Soft Landings

By the time we had begun to take apart the metaphors that we use to keep ourselves up we thought we could fly. Perhaps this, in itself, was a testament to the metaphors – definitions of who we are were always strong enough to adapt to the changing world. But were we?

Robbed of our metaphors we spiraled into a freefall.

We are still falling.

*

According to newton, acceleration due to gravity is a constant 9.8 metres per second squared.

Even at our most still we are seated on a rock that is travelling through space at 460 metres per second, tethered in place by the sun.

We can barely afford to move faster.

*

The faster we fall  the closer the ground gets.

But if no one hears the splat – did we fall?

The cart goes behind the horse

When you get tired of dragging yourself around you will begin to look for someone to pull you through. Perhaps it is around this time that you will realise that you can only organize your life around your feet. And that your shoulders can only carry as much as they can carry. Perhaps then you will learn to deconstruct the load. To consistently shift the burdens and the ways in which you are carrying them. Perhaps then you will learn that when you carry more than you can, you break. Perhaps you will learn to know what you can’t lift before you strain yourself.

I imagine the first time you avoid a weight you will feel guilty. I imagine you will try to equip it best you can. I imagine you will keep looking over your shoulder as you walk away, wondering if there was more you could do. If there was more you can have left it with, more you could have given.

I wonder if you will be adequately prepared to stand straight – after all, you will have spent a long time hunched over. I wonder if you remember what it feels like to run, to jump, to walk, to look back, to rest. Or will you learn the joys in these banal things afresh? See life with a new fascination. Will you treasure this fascination?

I wonder if you will notice yourself getting stronger. Moving faster.

Maybe it is about this time that you will turn to look at the loads you once tried to carry – that you will begin to organize them in your own path. Maybe it is about this time that you will learn to run towards yourself – gathering momentum as you grow.

 

Travel On


You owe your freedom to yourself.

This is not a rallying call. A call to fight against or to challenge. Rather it is a call to question. Identify your freedoms and pursue them. Work towards something rather that away from it. Work at a deliberate pace, always being cautious of your fellow labourer – they too have their struggle. Find people along the journey who would grow with you and grow together for as long as is necessary. Listen to those who would destroy you but do not dwell in their company, nor wallow in their thoughts. Remember, your task is noble, your journey is long.
So travel on, brave soldier,
travel on.

Travel on, brave soldier,
travel on.

Though the night whispers all your demons. Though your broken battered inside proves you wrong. Though the concrete jungle scares you and those who save you often prey you – travel on.
Through the sunshine through the rain, through the traffic, through the pain – travel on.

Grab a Flashlight

 

Of course one must be careful when it comes to trying to understand the way language turns and twists, changes and morphs, adjusts itself to fit in the cracks between what we would like to express. Furthermore, it is very urgent that we pay attention to the syllabic breaks between a backbeat and a forward slash. It is here that the mysteries have hidden themselves. We hear them but understanding comes later – like a revelation we claim it as our own. Undiscerning of the source we imagine that our own indicators are our own.

Which makes it easier for one to switch indicators on us.

This would not be so dangerous if it wasn’t that we blindly follow our indicators wherever they may lead us. And, in not noticing the change of indicators we fail to notice our life shifting course. That is, of course, until we find ourselves somewhere unfamiliar.

It is at this point that we begin to go back. To re-anallyse. To understand again. It is at this point that we realise that we have been following the wrong indicators. And the breadcrumbs that we left to show us the way back have long been consumed by the crows we refused to kill in the name of our humanity.

This, of course, is why language immediately became important. Language to read the signs, to understand the indicators and to stay focused on one’s own. But ownership is a capitalist concept. And the self is only a piece broken off from a couple of others and trying to make room for its existence – is there space outside the whole for the singular to exist? The indicators we chase continue to be intertwined with the whole – the whole keeps shifting to accommodate for more – to make more space. And the indicators keep shifting.

And we keep chasing them – paying attention to the way language shifts and morphs, turns and twists hoping this time we won’t get lost.

Taijitu

But, when it comes down to it, the truth will always reveal itself to those that seek it. Though frayed by history the truth can’t ever really be erased. The truth, like the heart, is stubborn. It refuses to be stilled. And this is important because it is the truth, like the heart, that keeps us alive. It remains coded in drum beats, kicks, snares and hi hats. It remains coded in sighs, shrugs, eyerolls, absences and inflections. It remains coded in gaps, sanitations, assasinations, allegations and coincidences. It remains coded in moments, desires, motivations, results, responses.

To the discerning eye, the truth will always be a place that can be arrived at.

Perhaps it is this knowledge that destroys those who seek.

Perhaps it is this knowledge that fuels those who seek.

Perhaps it is naivete about how deep the frays of history can cut.

And that it is not for lack of power that history fails to conquer truth. It is not for lack of will. It is not for lack of effort – and deliberate effort.

*

But, when it comes down to it, the truth will always be outside the reach of those who seek it. The truth is stumbled upon, like a man off the edge of a cliff – and an endless fall. The truth is a vortex that appears and disappears at will. And truth and time are fruits of the same tree and it continues to grow taller. Those who seek shelter increasingly risk serious injury come harvest. The tide of truth cannot  be avoided. The tide of truth cannot be found.

Perhaps it is this knowledge that destroys those who suppress

Perhaps it is this knowledge that fuels those who suppress.

Perhaps it is the tide, ebbing and flowing, ebbing and flowing.

And all there is, is swimming.

And all there is, is drowning.

 

Menediction

This one, then is for the men who destroyed themselves that others might live. I write for my father, the saxman and my uncle, the painter. For the men who let their bodies be the bridge between the past and the future. Who remained firm, refused to break – broke anyway. For the misplaced aggression, for the protection, for the control – for the balance.

I write for the men who had mastered the art of stability, love, presence. Who were there even when their bodies were screaming leave. Who followed the rules no matter what it meant to them. Who chased their demons around the world looking for understanding. Who still question.

Who persist, who give space, who come back, who come back, who come back, who come back, again. Who have sacrificed at the same altar that scarred their past. Who were torn, shared, distributed. Who were unselved.

Who stayed, who strayed.

Who stood in death’s way with quivering feet.

Who ran.

For the shoulders that got weary, but knew no rest.

For the gypsy men. Who danced around the world, who spoke, who listened, who learned, who spread knowledge. I write for the exchange, for the hours of debate, the circles and circles of logic that gave another inch.  Another inch. Another inch.

Who threw their bodies in the toil towards the dream. Who shared, who loved, who lived, who laughed, who tried.

Who kept trying.

Who keep trying.

Thank you.

Husago

It is the people we hold onto that hold onto us. As we shake people off, we too are shaken off. Maybe it is through this process of simultaneous release that we find ourselves alone. Like the layers of a snakes’ skin we shed each other, find others to hang on to, find others to hang on to us. Slowly and evenly picking the weight that keeps us closer to whatever form of balance we need to tell ourselves that we are growing. That progress is happening. Or even that we are at peace with whatever form of stagnation we have chosen.

Maybe this is why they say you are alone in the end. Having lost all energy to hold on to anything, the things you hold on to begin to let go of you. It is in this isolation that we are to find peace. To be still and within ourselves, but even this peace is something that we hold on to. And in losing our grip we lose that too.

How does one take care of needy concepts?

Do you wait until they find themselves disproven? Or do we bury them in the past. Find a little corner somewhere in the maze of our mind and shove them there. Do we recognize when we come up against them? Do we see the pieces of ourselves that we have violently shoved aside as we violently shove them aside?

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  • Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Is it then that we constant lay and unlay traps for ourselves? Circling around the same spot, trying to gain enough momentum to throw us of tangent at such a high velocity that by the time we finally discover ourselves we are unlike ourselves. Then maybe this distance daunts us. As if we somehow knew we were going in circles (despite talking about progress). As if we have been betrayed by this false truth that we encounter. As if the mirror we left to hold to ourselves refuses to show us the image we want to see. And so forward we go, to go back.

There you are.

Again.

Again.

Aain

Ain

Ain’t

Ain’t,

Ain’t th

Ain’t that s

Ain’t that so

Ain’t that some shit.

 

Swing Low

The heart is an amazing organ. From the day we are born to the day we die it never stops working. Over an 80 year lifespan the heart will beat over 3 billion times pumping over a million barrels of blood through your body.

That’s a lot of labour.

Perhaps this is why the heart demands reason. Why it is the heart that asks why. Everyday it asks, firmly, quietly. Give me a reason today. Tell me why I should keep this blood in circulation. I have been doing this for a very long time and, honestly, I have very little to show for it. Why?

The mind is easier to convince. All the mind needs is a path to follow. As long as the mind can tread along a path, it can ignore the labour of the heart. As long as the mind can see something to work towards, it will demand the work of the heart. Perhaps this is why they say ‘there is only so much the heart can take’ when they talk about death. The heart, dragged along by the mind, stops. This, the heart says, this is not working. This is slow destruction, the unravelling.

The slow unbecoming.

There is less. Everyday there is less to give and more to take on. Everyday there is more to be done and less being done.

Perhaps it is the slow burn of the unraveling that destroys one. How every step seems like a step that can be controlled. How hope slowly slips away. You don’t wake up one day and think it is over. You look up and realise it has been over for a long time, and recognize how long you have been running against brick walls. Perhaps it is in this looking back that the heart gives in. It’s not just in the crushing from the weight, but in seeing the emptiness in it all. For the heart has only asked for one thing through everything.

Reason.

Every beat, over 3 billion times, it has asked for reason.

Perhaps it is the absence of this that does it in.

And to continue seems like an odd reason.

In many ways then the mind preempts the heart, keeping the heart from destroying itself . And the heart keeps the mind tethered, ensuring that there is meaning to whichever brand of madness the mind choses.

And so we oscillate.

And so we oscillate.

For Science

What is the chemical composition of an emotion?

Once you have separated memory (of the individual and of history – is there a difference? Where does one start and another begin?) from the hormonal response and drained the context all that’s left is latent energy. A burning sensation somewhere in the corner of your…. where?

Where does emotion sit?

Where does it hurt?

Where does it joy?

Where does it excite?

Where does it fear?

 

What is the anatomy of an emotional body? Does the emotional body tire? Does it grow weary from being pushed too hard? Does it get stronger? Does it thrive on a diet of regular exercise? Is this metaphor too direct? Does the emotional composition even have a physical form? Perhaps it is a gas. Perhaps it lies outside the laws of physics, subject to a whole different set of laws yet to be discovered.

Have you found some apple trees to take naps under lately?

 

Patience

When you have looked far enough into the future to see your own birth you know that you have been staring for long enough. You will know this because the fixed point you began with revealed the secrets of eternity. You know they are secrets because they came in fleeting whispers, barely louder than a muffled heartbeat. You only heard them because you were fixated and trying not to be distracted.

Which made you aware of everything that could possibly be a distraction.

If anything, you almost destroyed the first sound you heard. It was only after it revealed itself as a secret that you relaxed. But even then you weren’t sure. And you said the same, then kept staring.
But the secrets kept coming. At first they trickled in. After a while though the steady stream of things we are yet to understand increased till the flood almost blocked your point of view.

You kept staring though. You have seen your nebula collapse, your feet are tired, your skin pruned from the flood of secrets. But you stand, looking, unwavering. You know you will know it when you see it. You don’t know what it looks like, but you know you will know.
So you stay fixed on eternity, waiting to be born.