One day you will go out to build. Like every time you go out to build, it will feel like a final build. In the back of your mind you will shrug the feeling – you always say it will be the last time. It never is. So that day, like everyday, you will take your axe to canvas and begin to hack away what is unreal in a bid to find a sentence that rings true. You will construct hypothetical pathways to find the root of the present – all that we are allowed to experience as a human. Storing a bank of presents in our memory to accumulate what we call a life. Withering, flowering and withering again, seasons pass punctuated by wars, innovation leads to destruction, destruction leads to innovation – the everyday is impersonal.
You know this.
Enough seasons have passed that you know all there ever will be is another season. That time is just an abstraction to measure distance between one now and another. Each now holding as much significance as the whole universe. Each now holding as much insignificance as its own juxtaposition against eternity. Even as you try to craft something that is true you remember that the canvas is shifting and that your goal is evasive. Outside context there is no truth.
But you like the thrill of the chase. You have been down so many rabbit holes, followed so many half-threads, walked so many dead-end roads that you are just in it for the chopping now aren’t you? Your arms are accustomed to chopping at the edges to reach something that feels, tangible, knowable, recognizable. You keep these fragments of reality and use them to put together magnificent collages that you hang in your gallery. They think you hang them up for the glory but you really just are in love with the act of making. You love watching as they observe the collages and the collages observe them. You have become something of a collector, with more of these things than you can count – than you can make sense of.
So that day, when you go out to build – you will know it as any other day. The build will come to you the same way it always does – as an expected meadow in the haze of motion. As a breath of air after being punched in the face. As clarity, clearer than before you had made any mistake. The kind of clarity that comes with having been caught sleeping. As a silent rage, looking up and looking forward. “Oh!” You think. “It appears as if you have not met me.
Allow me to re-introduce myself.”
It will feel, like it always feels. Like magic. Like the syllables are raining down from the heavens and pouring themselves through your fingers and onto the screen. You will feel proud of your ability to surf the chaos, smile fondly at a time when the chaos would run you riot. Now, you will even stop midway to take a meeting and continue as if you never stopped. You will feel seasoned yet young. Ready yet calm. Excited by the mundane. Like a child who has been abducted by aliens before – this will not be your first time.
Yet, unknown even to you, it will be your last.