Sunday, October 04, 2015

Popular song, preferred medium of all manner of charlatan and poser, and yet always the opiate of choice of your humble writer. Realise that I listen, think, and write of a special type of it, though; one which chooses to blight not one but two forms of high art. You will not be surprised to know that I'm expert in neither, and that I do not care that that may render all my pronouncements void. If the goal of (note the lowercase) art is to please, inform, entertain, and spark thought, then this medium succeeds for me. Perhaps such delusions are precisely why the marriage of melody and lyric is an affront to its parents. But I trust such delusions only harm myself.

But why does such a trivial thing consume so much thought? If one is to write off existence, then it must be based on something deeper than this. Society, I am led to believe, sees it as a pronouncement on your character; this, under the bluster and sickening sanctimony that occupies most discourse, seems a deeply regressive view. Not that there is nothing that can be gleaned about one's character from this, of course. But to champion this as a mark of achievement over any endeavour under the Sun seems most bizarre.

So I've failed at this challenge. So what? There are many more where where I have shown no special expertise or proclivity. Why do these not fill me with shame, pin down my chest every morning, and leave me walking the street with a blank stare at the ground? (Ok, may be sometimes they do.) Is it the thought that this now is the one true incontrovertible proof that I do not belong amongst civilised society? It cannot be, because it is something I've known all too well for years. It seems better to simply chalk up another failure, and focus on the few remaining endeavours where I have some hope yet.

Sadness, anger, bitterness, these all still exist, but compared to the Time of No Reply, there is at least now a separation of concerns. Where once every ill and flaw appeared manifest in my self image, and left me reeling under their combined weight, now at least I am better able to place the origins of every dark thought that comes this way. A poor choice of what to do with my mind no longer occupies much thought. I seem to have reached a stage where I can accept any future employ, without the toxic mix of inadequacy and futility that marked those earlier times. A poor choice of what to do with my heart occupies considerably more thought. Ironically, this is a disadvantage of having less time to worry about the former. But as with many things that once seemed insurmountable, perhaps it is just a matter of framing a better set of surroundings. I cannot shut out hope entirely.

As I skirt on the edge of sleep, I am revisited by that recurring sorrow that fixates on your absence. That much is true. But is this really what I feel? Or is this an illusion, my self unknowingly acting out a part it thinks appropriately dramatic and incontrovertibly human?

It is hard to make out anymore. So assaulted do I find myself everyday by dictates as to what is normal and expected. The first axiom in these pronouncements is that to live alone is to waste the gift we were given. I fought against this seemingly arbitrary dictum for many years, till at one point the pull got too strong. The interim years you will remember as one where I found myself in a pit of pity, sorrow, and bitterness. Even now, the thought that so much time was spent struggling to accept a seemingly trivial matter makes me baffled, and a little disappointed.

This disappointment makes it an appropriate time, then, to revisit my opposition. Could it be the road to peace? To admit that, while life with you would likely have been special, quite possibly richer than the one I live out these days, in truth, there are still things to like about this one. Whatever claims of emptiness I throw at it, most of them are out of a desperate sense of wanting to belong, and the remaining few of them are quite likely easy to correct. My biggest concern with the matter, if I am being honest, is simply what others would make of me. But so what if I am seen as an object of pity, or even scorn? There are many experiences that will be shut to me; I do not burn up with tortured thoughts on most of them, and this matter, I think, should be no different. I mean this not an assertion of nihilism or self-pity, but rather, just a statement of the way the world is. Accepting this, I can at least hope to move forward.

I sometimes worry I have developed too suffocating a taste in the arts: one which only accommodates works that mirror my internal life, however approximately, so that I may see in the fractured reflection that greets me some temporary solace, and a likely misguided hope of more permanent respite. All things in moderation, I have to repeat to myself, as I see elements of a troubling spiral that cannot lead anywhere good. Even assuming all my talk of how this is certainly not wallowing is accurate, I cannot escape the fact that I'm certainly not gaining much more from constantly revisiting the same themes and tropes. Right, the past is a minefield, I had a chance and lost it, &c. There's considerable material to sift through here, some of it genuinely worthwhile, but perhaps not enough to become the sum total of one's existence. Beyond all the philosophical arguments is the simple fact on the ground that it gets, well, boring. Here, then, is to a sliver of new ideas and thoughts making their way through the curtain I seem to have erected without knowing. And who knows, perhaps the real road to recovery is to hear of other lives, other voices, reminders as they are that the future is never quite as rigid as one might fear.