All too often I try too hard to wrestle my own words into submission, making sentences into what they should be instead of what they want to be. But it seemed fitting to close out this chaotic year with something I’ve never done here before — a sort of stream-of-consciousness experiment in absurdity. I kinda love how it turned out. Maybe you will too.
This is the sort of thing we do right now, in moments like this.
Pause to inscribe our paltry passing thoughts on this brief moment of time we journeyed to. Unique in all the Galaxies.
It would be funny if this was like the director’s commentary version of this essay, and we could interrupt the prose to let the readers know random trivia about the process of writing this document. For example, I’d insert here
director: “Did you know it took Mr. Murray nearly four tries to type the word Galaxies.?”
Oh man we are not making enough progress on this.
director: ”At this point, Mr Murray noted that his fingers felt very heavy. Exceeding. Definitely more heavy than they were yesterday. To be sure. Note this phenomena.”
Back to our narrative — After we pierced the last ray of light all that lay ahead of us was the milky black sky of nothingness.
Nothingness broke over nothingness in waves of unbearable emptiness.
Our noses pressed against the glass window on the train holding the last remnants of humanity, we watched the blackness so inky we could see it swirl against our windows like waves.
director: “HAHAHAHAHAH. MR. MURRAY SURE IS DUMB!”
the audience: “This production is really start to go off the rails.”
director: when did I invite you to be here. You’re not part of the story.”
the audience: “Without us, you have no story. We are the witness of what is unfolding. With no witnesses, you have no way to separate the what-is from the what-will-be and so unless our own eyes join in the reciprocal dance of the watcher and the watched, the watched has no way of knowing that he exists. And if he doesn’t know whether or not he exists, he may indeed exist not at all.”
[ a beat ]
director: “so you’re saying the watched derives its existence from the act of being watched”
the audience: “that’s correct”
director: “so if don’t have you, I don’t have myself either
the director begins to weep, tears crusting his cheeks as he let a long, mournful sob escape the middle part of his chest. how could he have failed the see his own destiny until it was too late, like the last sunset on the far edge of the ocean.
the writer (me): “May I interrupt the director and the audience to remind them that all this dramatic bullshit you are pulling is tangential to the thesis of this document, and is indeed meant as a b-level diversion, and you’ve made it into some weekday soap-opera dramatic madhouse.
the director and the audience: *apologizes*
God damn it I can’t remember what dimension I am in!
I cradle my head in my hands. I weep, softly at first and then my shoulders are shaking like washing machines on the last minute of the spin cycle.
“WUBATHUB THUB WUBATHUB THUB”
the metaphorical washing machine goes round and round making that noise, but it doesn’t mater. noise is only the last layer.
we trust the eye to create within our mind an exact replica of our physical world that we may then navigate. Your eyes did that. Your ears—— they just provide the soundtrack.
Perhaps that sounded more condescending to the ears than I meant it to be.
director: HAHAHAHA SOUNDED TO THE EARS. oh what a pun. my boy, you are brilliant, brilliant i say.
I do not know what his deal is. That sad man, unable to experience his own reality in more than one dimension at a time, so they sent him to be a Director, focused entirely on one dimension and his ability to make a life there.
Don’t become that. The warning couldn’t be more clear. As the traditional Quaker hymn says:
THIS IS NO HOPELESS MONOLOGUE
THIS IS NO BULSHIT LAND OF MAKE-BELIEVE
THIS IS ONLY HOPE AND HOPE ENDURES
BECAUSE IT’S IN OUR MINDS
(AND OUR MINDS ENDURE)
RESILIANT TO THE END
that is not actually a Quaker hymn. i totally made that up. But you knew that already, I suppose.
It’s getting harder and harder now to find a way to drag the words down from the kite strings suspending them, to wrestle them out of the clear blue sky and tame them and make them ours. Words are wild, violent slippery things. Never cary too many of them with you at once, you never know when they might go flying out of control.
But if anything, this essay is about losing control, about letting go, about leaning into the chaos of hope.
say it again with me: the chaos of hope.
oh what a perfectly beautiful name. so chaotic. so hopeful. I just want to dive into these words like the black pool of darkness that is 99.9% of the galazie. damnit i misspelled “Galaxies” again. on we go. black pool and all. chaos chaos chaos and it’s all words but now it doesn’t matter at all.
breathing in, breathe out. the rise and fall of your chest marks times like the second hand on the “grandfather i never knew” clock. we remain.
ok I’m done. remain in the dimension. trust the story. distrust the director. and soon you will be home.
SPOILER ALERT: wherever you are, that will become home. home will always be inside you.
THE END. TURN OUT THE LIGHTS WHEN YOU LEAVE
published December 31, 2016
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