Tuesday, 28 May 2013
I've been thinking a lot about emptiness recently. What emptiness looks like when coupled with want. You're walking down the street and someone walks past with the most beautiful shoes and you think you need those, and how bad do you look. Except these days you can look in the mirror and feel and look well, these days you can appreciate what someone else is doing conscious of the fact you are doing your own thing. You cannot be everything, and something always gives.
It is so easy to be objective in your advice. You're sat in a bar at one in the morning with a beautiful boy telling you how he doesn't feel good enough, how he let a man control him and how even now brave faces aside he just can't let go. So you think incredulous thoughts about how this boy could have everything, why get hung up on some loser? It was never that simple working it for your own life was it. The thought hits you like a bullet.
Are we conditioned towards longing? They make for the best songs, but when you were sixteen and pined for something, then it was something else a month after the songs on the radio could be shut off at will. Your dreams are haunted now, no matter how hard you push your body to quiet your mind.
Let me tell you what real emptiness looks like, it is death. One day you are here and the next you are not, and to let that invade you might throw you into non-action. Does the imprint you make on the world matter when you are dead? Here is the emptiness, the thing you have not defining what you are. When you are single you are defined by the lack of a partner. When you are an atheist it is the lack of your faith. The opposite of love being indifference.
I dont think it is my own death that drives me, however much is disturbs me that one day I will stop existing, and there won't be a bargaining chip or moment of clarity that precedes it. It will be like turning off a television mid-sentence, or during the advert breaks. God flicks the remote and you're done. This doesn't make me want to live any harder, it terrifies me so badly if I dwell on it more than stray thoughts I would not move from the bed.
Some nights as I fall asleep I wonder if this is what dying feels like, and bring myself out of half-sleep with a scream. A real, loud, completely petrified scream that disrupts my sleep until I escape into the fantasy world of whatever book or comic or radio show I have to hand.
The real emptiness that drives me are the people who are not here anymore, those who can't do the things I can. I run for those who cannot run.
I walked through Portobello pushing my grandmother along in a wheelchair. My grandfather had died three weeks before, I have never seen a person with a broken heart before. She has lost her entire life, and she sat there looking around at the day telling me how sad she felt that she can barely walk. That she would walk these streets with my grandfather, together, hand in hand.
The emptiness, it is consuming.
I think there's a secret to life and it isn't that complicated. The secret is happiness. The meaning is happiness. Sustainable happiness, not the temporary high chasing from shopping or alcohol. To live in the moment, to see the moment for what it is and not be waiting for the next moment. To be healthy, to be happy, to be grateful and well-fed with a roof under your head and clothes on your back. To laugh often, and see wonder in your day. To not let power and glory and status and more money get in the way of your friends, your family, your life and your rest.
I feel like I need to take a risk towards happiness, or rather to keep my happiness going. I want to be in constant motion, to fill my pot with so much light that when emptiness comes I'll give it a damn good fight.