“Tell me about yourself,” my date asked. His jawline was sharp, gaze sharper and so I was blunt.
“I’ve got such trapped wind right now.”
Yeah. Yeah. He’s not my date anymore.
There are so many things I could tell you about myself. That’s true of all of us. So where do we begin? How do we choose? What defines our most notable attributes? What makes certain things more worthy of knowing than others? Where is our value derived?
And that got me thinking. A book is valuable not because of a single page, but because of the entire story…
Honestly, I tend not to reference myself in the third person — as though I am some omnipresent narrator observing myself from a faux leather recliner somewhere, a bowl of sweet and salty popcorn perched in my lap. To me, that would be like commentating the life of a parallel version of myself. And I’d like to think she spends a lot less cash on jars of peanut butter and Rick and Morty merchandise (only because that means there’s more left out there for me!).
But anyway. In the words of one Joseph Francis Tribbiani; how you doin’?
“Fuck it, I’m doing it.”
“Doing what?” His pal asked him. There was a pause, slick with electric anticipation as Gaudí’s grin swamped his entire face. Then the realisation struck. “Oh no.”
“Oh yes,” Gaudí said, “I’m doing it.”
And then? He did.
Antoni Gaudí began building La Sagrada Familia in 1882. You know the one; that breathtaking basilica, all towers and spires, brimming with intricate geometry and detailed architectural design. It’s gorgeous.
And it’s unfinished.
138 years it’s been under construction — and it will be for another six years to come. That’s a century-long project underway even now…
A lot of crap has happened throughout human history. Silly, scarring things that might never have happened had those involved been a little more self-aware.
That’s the issue with humanity. It’s not what we’re missing, what we’re bad at that holds us back, it’s our lack of awareness of these things. We just don’t know ourselves.
But if we did, if we knew who we were — our powers and our kryptonites — then we’d know how to apply them to life. We’d notice when our nasty habits are getting in the way. We’d see how our skills are improving…
You have your staple strangers.
Strangers in vans. Strangers in back alleys. Strangers on the internet. They offer you sweets, they send you nice messages, they approach with a smile and then, just like that, they do something bad.
It’s crappy. It’s cruel. It’s the exact reason why “strangers” have gained such a bad reputation.
But then, then you have your Good Strangers™. Your strange-aws, if you will. The ones you meet in the corridor on your first day at uni. The one who helps you grab the cookie crunch cereal from the top shelf. …
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin
Okay, maybe you’re not a writer. Maybe you illustrate the packing for industrial solvents. The same rule applies. Either illustrate the packing for an industrial solvent worth seeing, or do something worth illustrating.
The point is: put every inch of your being into every moment of your life. Live at 273%. Live loudly, boldly, authentically. Exist as though there’s a camera crew trailing you. Imagine that Satan or Thor or whoever meets you in the afterworld is going to rate your lifetime out of ten, like an…
Your doctor won’t look you in the eye.
“It’s… it’s…” his head hangs low as he fiddles with the end of his stethoscope (not a medical euphemism), face as white as the lab coat he’s wearing.
You swallow back your fear. “Just tell me, doc.” You demand.
He sighs, long and hard (still not a euphemism) and finally looks up. “It’s bad,” he announces, “it’s really bad.”
Your heart sinks. “How long have I got?”
“Three, maybe four more minutes?”
“And then what?”
Your doctor presses his lips together. He blinks once, then twice, then shrugs. He knows you already…
One thing I hate about love is that it can be broken.
It can fracture, shatter, scar. It is the gravitational force of our own hearts, possibly the most powerful energy in the universe, and by far the most fragile. We, as humans, are not equipped to handle love at its maximum potential, we’re too clumsy, too frantic, too unsure. This is why we so often injure it, instead. And ourselves in the process.
Another thing I hate about love is that most of us have felt it — being torn away.
Heartbreak is a human experience. It sucks, and…
Full transparency here:
It’s half 6 on a Wednesday evening as I begin this. I’m sat in total darkness, save for the artificial light of my laptop screen, tears drying up in my eyelashes and my heart throbbing in my ears. I’ve just stopped crying. Three minutes ago I was sprawled out on my carpet, the weight of the pitch black planet pressing down on me as a I heavy cried for twenty solid minutes.
What about? I don’t know.
Nothing explicit, there’s no tangible reason. Or maybe there’s several, which is why I cannot focus on anything in particular…
The moonlight sparkles and touches her body,
The moonlight merges with twilight and reflects on her coffee,
Black, strong, awakening, and comforting like her eyes,
Sizzled with our poignant evening — our love in disguise,
Split with the words I could not utter,
Ached with the yearning that we would flutter.
The stars smile and admire her beauty, The stars compete with one another to settle in her courtesy, Kind, protective, loving, and nurturing like her soul, Sprinkled with pain-inflicted notes in her sorrow, Chaunted with the words I created in my art, Shaken with the unquiet and silent cry…
I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer.