March 11, 2011
Image by gwenflickr on Flickr.
I think everybody is the addict of their own drug. Its identity does not matter — for in addiction we’re all the same. We seek the pleasure that brings us pain, no matter at what price it comes. We spend our sanity looking for it. We lose our sanity using it. But for what use is sanity in a world without pleasure?
In our darkest hours we sit in corners deprived of light, lingering in the shadows, our souls consumed by hunger. That is pain. Looking out windows streaked by rain, we tell ourselves our addiction has gone too far, and that has to end. But walking away from pleasure is near impossible to do.
Especially so as we experience the ecstasy of our drug anew, and are reminded why we keep taking it. It’s because the pain is such a small price to pay for such immense pleasure. And that’s why we persist through the torturous pain — because the pleasure — however fleeting it may be — is what gives our lives meaning.
No-one but the addict may understand the appeal. But it is there, or there would not be such a thing as addiction.
March 3, 2011
February 28, 2011
There was sun before the rain, yesterday. For a moment I thought the rain would sweep me away. Then came the night. This morning it was bitterly cold. A cherry tree blushed into bloom. I think spring is to come, and hope is in bud. I breathe on it at times, to keep it warm. I’m waiting. Waiting still.
February 27, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 26, 2011
Image by Zinius on Flickr.
It’s raining, but the dams protecting my emotions are still whole. Far up in the mountains, upon the snow-covered peaks there was a downpour. I don’t think it was snow; it feels harsher than that. I think it was rain; droplets of water that fell from silver skies, pouring off the sides of the mountains and down onto the valleys below. I think my dams are about to burst, the water wants to flow, down, down, down and seep into the ground that hasn’t been watered for so long.
Water is very different from everything else. It is. And still it is not. If I stick my fingers into it I can feel that it is wet; I can feel its watery lips gently caress and kiss my skin. But what is the feeling of water; is there any such thing? What if water is an illusion, very much like life, and me, myself?
I am overcome with emotion; there’s a storm brewing inside. I’m fumbling in the dark and everyone is waiting for me to fall. They support me, but they don’t do it will all of their heart. They think I’m insane, that I’m crazy, that I’m mad. maybe I am, but the storm pushes me forward. It feels so right, yet I know there can only be pain in the end.
But all addicts are addicted to their drug, that’s why they can’t stop. There’s this ecstasy of taking it, and no abyss can deter them from taking it again. And still it hurts, and it feels so good. And all you want is for it to go away. But when you see it leave, you freak, you cry, because you don’t want to lose it. So you catch it again, caress it and kiss it and say you’ll never part.
Life is torture, but feeling nothing at all would be death.
And still, hidden among the raging clouds that obscure the snow-covered fells, I know that there is hope. It’s tangible. But maybe it is because I want it to be. Maybe it’s a bird of hope that’s made of glass. When I touch it it’s going to break, because it was made for hands that aren’t mine.
I shiver, because I don’t want to see that bird of hope flying among the raging clouds. I don’t want to see it, because if I ever catch it, how can I know it will not break?
It’s raining. And I’m still here.
January 25, 2011
Image by SonOfJordan on Flickr.
Through a recommendation (I shall restrain myself so as to not bore you with the details — so do not tempt me) I was introduced to Nietzsche through his collection of aphorisms in “Human, All Too Human”. I found a copy in the university library — admittedly, there were numerous copies, but since I only had use for one, that is what I borrowed. The book has been my companion on my long commutes since.
Ah, indeed, I do realise that makes me appear a slow reader, if I divulge that I have had it for three weeks, which translates to 30 hours of train rides — but, to my defence, every morning and every evening I travel through rather mundane British countryside; which never the less manages to be among the most beautiful scenery I have ever beheld. Half my time on the train is thus dedicated to pressing my nose against the glass of the window, studying the hills and fields that I know so very well — almost by heart — as if I seek some deeper truth I hope thusly shall be revealed.
So, shall the time I spent reading the work be summarised, it is probably closer to 15 hours, which I believe a more accurate estimation. And, Nietzsche himself stated in a version of the preface that “I betray the fact that this book is hard to understand –that it stimulates confusion.” I cannot say it stimulated confusion, but the act of understanding someone else’s thoughts has always been a laborious one.
Never the less, this afternoon, not long after I had departed London, I could close the book and declare myself done; I had read and considered the last set of aphorisms, and I could turn to the — perhaps paramount — task of understanding them fully; at least to the best of my ability.
One of the last aphorisms is #627: Living and Experiencing:
[W]e are finally tempted to divide humanity into a minority (a minimality) of those who understand how to make a great deal out of very little and a majority of those who understand how to make very little out of a great deal; indeed, we encounter those reverse wizards who, instead of creating the world out of nothing, create a nothing out of the world.
Yes, admittedly, Nietzsche was an existentialist, and a pondering such as this is not at all unexpected. What caught my eye, however, was that it rang so true in its appeal; the irony in the observation being that although it is within human ability to see beauty wherever one turns, it is also human to fail to hone this ability — this talent.
Maybe — I am merely philosophising on my own, inadequate level here — the ability to see the world as a beautiful place (to be a wizard) is innate, only that it is lost as the human creatures outgrow their childhood to be lost in the present, too occupied with the mundane to realise that beauty is plentiful therein.
I am the eldest of a cinquain of sisters, and have thusly been blessed in appreciating the vastness of the infant mind, despite my own tender age, as I have seen my sisters grow up alongside myself. In regards to one’s own view of the world it is simple — too simple — to grow forgetful, and it is near impossible to remain objective. But in regards to the world-view of others it is easier to avoid subjectivity.
When I think of my sisters as they outgrew their infancies, I think of smiling faces with glittering eyes; the sparkle therein being the fire of wonder. And sometimes, as I recall this imagery, I think that a mature mind in a baby’s all-seeing apparition would go mad with the stream of influence to which it is exposed — for a child sees everything that the world offers. They are purely objective.
A young child does not pay much attention to the constructs of the world; what they see is the world as it is. They can crawl in what seems the most insignificant of spaces only to return with a treasure which is trash to everyone else. But to the child whose treasure it is, it is a part of the world into which they have been brought; their infantile minds believing that it is utter and complete truth, having no opinion about the worth — or lack thereof — of existence. If something is, then it is; a child’s world is not more complicated that so.
Many people fail to hone this ability to see the little within the large as they mature and grow up. They no longer see the innate beauty of things, but pass judgement upon it instead; they reverse the wizardry with which their childhood was endowed. Maybe that is why I am the only one on the train who childishly presses her nose against the glass as we fly across the countryside; I see such beauty in a world that others consider perfectly mundane, somehow, perhaps, who knows, having escaped the reversal that defines the adult mind.
Yes, to the defence of the native Britons, I am an infant in their corner of the world; but as a person, I have grown and matured into adulthood. In that sense, I am them. And still, they bury their faces in the blotted ink of the newspaper, whilst I breathe silver upon the glass of the carriage. My mind still retains the infancy theirs have suppressed; the reversal robbing them of the ability to see the beauty of it all.
I think this is very much at the world’s loss, and I believe there would be such benefit if “mature minds” could only kneel like wizards in the grass once in a while, having found a hidden treasure that although being worth noting, still manages to be worth the world.
Although I readily admit this is a liberal interpretation, I think this is what Nietzsche meant~.
January 22, 2011
It’s the little things in life that bring the most prodigious joy.
Browsing the supermarket aisles one rainy morning, I came across a crate of sun-eggs, each and every one lovingly picked with a few, green leaves still attached.
Finding this brought me the greatest delight; for I find that the small details of the little things in life are what bring the most joy — and such things being plentiful means one is guaranteed to find happiness wherever one looks.
In Sweden there once lived a woman called Elsa Beskow, who was an author and illustrator. She wrote the most magnificent of stories for the young at heart — be they little or not — and they all linger in my mind, their beauty too great to ever fade. In addition to her own works, she illustrated the stories of others. One such story is the story about the orange a child lost in the woods, and which the creatures of the forest believed was an egg of the sun.
January 8, 2011
Image by Anders Adermark.
The task was simple enough. She was to find the perfect flower.
It was to be white, and sweet-smelling. But it also had to be not far removed from bud, and with double petals.
It seemed simple enough.
With those directions the green riding hood set out, young, but not little — and dressed in green because red did not become her at all. It may have been beige too, but the colours of her attire are of no consequence to her story.
The green riding hood had not ventured far before she found a flower. But red, and in full bloom, it was far from perfect.
One with double petals was blue.
A sweet-smelling one was not white.
One was in bud, but covered with thorns and not perfect at all.
Indeed, the entire forest, it seemed, was abloom, although none of the floral faces was perfect. The perfect ones seemed hard, if not impossible, to find. Still, she had her task, and it was to be fulfilled. So she ventured further, unwilling to admit defeat.
All of a sudden a sweet scent reached her through the warm mid-summer air, and she followed it to its source. It proved white, but although fine, it was not perfect.
Though white and endowed with a sweet scent, the flower had a single row of petals, and was withering, far removed from bud.
The green riding hood looked at it, sighing, wondering: Why could it not be perfect? Why had it to be merely fine?
Had it not been for a persistent voice in her head, whispering: “Beyond, beyond, beyond!” she might had settled with a flower that was merely fine, but as it was, she continued her search, leving the mere fineness beyond.
As so often happens to young women searching for flowers in the woods, the green riding hood eventually stumbled upon the same, merely fine, flower anew.
She sat down by its side, brushing against the blossom itself, wondering why the fine, but not perfect, flower could not be endowed with a double row of petals, and be nearer to bud. Indeed, after this long an excursion, she would have settled with a sole row of petals, but the flower being withered was what rendered what otherwise would have been perfect, merely fine.
Despite there was a voice still in her head telling her to move beyond, beyond, beyond! she could not leave the flower. It was fine — better than any she had found thus far — but is was not perfect. Never the less, she remained by it, waiting for the solar cycle to encourage the flower to turn away from her; for she could not be removed on her own accord.
It seemed strange, she thought, that something that was fine and perfectly acceptable could not be perfect. The voice and its “Beyond!” reminded her thusly, although she herself doubted — as much as she feared — there was any flower more perfect to be found.
The flower before her was sweet-smelling and white; what if all the other flowers were equally fine, and there were no perfect flowers to be found? What if the ones with double petals were red, and the ones still in bud would bloom with the most horrendous of scents? What if the white, sweet-smelling bloom before her was indeed perfect, only that her doubts failed for her to realise and conclude that indeed was so?
As the day passed and the flower followed the sun’s path with its floral face, the green riding hood sat by its side, unable to leave it, waiting for it to turn away on its own accord.
March 22, 2010
Image by netdog
She had always been bit of a loner. In some ways it was because she had chosen to, in others because she had failed to find friends.
That changed when she came across a red-haired girl when she still was very little. They became the best of friends and spent all their time together.
But for a loner such a blessing may sometimes turn bitter, and she found that she needed some time for herself. Foolishly, young as she was, she believed she had grown tired of her very best friend.
She ended their friendship.
Not long thereafter she changed her mind. She could see her best friend walk through the same corridors as she did in their new school, and she missed her. But she was too embarrassed about her former rejection that she dared not apologise.
When three years had passed she had found the strength she had lacked and spoke to her friend again, saying that she missed her and desired to go back to the way they were.
Her friend only laughed and said that it was too late for that, and that she did not desire to ever be spoken to again.
The girl walked away from her former red-haired friend, not desiring to admit she had broken down in tears.
More time passed, and the girl reproached herself for the folly that had robbed her of her first friend in life. Sometimes she could see her red-haired friend walk past in the distance, reminding her of the mistake she had committed.
Such regrets never fade, continuously being stirred to the surface by reminders that it was a mistake easily prevented. A decade later, it still hurt.