Thursday, August 29, 2013

There has to be a word for it. There is a word for everything. If not in English, then in some language.

The feeling that a large stone has dropped into your stomach, heavy, sinking. When for a second, the breath catches in your throat, stuck. When you can't see anything, everything blurs. When you need to close your eyes and remind yourself where you are and what you are doing. Remind yourself, because you lost track completely.

And the fear. A fear like no other. It's insidious and claustrophobic. And so very black. A fear that you cannot control, cannot win against. Because for that never-ending moment, which feels like an eternity, it is all you can feel, in your very bones. It holds a dagger to your throat, right where the breath catches, almost lovingly, threatening, but never hard enough to kill you. And that's the worst bit. When you know you won't die, but that it will keep coming back. When you know its always lurking, waiting to hold the cold steel against your throat, caressing but not killing. The weight of that stone in your stomach constricting and knotted tight.

All it takes it a moment, a word, a look, for it to attack again.

There has to be a word for it. And maybe if I find that word, if I know how ti describe it, explain it, maybe then I can get some help. Maybe then I'll have a little control over it. Illusory of course, but maybe, it'll help. Because otherwise, I don't think I have any hope left.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Familiarity breeds contempt. Too much of anything is bad. Variations on the same theme.

That if you see something often enough, or maybe experience the same thing too much, it loses value.

The converse being, if something is rare, it should be treasured. That the lesser a thing happens, the more you appreciate it when it does. That the very virtue of its rarity, its uniqueness, makes it special, worth remembering, worth holding on to. That the less something happens, anything at all, the more it means.

But then, does repetition really take away from the beauty or intensity of a feeling? Does seeing something, saying something, experiencing something many times, really take away from how much it means? A sunset doesn't become less pretty if you see it every day. The stars are still mesmerising even if you see them every night. Gratitude when expressed often only makes one happier. Smiling a lot never hurt anyone and no one says that it reduces the light in one's eyes just because it's done too often. Love doesn't really become worthless because you express it a lot. A sweet gesture that makes someone's day better doesn't mean that the rarer it is, the better.

Because I repeat myself a lot. And I say the same thing a lot. And I feel the same things a lot. And I express the same things a lot, maybe in different ways.

But I don't think any of that decreases the intensity with which I feel those things or how much I mean them when I express them.

At least, I don't think it does.

Does it?
"Call when and if you want."

And you laugh. And ask why I think you wouldn't want.

It's because I would never put it past you. The existence of the possibility that one day you will wake up and just not want me anymore, is as much of a truth as the existence of the universe itself. Because people change and they move on. They grow up, grow out.

You are human. Just as human as the rest of us. Just as human as me.

So I never forget the possibility that you will one day, just not want me.

The possibility that I will fade like a forgotten memory.
Become a number discarded.
A string of symbols on an old phone bill.
A picture deleted to free space on a phone.
A sensation from a distant past.

Just another dust particle in a shaft of light, one among many.

Insignificant.

So no, I do not make the mistake of assuming, for that will only cause pain in the end.

And you shouldn't either.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ever need a reminder that you are an inconsequential speck of organic matter on a miniscule speck of dust in an unimaginably vast universe? When your problems seem too overwhelming or your life seems to much to deal with, need a reality check?

Watch the sun set, turning the sky orange and pink and a thousand colours in between. Listen to the waves, their rhythm perfect. See the tides come in and go out, the same way every day, influenced by the charms of a moon millions of miles away. Watch the moonlight glint off the sea, the crests of the waves illuminated by borrowed sunlight. Watch the fish dart in and out of the corals in a compact self-sustainable world. Pick up shells off the beach and watch as the one you picked up is replaced by another with the next wave.

That is when you'll realise that no matter what it is that you do; live, die, exist, it does not matter. You are barely a stitch in the fabric of time and space. An anomaly in the giant scheme of things. The world will continue to sustain without you, as it always has. You make no difference, your worries are pointless, your life meaningless. You come from nothing and will fade away into nothing, part of nothing, belonging to nothing.

A speck of organic matter on a speck of dust.

Reality check?

Ding ding ding!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Helpless

So much of our frustration and anger and fear is rooted in helplessness.

A feeling of being powerless. Of not being in control. Of feeling like things are happening to us without us wanting them or needing them or even seeing them coming. Of wanting to help but not being able to. Of seeing something go wrong but not being able to make it right. Of watching someone suffer and not being able to make it better.

It comes from a feeling of watching life happen to you. Of wanting and not having. Of knowing and not being able to say. Of waiting and watching while not being able to do. Of dreaming and not being able to see those dreams through.

Because uncertainty brings with it vulnerability; and the very distinct possibility of suffering. It goes against the nature of self-preservation that we are all born with. Against the idea of survival. Against our very genetic codes.

Which is why we grasp at straws. Anything at all to make us feel like there is some reason, some purpose for what happens to us. We believe in God, create Gods. We make up religions and rules that will explain why we do what we do. We look for peace. We try to surrender, try to go against the very fibre of what we are made of, the very idea of survival itself.

We created sciences out of understanding, hoping that would give us some control. We came up with meanings for shapes we believe the stars make, name them constellations and believe that we now miraculously KNOW something. We organise and categorise, hoping external order will translate to the internal. Lists and routines and orderly bookshelves and perfectly stacked cupboards, which we hope will help with the chaos inside. We give names to the immaterial, find words for everything. We boss over those beneath us, because the power makes us feel like we have some sort of control, over someone else if not ourselves. We talk sense into the meaningless. We scramble and grope in the dark and fight and struggle.

We hope that maybe, just maybe, these things will give us just a modicum of control. Will help in some minuscule way. That maybe it will change the inevitable.

Though we know it is all futile.

We continue trying. And continue hoping. And continue fighting for a doomed cause.

Because at least that little bit, the trying, the hoping, the praying; at least that is in our control.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Multiplicity

The quality or state of being multiple or various.

This word is one reason I love stories. They allow me to be multiple characters. Because when I am reading, I am part of a completely new, different world.

It is also why I love superhero stories.

Yes, they are mostly about the good winning over the bad. And just the idea of having superhero swooping in to always save the day, can be very comforting. Also, the larger than life aspect that those comics have works very well as an escape.

What personally intrigues me about superheroes is the idea of hiding who you truly are. Batman/Bruce Wayne, Superman/Clark Kent, Spiderman/Peter Parker and lots of others. They all hide their true identities. There is one major aspect of protecting who they love. There is also the idea that a mask or an a superhero identity allows the villains to fear you, adds to the personality of the hero. But I think it also has to do with protect themselves. To hide behind the mask, the identity, is an escape for the hero too. They have their moments of doubt and their conflicts, but in the end it comes down to acting, throughout.

And this is where I identify most with the superhero idea. No, it isn't some inspirational thing about how we are all capable of more than we know. What I mean is that we are all constantly hiding. Perpetually tucking away parts of us that peek out unexpectedly. We don't have the superheroes' identities or powers, but we do have their masks. We put on facades and play roles every single day. We have a work face when in the office. The family face for home, the agony aunt for one group of friends. The face for the one are romantically involved with so that they continue to find us interesting. The oh yes, I am a fun person face for the other group of friends. The intellectual act. The listener for your best friends. So many different faces. So many different masks. Every single day. Every single minute.

So when Shakespeare talked about the world being a stage and all men and women merely being players, this is what I think he was talking about. Where life itself is a stage, and we play the characters in our own stories.

All of it is extremely tiring though. The superheroes do it for a noble reason. We, for an entirely selfish one. Self preservation. Survival. That's why we hide so much. Leaving ourselves vulnerable leaves us open to pain and betrayal. It opens us to judgement.

And then this whole charade begs the question, is anything in our lives true? Is love true? Or is it just a mask loving another mask? Is hate true? A character playing off another character. Envy, anger, jealousy, empathy, sympathy. All of it. Isn't all of it an illusion of truth?

This is why I love superhero comics. They have so many layers. So much to offer beneath the bluster and action and sometimes fantastic storylines. Well-constructed make you think. There is so much to find.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Waiting

So much of life is spent waiting. For something to happen, something to come. For change. And then to get used to the change while also hating it for happening. For the right job, the one where waking up on a Monday to get to work is not the worst thing in the world. For a holiday, because it would mean a break from the tedium of every day.

We wait for love. For the right person. Someone we are told will save us, make us whole. Someone we know will not, but will definitely try.

We wait for friendship. For those people who will truly listen to us, accept us wholly and completely and stay through the worst times because those make all the good times even better.

We constantly wait for the right time. To take off, to come back. To say what we truly mean. To hear what we need to hear. To be ourselves. To enjoy ourselves. Because we believe that it is only the right moment that will validate whatever it is we have been waiting for.

So much of our life is spent just waiting. I wish we could stop waiting so much and actually maybe start doing, believing. Being.

More importantly, just saying.

Because for some things there will never be the right time or the right place. Like telling someone that you love them. Or someone that you don't.

Then again, doing and saying are difficult things. Waiting is safer, less risks involved.

If only we tried, though. Things would be much more difficult. But then at least they would be different. Maybe with a little more truth to them.