I was up all night trying to find a way to explain what I’m feeling, to try to find a way to salve my conscience, to make sense of the images that keep flashing before me on the radiating screen so many of us have become so accustomed to feeding on, images of death and destruction, of fear and frustration, of warring factions and intractable discussions that seem to lead nowhere. But my sense of self-preservation is trying just as hard to prevent me from speaking these words, which seem to form deep in the back of my brain, screaming for their moment in the limelight, for just one chance to set the record straight and call this foolishness out. Because I don’t want to be the one to face the fire. I don’t want to be the one to take the blame. I’d rather some hack who gets paid to work this shit out could take up the slack, to break the chain of conformity that keeps us held back in this blind game we all play. Yet I can’t hold back forever. I can’t let these emotions stagnate and fester within me. I’ve got to get some peace of mind, so I’m spilling the words out onto the page, just to get it out there so that maybe someone else might be able to relate.
It gets stranger by the second, with every link to every news story, from any kind of website, whether respected or not, it almost doesn’t matter anymore what’s really true, as more and more it seems what’s true is what you believe to be true, facts and sources seem to no longer matter to the multitude, if they ever really did. We used to trust experts, at least they had earned that right. But many experts betrayed that trust, so now many ignore them, and place their faith on people with no schooling, who would betray us just as readily, but don’t even have the skills to check their sources. I never reckoned on it getting this confusing, and I’m further than ever from a solution. Thoughts and connections arise inside of me, but from the spark in my brain to the tip of the tongue, something seems to get lost in that gap between inspiration and realisation. And I’m at a loss what to do next. I need to find a way to get through this sense of doubt. I need to find a resolution, to the endless recording playing out inside of me, to tell a story that makes sense to me.
But the more information that gets thrown at me, the more I willingly digest this diet of unchecked facts vomiting out of social media every day, the less the world makes sense to me. In this state of confusion, with the knowledge that terrible things go on in the world, that the modern world’s wealth was made at the expense of many other civilisations, this terrible knowledge breeds like weeds strangling my identity, smothering my sense of self. Webs of deceit wrap around me, and I feel false in saying anything with any certainty. Who am I to hold a point of view? What do I know? So I hold my tongue for fear of shame, too afraid to speak, lest I make a statement or give an opinion which ends up proving itself wrong at some future date, which could be near or far but would hang around me like a noose. I thought I had it clear, how it all works, but I can’t see the pattern anymore. It all seems random with no discernable design. I feel like a pawn in someone else’s game, sacrificed for someone else’s greater good. But sacrificed by whom and for what purpose?
This cave I live in is the only concrete thing that I’ve got right now. It’s where I hide from the world outside to get some peace of mind. Is it cowardice to remain so stuck in this protective shell? Maybe it’s a blessing to be in this position, but it’s also a drag in some way, to feel so isolated for most of the day from the throng of activity, while I ponder these thoughts about the state of the world. I’d rather express positive thoughts, but the words that want to come out are like the distant cries of a lost soul, and quickly provoked they can sound like incoherent rage. So I shut them inside and these thoughts begin to take their toll on me. It feels like I’m suppressing my rage for the common good, that the world will go on any way whether I speak or not. It seems pointless taking sides when all sides seem the same viewed from different angles. Is it cynical? I never thought I’d be this down on humanity. I still experience the beauty and the joy. But it gets harder to reach with every bit of bullshit news. It’s the bullshit that’s the problem, and how it makes me feel.
But there is real news, I don’t doubt that the world’s on the brink of some societal calamity unless we get our collective shit together. Our habitat is in a state of imminent collapse because of our actions and inactions and the brutal wars are incessant. The fears are not doom-laden prophecies, they’re demonstrable facts. But I still don’t know how I’m supposed to react to the information presented to me. So I often ponder in silence, in doubt, in hesitation, and I seem to slink further and further away from the edge of normality and risk alienation with each passing day in my comfortable cave. I don’t want that to be the all of me, so I am bound to resist and the only way I know how right now is to speak words, however broken and bruised and twisted they seem. I may be deemed a waste of space by those numbed enough not to feel affected by the violence and terror out there. But in spite of the opinion of others, as sure as I can be, all I can do with certainty is to voice what feels true to me, and try to express what I’m feeling, so that maybe others who feel the same way can find connection, to voice their own truth in any way they know how. This is how resistance to mind-numbing conformity gains strength and meaning.
Every time I get the chance, no matter how unschooled and uncouth I might sound, I must speak; every time I almost succumb to the trance of being fed information without connection, I must speak; every day I witness a violation of what we profess to hold sacred, I must speak; every day I experience another ideal scarred and punctured, I must speak. I must speak. I must speak. The very act of voicing the emotions that are stirring inside me, is not to establish anything other than the right to express how I am feeling right now, which helps to remind me that I am real, that in expressing I can begin the process of reconnection even from the cave. Because connection does not only happen in real time, ironically it can also happen with words read by someone in another space. Emotions are the avenue to meaning and connection, they cannot be allowed to rest inside a shell.
The dream of peace we once nurtured together lies shattered, with no how, no why, just endless repeating of disconnected signals on the wifi. We have to take up the slack, find the thread, make the connections, fight back. Horrific missives so insistent they become numbing to receive, cannot force us to become zoned out as we feed on the daily propaganda news and believe what we are told to believe. I thought I understood, but I must not be afraid to say that I’m at a dead end right now and I need a leap of faith. I really need to find the courage somewhere inside, but I need first to get the festering thoughts out and to boldly share them with the world for my own peace of mind. I’m older now and I’m supposed to have a better idea of the story, but the story I knew no longer makes sense to me, so it seems I need to first clear out the dusty pages in the back of my mind.
I do not want to become hardened and rigid to the changing times. It saddens me this tribalism of left and right that seems to be growing incessant with each passing day. This extremity of thought, with people itching to take sides and to hate the other and to feel justified in doing so. These bubbles we live in just to make us feel righteous are prisons of illusion, doesn’t anyone see? They are not representative of reality. Back scratching only gets you so far. We need more than this to move us through hard times. We might not want to feel the pain of the other side, but unless we learn to see beyond the comforting lies we tell each other, we’ll be left unable to rise to meet the tide as it washes away what’s left of what we used to hold dear. There are hard words to say, which might make the difference when push comes to shove. Revolutions do not come to pass without resistance, but it’s evolution, a paradigm shift that is desperately needed and must arise from all of this repetition. Maybe these words that I speak can find meaning, jolt me out of this cave and into connection, and a way to break this spell of illusion. Some clarity at least, to find some common truth along the way, and to hope I might inspire others trapped in their own mind prisons to find their own way of expressing what is real inside of them.