How is it possible to have steadiness of form without internal friction?
Who put these fairytales in our heads?
Who brainwashed us to think great?
Who said that we’re unique;
Our lives are worth living;
That we gain more than we’re giving?
I have a bone to pick with every last one of the people who said,
Because I’m not,
And I’d prefer not to be falsely fed
I have room to improve.
And don’t we all as a race?
These fairytales mean naught
More than lies, beautiful lies,
There to stop reality driving us insane.
(A/N: In response to someone who said that a magic lamp would do)
And I drive myself crazy, thinking everything’s about me. -Heavy, Linkin Park
It’s strange how much we make ourselves suffer. We bother ourselves, we pick fights, we desperately try to hold on to something that makes us look like we have it hard, we try to make it right by proving ourselves right.
We thirst for sympathy. We label closure as catharsis and speak in labyrinthine riddles, hoping against hope there’ll be someone who can decipher them. Someone who’ll sit with us and figure out what we’re insinuating when, or even if we are, anything at all. Spiralling down underground, secretly hoping there’ll be someone who follows us. Dancing just out of reach when someone pulls us close. Walking away, expecting yourself to be found.
Thinking that our blurred vision gives our words definition.
I always wanted to be somebody, but I guess I should’ve been more specific.
If we’re made of the same skin and bones as everybody else, what is it that really makes us different?
It’s a question that haunted every empty second of my life, for as long as I can remember. It’s something that I ponder over and something I get frustrated over. If we’re all going to end up as dust, returned to the Earth, sounding the melodies it sounds, where do our symphonies stand? Interred with our bones? Dead, like the wood of our coffins?
All I know is that I can’t be a pile of organic waste in some catacombs. All I know is that whatever it is that makes us different, I want it. I want to make a difference. I want to be remembered. I want to wrest something out of my life that is worth remembering.
And what if I lose my soul in the process? It worries me that despite the price, I’m willing to do it. Bukowski comes to aid, “If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose.” I cling onto it like my last straw and hope against hope that Bukowski is right, and he meant what he wrote rather than just stringing words together to play upon the fears of those who read them, inevitably remembering him.
So what does set us apart? Albus Dumbledore offers an answer -“It is our choices that make us who we are, Harry, far more than our abilities.”
And logic interferes.
How many seafarers were chosen to explore fresh sea routes? How many discovered the New World, and hence how many are remembered? One.
How many men entered Alladin’s cave and touched the gold, only to die before they ever got to the lamp? How many people is that cave now named after?
Humans have a memory capacity, and making it there means setting yourself apart from 98 billion humans who have ever lived on Earth. I want to be a somebody in this numerical, but I need to be more specific.
Someone once said to me – “love is like a block of wood. It means nothing by itself. Its only value comes from what you make of it.” An opinion that resonates like fact. Love by itself is too common to have any value, it’s just biological, just an emotion, just a word.
We’re two woodworkers, and between us, a block of love.
Unfortunately, though, we’re unskilled. We’re shaving away the wood from opposite sides of the block, and we’re both working on a different shape. Mine’s a sphere; you’re making a cube. When our tools sparked against the other’s, I wonder what you’re doing, and why you couldn’t have just told me. I don’t mind cubes. The sphere was arbitrary.
We continue the shaving, but you didn’t say we had a disagreement. Now I’m making the cube, and you think it is the sphere. We met again at the end, friction between the disjoint patterns.
I’d expect we would have learned from our mistakes enough to talk to each other, and it irks me that the third time, we’ve made the same mistake. I’ve misunderstood you, or you’ve misunderstood me. It seems so silly of us to keep doing this, isn’t it? I only ask you to speak to me, to tell me which of the two shapes I should cut. We’re both exhausted, after all, and we have so much work left on the polish, and the finishing. Couldn’t we just agree upon one shape and stick to that? It’s taking far too much time, and it’s far too taxing on the body. Share with me. We can cut the unpleasant job by half, rather than making it double. We both want the art we made to stand with us in the end. We have discussed what it looks like. We both say it’s beautiful the way we’re imagining it.
However, I’ve noticed something. We sweep away the extra woodshavings on the floor after every disagreement. We don’t let them darken the ground and constantly crunch under our feet. They lie in a corner pile, meant to be burned to ash after this job is done. The ash we’ll bury in some mud for our window-boxes where we’ll grow roses.
But the pile grows ever higher. We could make something beautiful out of a little ash, but so much of it? Every mistake of ours adds to the pile, and there are already a number of them. Refer to my note about us being unskilled. The shavings pile seems higher than our block of wood, and our whittling and refinement is only adding.
I knew it would, obviously. I’m not a carver for nothing. I don’t even have to be a carver for it, in fact, it’s common sense! Shaping the wood leads to the unwanted shavings.
Let’s step back to admire our handiwork. Our block of wood is almost gone without creating that magnificent sculpture that we had envisioned. Scattered around me are the shavings from that pile that’s spilled over everything – too large to be swept aside. If I set fire to it now, the ash will cloud every inch of this place. It will be a nightmare getting it all out, and perhaps some things I will have to throw away altogether. Worse, more things in here are flammable, and I don’t want those to get burnt. And yet, if I don’t do that – we’re both continuously walking all over the remnants of a dream.
Give me a solution to this, partner. It’s going to take a while for me to clear up enough space among the debris to keep a fresh block of wood, and I’m frustrated over the first one; unsure whether the second one will turn out any better. Give me a solution, partner, because I don’t want to whittle this away into nothingness, one chisel stroke at a time.
It was the strangest thing.
When I first met you, I was a woman with a plan and I was going on a pathbreaking road to discovery. Head held high and determined, pen poised elegantly. Dancing eyes and fearless heart.
I fell for you. I thought that you taught me things. You made me see things I’d never seen before, but that didn’t necessarily make them better things. I adapted myself to this new knowledge and before I knew it I was rhyming ‘heart’ with ‘apart’, devastated by the loss of you, unable to hunt down a place where you didn’t exist because I carried you around in my soul.
I was made of an iron heart and nerves of steel; but you forged me into something unrecognisable.