No matter what’s against you, all you ever need is one good reason to keep going.
After a few hours around family I left the apartment and stepped outside into the night. It was only 30 degrees or so but the cold air felt refreshing and it was almost welcoming. The pleasantries of good-byes occurred and I was quickly in my car and already on the road. It must have been just a little past midnight and the road was scattered with a few cars here and there. As I made my way through the beautifully lit streets an overwhelming feeling came over me. A feeling of loneliness that hit me like a semi-truck doing a hundred on the expressway. With no warning, no alarm or no sign.. it hit me. The loneliness suffocated me and it held me down like I was its prisoner. Tears started to escape my eyes as if they needed to be somewhere. The only thing I had control of was the wheel, which is a blessing I suppose. The passing cars and their passengers had absolutely no idea that I was so emotionally drained in that moment, I was just a stranger making his way in the late hours of the silent night. I kept asking myself, “what is the matter? why are you doing this?” But those questions meant for my brain had no response, because my brain at this moment had no control. This was a matter of the heart, a matter of something else inside of me that showed itself after hiding in the dark for so long.
A red light. Thank God for the red light. I can try to compose myself if at all possible. I decided to take the long way home just so this loneliness had a chance to finish whatever the hell it had planned for me. As I made my way home on these often seen but long forgotten roads I was able to gather myself but unfortunately I had no Goddamn explanation. I was lost, I was confused and there were no answers in sight. Maybe I just needed this outburst as a jolt to my system perhaps. A kind of reboot or restart to get me up and running to optimal efficiency. As I approached the stop sign I realized where I was. A street from my house yes, but even more importantly the street of my childhood friend.
He had passed away several months before. To be honest I hadn’t seen or even talked to him for a good 6 years perhaps. There wasn’t some big falling out or anything but we just grew apart and fell into different circles. Life. I guess you can say life happened. I realized that I often came by this way and every time I linger just for a little bit before I go. With my feet on the brakes I just stood still at the stop sign this time. I looked in the rearview mirror to make sure no one else was coming down the street. Then I just sat there looking at his house. The frontyard where we played games during those beautiful summer nights. Back then we were innocent, we had pure joy and took things as they came. None of this feeling lonely for no damn reason. I started to smile just thinking about him and his infectious laugh. I thought about all the good times we had and wish I could have just said goodbye to him. Have said something at least. To be honest I don’t even know if they still lived here. It had been so long but it still seemed to hurt just the same knowing that he wasn’t out there in the world somewhere.
A light flashed across my face and snapped me back in to reality, back to the loneliness. A car was making its way down the street and I decided to make that journey of the final block. I pulled in to my driveway and turned off the car with the slightest touch. I stood outside, leaning against my car and let the cold air fill my lungs. I tilt my head and looked upon the clouded sky and let the cold hug me. The loneliness started to dissipate and I came back to myself. With a satisfied sigh, I finally made my way home.
I have to be something, because if im not something then i’m nothing and if i’m nothing what the hell am I? What the hell is my purpose? More or less i’m just taking up space, and taking up this air that I don’t really have a plan for. Excuse me because I dont even know what Im talking about, I dont even know what im talking about. This life..its like a puzzle, its like a riddle, its like that damn sudoku you try on sunday morning but it just doesnt quite make sense at all. So many times we are busy trying to make sense of it all, trying to get strangers to like us and we forget about the few that love us beyond our ridiculous faults. These minds of ours are cluttered with oughts and ought naughts. Over analyzing every move and not knowing where to let the sanity drop. That we forget that the only thing that matters is the now. The now is this very particular moment which will have no other like it. What you do in the now is the only thing that matters. The now is a place where dreams are lived and new worlds are conquered. The now is the mystical and the logical. The impractical and improbable. The Ideological and plausible. The now is exactly what you want it to be. Now… let that soak in and take a deep breath. You owe it to yourself to just take this breath. Breathe in The Now. How beautiful does it feel. What you just did was experience this moment completely and absolutely. Now take that and apply it to every single moment you will ever see. Experience each moment thoroughly and deeply. Because what we are is the universe with a conscious floating around in a 3d reality. Where the sane have no place because you can only strive with the insanity. To live in the now and to live in a world of dreams you need to lose your mind and forgot whatever seemed. Far too often we are hindered by the social constructs of society why cant we just follow our own paths and be who we choose to be. These are just nonsensical thoughts flowing through my head and to be honest I dont even know what ive said. These are just emotions prematurely bursting at seeing a white blank page.
I have to be something, because if im not something then im nothing and if im nothing what the hell am i? Breathe in The Now. I am an artist. As Picasso played with the canvas I play with the white blank page. My fingers are my brush and with each key I hit I feel a rush. Because this is what the hell I am. I create. I create with my imagination and bring forth illumination …of the mind. We all crave to be something because what is life without meaning. Meaning for us to be here instead of all those who didnt make it this far. But remember those who didn’t make it this far because they would do anything to be in your beaten down gym shoes. In this life there is only so much that we get to chose. So chose to be happy and chose to dream. Chose to love and dont be afraid to scream ..it off the roof tops at the tops of you lungs. And make sure your young tongues have sung with so much joy it reaches the cosmos and even the Gods know that you chose to live in The Now.
He stood there looking in to the window, on this clear and crisp night. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, his wife in the arms of another man. The woman he once cared for so much, his high school sweetheart. It was odd he thought while standing there, “I should be more hurt, I should burst in there and confront them but the truth is I can’t seem to move at all.” He did not know what was more upsetting, his wife cheating or the fact that he did not seem to care as much as he should. Rain began to fall on to his head and he felt the cold drops bring more feeling and sensation in to his body than he has felt in over the past 5 years. Working a job he didn’t care about, one he had no passion for so he could support his even more passionless marriage. Day in and day out he walked with the corporate corpses, pretending that he was one of them when in reality he was far from it.
He used to have dreams, he used to sing out loud, he always used to have a smile on his face. He wanted to help people and he wanted to make this world a better place. This was the real him but unfortunately this was also the old him, one he hasn’t seen in over five years. He was still standing outside the window and he was about to turn away and right at that moment his eye caught his wife’s eye. It was obvious she saw him but she did not stop. If anything she became more caught up in the moment of passion and lost all inhibitions. Right then he knew that this moment was not one of heartache but a blessing instead. He is finally free of the shackles of the mundane, of the corporate politics and of playing just a role of husband but not actually being one. He was finally free to be himself and to live a life full of lost inhibitions and to carry out his dreams. He finally stepped away from the window and made his way to the middle of the street. There he opened his arms and welcomed the rain into his embrace. With a smile on his face and eyes wide open he finally looked at the rain as a mad man.
Words, my best friends and my worst enemy. In my mind they are going at a hundred miles an hour….BUT that is where they stay. I try to get them to the tip of my tongue but ohhh no they said to me “this is not done” So now I am drowning in my words, in my thoughts, in my own insecurities. Now don’t get me wrong some of these words do make it out like battered soldiers coming back home from war, but when these words kiss the wind they get carried somewhere else instead of the ears I so long wish to communicate with. Whoever it may be on this day fails to see the words I so gently and delicately picked out for them, and just them. Slap in my face, wouldn’t you say. See now I want to tell the world about my ideas, my thoughts, my feelings but this apprehension has got my words hostage. But these old words have little fight in them with all their mileage. The silence as cruel as it is has become one of my best friends, following me around like I was its caretaker. Silence in all of its sick mannerisms comes up to me and asks “How are you today? What are we doing today? I hope you never leave my side.” Like a crazy, obsessive stalker ex girlfriend silence won’t leave. The silence won’t leave me. Now let me paint a picture so vividly that you soon will find yourself in my place. So lets start with the words that sit at my feet, these are the words that express my defeat. And with each step I take escape is what they seek. Now to the words that flow by my knees, these are the words that should come to me with ease but instead I freeze. The words that run up and down my thighs are filled with lies that love to see the surprise in your eyes.The words at my waist are often misplaced or erased. And once at my chest for long these words do not rest because they are suppressed. The words that somehow make it to my throat are the very words that make me choke. It’s all for nothing and I wind up going home broke. Now since childhood my words always played on the tip of my tounge, they would get close to jumping off but they would turn around and run. The youngest of two it was expected to be coddled and overlooked but it shook…me because now I feel like I can’t express myself freely. I find inspiration from Dylan and I keep telling myself the times- they are a changin. Because these words are flowing at an immense pace and this damn dam I have built up won’t hold up much longer. But for now I let my words flow to my fingers and from my fingers to countless numbers of blank white pages. And piece by piece Waiting to be turned in to masterpieces and just for a moment this apprehension ceases….to exist.
As I sit I ponder a thought through my mind of a few questions that are evident through time. Why don’t we say I love you enough? Why do we take what we have for granted? Because only when pushed to the limit, the brink, do we really slow down and stop to think. This sent me on a quest to put these questions to the test.
The first man I came across was as wealthy as can be. Decked out with diamonds and living a life of luxury. I asked him where his family was. His parents, his kids and his wife. He said they are not important, all I ever wanted and need is money in my life. As he turned away I put a gun to his head. “Tell me again, and this time tell the truth” I said. He shouted “This is what I really want! My greed for money is all that I can have, this is my disgrace.” I lowered the gun and backed away as the man fell to the ground with tears running across his face.
Then a woman I saw, her beauty comparable to the night sky. As I got closer I sensed an emptiness within her that made me want to cry. I asked her of what regrets she had. She said “nothing, what can I regret when I have a beauty that drives people mad.” As she turned away I put a gun to her head. “Tell me again, and this time tell the truth” I said. She had a look of fear in her eyes. “I want another moment with my mother before she died. I want to take back my last words, I told her I hated her! That’s what she last heard! The woman with beauty comparable to the night sky, only wished for one last goodbye.
Then I crossed paths with a homeless man, out of all I’ve met I was sure he couldn’t understand. Of all that I was searching for, for so long. I did not realize that my assumptions were beyond wrong. I asked him of his regrets of the past that led to his current plight. He said “Sometimes you must close your eyes to have clear sight” Leaving me confused the man backed away I put a gun to his head. “Tell me again, and this time tell me the truth” I said. “Son, I have lived in poverty my entire life. And I am truly happy with my two children and my beautiful wife. I have seen how the wealthy treat those who don’t fit the mold. Playing with our emotions like we’re up for auction to be bought and sold. And for those who the world calls beautiful, I have witnessed their destructive path first hand. The pain they cause can even tear down even the strongest man. They may have it good for a while but remember this. After the money is gone and the beauty fades they can only reminisce. When it all fades it will show how poor and ugly they really are. They will see that beauty and wealth is determined by whats inside no matter the outside scars.”
Now as I sit on the edge of my bed a different thought wanders through my mind. What have I done with my time? Why don’t I say I love you enough? Why do I take what I have for granted? Because, only when pushed to the limit, the brink do we really slow down and stop to think. As my reflection appears in the mirror, it all becomes much clearer. In disgust I started to turn my head, but instead. I raised my hand and put the gun to my head. “Tell me again, and this time tell the truth” I said.
R.I.P. Nelson Mandela- You have done good with your life, and for this we all thank you.
Jason Silva’s video titled Existential Bummer from his series Shots of Awe.
There is always hope, never give up.