The Caveman

I watch videos like this one and a cold fear grips me: what if I am that man, that loser that he is talking about? What if I am a poseur, a pretender, only deep on the surface? What if, even for a second, I am the kind of man women are being constantly warned against? There goes this lovely hangover I was nursing. What a waste. Now I have to introspect (a nice word I should not be using, seeing as I wanted to go through this day with half of what is left of my brain.) I believe nobody sees themselves as bad people, even bad people. How can we, with our unparalleled capacity for self-justification and delusion? Maybe here I sit, smug in the knowledge that I am upstanding, when in fact I am a total *insert your favourite expletive description*? What if?

Perspective is hard to come by and, let us face it, we are not comfortable with our beliefs and our ways of life being challenged or questioned. Yet, this is exactly what we should seek: people and experiences that shake us to our roots and force us to confront what we think we know and believe is right or true. We have barely scratched the surface of knowledge and our understanding of it. It is necessary then to always question ourselves and expose ourselves to scrutiny and criticism, lest we remain comfortable in the darkness and the warmth of our caves.

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The Edges

Sometimes I feel like a little boy in the toys aisle again. I remember looking up at the shiny cars and lorries, the large radio-controlled ones with the gaudy colors, my heart almost bursting out of my chest at the thought of owning one, even for a minute. How badly I wanted one of them, wanted to turn it on and put it next to my cheek and smell the plastic and feel the whir of its motors. But, there was never enough money. Not that we were poor, no, not by a long stretch. There were, and still are, things called priorities and toys have never been one of them. Maybe that is why even today gaming consoles do not get me excited. That part of me was beaten out by life. Only buy what you need was (and still is) the rule. I digress.

I feel like that is still where I am, that I am still that little boy, longing and gazing at my dreams (rather, their fruition), reaching out for them but they are just out of reach, a hair’s breadth beyond my fingers, like I am living on the periphery of my own life and I am yet to explore its full depth. It is a discomfiting place to be: on the outside looking in at one’s own life, watching it like a slow movie, one that gets you excited in anticipation of the coming moment, always hoping that the next minute will be the pivot, when everything will finally make sense and all the preceding events, hurts and pleasures, will gel into a semblance of meaning. This is where I find myself. Waiting to exhale.

The scariest aspect of this is the possibility that I will remain a dreamer of some sort. You know the type: that middle-aged guy who is not doing too badly, or too well, and who still hangs on to the vain hope that someday his big break will come, that one day he will show them. It is this concept of one day that gives me Goosebumps. Today is also one, day; it is someday, so is tomorrow. And so is the day twenty years from today. The question is, do we have tomorrow? Our capacity for optimism is unparalleled. We believe that we will have time to do all the things we want. And, perhaps, in this way, we are all at the edge; of ourselves, of our potentials. There is quite a bit we can do and achieve in our time here, not that it will matter over the great scheme of the universe, but the least we can do is leave our marks, however tiny. Perhaps, all of us are on the edges of our own lives, on the outside looking in, wondering what could be.

The Moment


One of the downsides of fancying yourself a writer is that every experience is viewed under the lens of whether it can be written about, coaxed into words and some kind of sense or greater meaning made from those words. One tends to forget how to enjoy a moment without any expectation, without wanting anything more from it than the sheer pleasure of being in it and cherishing every second without picking it apart. When your mind wanders from you are currently doing, the experience is diminished, and its full depth cannot be fully appreciated. The past will be there when you are done, the future is waiting for you, it is not going anywhere. Immerse yourself fully in whatever lies before you.

Additional Reading:

Be On The Mountain – The Minimalists


 

The Box


Is there such a thing as “thinking outside the box”? What if it is just that the box is larger than we can comprehend, that its walls are so far apart that we cannot perceive them and we confuse this with thinking that we are outside the constraints of the box or that there is no box? That is, what are the limits of human knowledge?


 

David Runs Away

David smiles and tells us of his dreams,
and his slow sure
achievement of his ambitions.
David feeds us, street food,
slightly stale and piquant.
David remembers the loved ones he has lost
and the broken ones he gently cares for.
David cries,
his memories not darker but clearer
in the night that surrounds us.
David turns away from us,
ashamed at this weakness.
David runs away.


There is nothing.
Everything is there.
Time is eternal and unending.
We are finite. There is no time.
We are and lost in the darkness.
We exist, from nothing
and back to nothing.
Cosmic grains of a universal rock,
blown by infinite winds
every when, everywhere.


The Darkness

I recall almost nothing the days and nights where the darkness stretches its black wings, touching everything around me moody. It seems to envelope me suddenly, from behind, from the side. I seldom see it coming. All I remember is the feeling of shame and a disconcerting sensation that I have lost something. They do not understand, and sometimes neither do I. Why am I like this? Everyone has their flaws; mine just seem intractable, unsexy.

Maybe it would have been easier if I was, say, a womanizer, or a workaholic. Living in our current society, I would get away with these, they would be brushed off as admirable, The Marks of the Alpha Male. Those are trendy problems. But not these; the anger and angst that lie in my heart. At what? Myself? The sorry state of the world? The absurdity of life itself? What exactly?

They put it down to the booze, but I know better, and so do one or two confidantes, tumultuous kindred souls. It is existential, the anger, the impatience and dissatisfaction with myself and all that is around me, and I never feel it as strongly as I do during those stormy moments. The meltdowns and outbursts make for funny stories and great memories. I admit, I feel a twinge of pride at being spoken of, even in this way, even this dubiously. A most human insecurity assuaged (a need for recognition) and the questions that are never asked killed before they are even alive.

“Why are you so angry?”, “What is it that bothers you?”, “Is there anything I can do to help?”, “Talk to me…”.

No one asks any of these. A silent echoing of Pandora’s Box, perhaps? You dare not open it! And who can blame them? They have put it down to youthful indiscretions, most likely. The really lucid explosions I keep to myself and within these pages, but sometimes they slip out, like a heavy glass slicked with condensation drawing too fast a line to the concrete floor. And all is forgiven because, ha ha, si you know how he gets, ha ha haaa. Ha ha ha indeed. In my mind I make up silly jokes to cover up the anxieties;

I stay a bit emotionally messed up on purpose because girls dig that, the dark mysterious guy with violence quietly boiling just beneath the surface.

or

Sometimes I do silly stunts like climbing trees because I’m looking for attention and I want to blame someone else for my troubles when I’m forced to come down and behave like an adult. This whole personal responsibility thing is just too much work.

Hidden, deflected, perfectly executed as always, and none is the wiser. No one has ever asked why. I guess I will be doing this for a while to come. I see the looks, the mixture of concern and loss and the look of the incredulous. Silently,

What has happened to you? What is wrong with you?

Shortly, too shortly, it is all forgotten, the rage and the vitriol directed at no one, at nothing, at everyone, at everything. But mostly at myself. Life, even mine, does not often make sense. Yet, here I am, here you are, mostly because we do not know what else we can do. We are stuck with ourselves.

Lermontov asks ballet dancer Victoria Page why she dances.

Page: Why do you want to live?

Lermontov: Well I don’t know exactly why, but I must.

Page: That’s my answer too. ~ The Red Shoes.

So it is with life. This life, at least. In the silence, after the tears have burned hot and cleansing, in the light when the beast has been pushed back into the shadows, when the darkness has gone into the darkness, I walk again, laugh again, and silently wait for it to come back. And it always comes back. I look forward to dancing with it now. It is only a matter of time before I can match it step for step.