I am slipping on the Dunning-Kruger curve again, like a mountain of many peaks (each one revealing another) the further I travel, the more my journey continues; the more I learn the less I know.
I contemplate my place here, writing this at this moment in time, and also here physically torn from my soul in this small city, on this island, on the surface of this blue planet.
To say that I have lost meaning would imply that I once possessed it. But like a coat one abandons in a moment of drunken happiness that settles in a wet gutter beneath stars, it is but a layer—one of many. And to get to the truth one must lose many things. I have been losing for years: jobs, love, my sanity. I have lost more money playing the lottery than I have won. I have lost time brushing my teeth only to lose money having them filled. I have cavities in my existence, holes where knowledge should be. By now I should know who I am, what I want, and what I should achieve. But I no longer understand why I write, or even live.
I lost years working in jobs which I hated. I gave myself over for hours and hours late into the nights and ruined my health because I felt guilty if I didn’t. I don’t know that person anymore. I think he was just needy. He needed to please. He put the needs of others before his own. But the wheel always turns and we never get off. It is only by turning faster upon it we may seek to cancel its dizzying effects—keep moving to stand still.
I breathe and close my eyes for peace is yet to be found. Somewhere, somehow, stillness can be mine. I have been reduced to a mess of words without meaning; I am a bout of conjunctivitis infecting my mind’s eye, unable to see clearly.
I am reconnecting back with who I am, the type of person I am—a dreamer who feels deeply. Realising all too late that I was different in this game from the start. They say somewhere there is a bullet with your name written on it, mine was etched onto the side of an antidepressant pill. Perhaps if I had known such things at the age of eleven, it would be a different story. But I would be a different person. And sometimes (just sometimes) I quite like the person I’ve become; I quite like the stories I have suffered for. I tell them so perhaps someone, somewhere can suffer a little less.
I think about this life we’ve been thrust into, the way we burst into this world without warning; our trajectory is the trajectory of my dreams. In it the ship sails without its captain and I wish to take the wheel, but I am locked in the cargo hold unable to break free. I am tired of being different here on the inside. The cup on my desk is not a cup with the dregs of tea, but me, a vessel waiting to be filled and forgiven by the water, for water will wash us clean (but here there is no water but only rock).
I am overwhelmed and sometimes here at the edge of understanding, I open my arms and surrender to the howling of the wind inside. I cannot change the world, I can only hope to change myself. I close my eyes and I see a weathered cane. Someone has stuck it into the sand. Its tremble is my tremble, I feel its loneliness. It sways without knowing what forces its movements, and soon it will be claimed by the sea.
Sometimes I need to retreat, be apart from this world and all its pain and glory. The world is beautiful, but it is also full of hurt that needs to be healed. Love connects us, it is the veil through which the bride smiles and the hanging cloth that wraps the corpse’s head. It never leaves us. We are the ones who fade and die, not love.
I understand why I am never successful in the ways I should be. I am not wired that way. I have been programmed for turmoil. My life is a bricolage, a tapestry rich with images, woven with the brightness of hopes, but swathed by black threads of heartbreak.
When everything I love will die, when the people I know become those I fear but continue to hope for, I will carry on my course. I will walk the desert wishing for rain, I will swim the floods yearning for the stillness of land, and I will find love again.
I am at the foothills. I look up. The ground is wet from the tears of many who came before me. I don’t want to climb. I want to fall. I want to close my eyes and fall. Fall and forget I was ever here at all. And in time everyone I knew will forget too. But in my dreams I will continue the journey—walking on thorns—and one day I will wake, trembling on the sand, staring at the sea, with a story to tell born from this darkness I can never quell.
Image credit: Ameen Fahmy via Unsplash.