but it is a sweet one.

You Are A God.

God

This is who we are: we build common men into gods, and the true gods shake their heads at our folly.

We are sophisticated addicts – that is all we are, let us not fool ourselves – drunk on the ecstasies of joy afforded not by sex or a packet of dust that can shoot us straight to the moon, but beauty. A line of exquisite poetry that trembles down the linings of our hearts. A surreal painting of warped wonder. And yes: an imagined love, come to grace our lives with his sunbeam presence. Reality turns us heavy-lidded and listless, and when we cannot find sources of our next hit, we create them ourselves.

It is the only way to live, we tell ourselves, just as the drug addict, convulsing beneath her counterpane, whimpers rationalizations, at the mercy of the cravings of her body. We did not choose this. Our souls, softer and more susceptible than most, made the choice for us, and it is one we have to live with, day after day.

The highs are good. Very good. But the lows are very, very bad.

For every fairytale garden of brambly roses and hidden crannies and ivy-clung tower, there are a thousand neatly manicured lawns. I repeat, let us not fool ourselves: you know very well this is is the case. Sometimes, the gold is there, sheathing the skin of him, and sometimes, we have merely tinted our glasses with flakes of the stuff. Most people see an abandoned graveyard and do not fall into paroxysms of joy. You see beauty in the morbid, the ugly, the sad, the strange, and, worst of all, where there is no beauty at all: just rocks and stones and plants.

It’s easy to think there is a jewel, glowing quietly in his heart, that only you can see. Nothing is easier than seeing what you want to see. But you cannot know it exists until you get close enough to cut him open, to slice through the bone and wet flesh and pry apart the raw lump of his heart and scrabble in its slick depths. Most times, your fingers will come away bloodied and empty. This will make you cry. But do not fret, there will be other bodies for you to carve into, for the world is a veritable landscape of walking corpses.

And do not be afraid to let others cut you open, too. It stings, it stings, but there is no greater joy than for fingers digging and probing in your heart to withdraw with a faceted nub of wonder clutched between them. Perhaps the jewels will take some time to form, like kidney stones, and only begin to grow, lodged on the wall of each of your ventricles, when you have spent more time together. That is okay, too.

You are already a god. We are all gods. Our hearts are crammed with jewels, our arms laden with offerings.

Let us worship each other. Let us worship each other.

Musings Of A Romantic

BeautyIT has been another dreary day, a grey overcast sky, cold winds and weak sunlight.

I have sat at my desk and looked out over the city and wondered of all the little people playing out their little lives in the honeycombs of the apartment buildings, whether they were happy and how they occupied their days, what nightmares dissolved their nights. Attempted to write a bit more today, but failed rather miserably and am now procrastinating by casting fragments of my thought on my blog. On here, at least, I don’t censure or criticize myself as much: what I write on here is not so much about beauty and elegance and flair but slapping my heart down before you, so that it spasms and pumps, a red fistful of muscle, raw and true, to leave an iron taste in your mouth. Yes, I like that metaphor: an iron taste in the back of one’s mouth, from chewing and coughing on the life itself.

It has come to my attention that there are certain places, certain spots, that are easily wrought idyllic and romantic. What makes them so is a combination of factors, ranging from isolation to the beauty of the scenery, or even the pure poetry conjured by the place itself (as you and I well know, poetry isn’t only art, words, pictures, but the world itself. The world, the universe, is a song, a grand, grand poem, and it is beautiful). Here are a few of these delightful nooks:

  1. The countryside. Or, where I live, otherwise known as the Outback. There is nothing better than a little cottage situated in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but grasslands coloured sand-green and parchment-yellow for miles around. You feel yourself to be perched on the edge of the world, with nothing but the cows and the birds for company. Yet, there is a barrenness to such a setting that lends it a certain withered beauty, I think.
  2. A wooden house in a snowy glade. That crisp, white hush of the snow overlaying the world, the icicles and glints of frost crusted on the fir trees, their branches like wreathed arms, with no-one in sight for miles around, except for a certain prowling Bigfoot that leaves fresh footprints in the snow to be found with thudding hearts every morning. Imagine: a crackling fireplace, ever so cozy, and to sit before it while the elements rail against the windows, sipping a mug of hot coffee, suspended in your own warm, sweet microcosm.
  3. Train carriages. Not exactly sure why, but all my life I’ve adored trains, the antique ones, mind you, with the handle yanked that blows a whistle, that puffs smoke heartily along its journey. The cramped and cozy nature of the leather-seated carriages, with the compartments up top for housing your luggage, and most of all the view out of the window, of a world rushing past for you to observe. To go to sleep with the streaming of stars without, and the steady rattle of wheels below, to know that there are so many others, likewise, on this journey with you, leaning their heads against the window and thinking their own thoughts out into the scenery. Lamps, brass lamps curving out from the walls, glowing faint halos. A good book. Bliss, I say, bliss.

Sometimes, I yearn so terribly to exist in those romantic surroundings, but I know that they will not compare to what I have imagined them to be. Perhaps, seeing as I imagine them so fully, down to the last detail, can smell the leather, feel the cool cocooning of the winter wonderland, there is little point in seeking them out in reality. I would only be disappointed. It seems the anticipation of holidays is always more enjoyable than the holiday itself, and to be a dreamer is to live in a perpetual, rosy state of bittersweet anticipation. Applying this to one’s love life might not be ideal: an imagination may be able to bring to life scenery and surroundings, but human beings are a different matter. There are some things which no fairy dust can ever make shine, and I would take flesh and blood over golden statues that smile and speak whatever I want them to say any day.

How Are You? Bad.

Scream

There are some terrors that move beyond fear into a nameless, indescribable territory, where nothing lives but shadows and madness.

A terror that is a wrenching, tearing agony, a great claw descending to slice you open from neck to navel and tear out your organs, one by one, until you are left an empty flap of bloodied skin.

A terror that makes you want to throw up so hard you’ll turn yourself inside out in the process.

A terror that slams against your skull until your eyeballs and tongue and brains spew out like coins from a winning slot machine.

And when this terror hits you, there is nothing you can do. Curling into a fetus position doesn’t help. Drowning yourself in fantasies doesn’t help. Even killing yourself wouldn’t help. All you can do is exist, and howl, mouth twisted open in a wailing vortex.

Right now, I am terrified of time. Time is slipping by, so quickly, ever so quickly, a stream that bubbles by with a mocking gurgle, and what have I been doing? Procrastinating. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to put every minute of my time to good use. Fat chance. I have done the opposite: whiled away my time on frivolities that do not enrich my life but dwindle it. There is a sense of failure, lodged like a calciferous tumor in my gut. I am sick with my own failure.

I am also terrified of my own inadequacy. This is not a matter of high standards: I know very well that I could be a much better writer than I am right now, if I had put in the extra time, worked a little harder. Countless people my age have been published, while here I sit, procrastinating at home, and I have no-one to blame but myself. The greatest self-loathing rears its ugly head when you realise what you could have been, and what you are not.

If you have read this far, I congratulate you for indulging me in my self-pity. Or perhaps you can derive some comfort from knowing that someone else out there is suffering as you are. The future looks dreary. Every word I write is a little shard of agony. The thought of ever getting published, and achieving the dreams I want to achieve, is almost an impossibility. How laughable it is, to think that someone as small and puny and talentless as I am, could ever rise to the heights of others. I shake my head at the delusion. My world has morphed into a fairy nightmare.

And for the dark, glistening cherry on the cake: I hope you are feeling better than I am right now. I hope you are not frightened out of your wits. I hope you are not steeped in the sludge of your own inadequacy. I hope you do not feel small, insignificant and hopeless. I hope you look towards the future with the ghost of a smile on the edge of your lips.

And if you aren’t, if you are, also, writhing in a tiny Hell of your own, then…

…let us howl and howl and howl as much as we want into the abyss. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mind.

Because it doesn’t care.