Infinity + Muse= Human

Infinite: unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless.
Muse: think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
2.Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly. meditate on.
4. to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.
5. the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Distribution: Null

“Dean!....Was it—“ “Dean Phillips!!”

“I don’t know Al!”

The TV is blaring: ...’and today’s poll is... Who was the coach of the Phildelphia...’

“Dick! I knew it was Dick Phillips! It must be... It has to be!—Or was it Steve?”

“Oh Whatever! Al! Listen, don’t forget to take the garbage out, tomorrow is garbage day”

‘and the answer is: Charles Dunham!’

“I knew that! I knew it was Dunham!

“Al, did you hear me?” she asks again...and again before taking the dog for a walk.

“Hey Ally” he calls to me “Hey Ally! Charles Dunham, Ally! I knew it!” Surely pumping his fist in lieu of his uncontested victory.

I slam my door. Placing a rather hollow rectangle of wood between my small holding and the cacophonous blasting of nonsensical noise that poured forth from our living room so often.

Every day the blasting goes...and the door is never quite up to task.

Sighing, I glance behind me. There are books everywhere. Strewn this way and that—with titles I couldn’t care to care for, but do, because that’s just how the world works.

I grab one. Set it down. Strong burgundy-bind from York. Lay it flat. Sit on black chair, and sigh again.

Flip to a random page: 212: “The Pentecost narrative of Acts 2:17, to which I have already alluded, reflects the early perception that the gift of prophecy......Including Pauline Christianity.....Excluding reflected in the Galations 3:28 reference....

The door flies open. I pull down my headphones, ready for the blaring of voices...The back and forth nozzles and clicks, cheeps and utterances... –Did I mention I had snatched a pair of headphones to erase the drones?.... It hardly matters...

“Hey Ally! Charles Dunham!”

“Mm.” I reply. It might have been taken as an acknowledgement.

“I got it Ally! Charles Dunham!”

“Yeah, cool, sounds good I said”, mumbling the message already spoken.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing, Nothing, dad I’m trying to—“ I trail off, caught up in words attacking eyes that don’t seem to make sense, and sounds into earholes that make even less.

“Trying to what?”

More words tear at my eyeballs..Black inked corneas bleed Barnabas, Baptismal...Tradition...Rabbinic...Manumission...Pricilla and Aquila

“This—Th-Thi—Paper! Essay, dad, Essay!” I, desperate, clash with nerves to speak. It’s all mumbles again, so I wave—I make expressions of grandeur to the small room around me, showcasing a floor of words, small tables, papers and the various wreckages of a struggling scholar—the hand I employed leads my father’s curious eyes around the room.

He closes the door and returns to the living room. Or somewhere.

I sigh. 249: Present research interests...That not all, or even most Muslims....The aforementioned Qu’ran verse....

I slam the book shut and shake my head free of the spider’s web of voice and idea that spill forth from a page marked with rows of tiny ink shapes that aren't mine.

‘Maybe... there’s another’....I reach to the floor for another book.

Seize one. White, flimsy. Red trim....’Canada? No—No wait’... My eyes blurr...still recovering from the earlier assault.

The door flies open

“Alex look at this place!” Wide-eyes likely scan the floor. I would have looked, but I didn’t need to, to know just how they would be. She’s in yellow. – An Arizona yellow

“You need to clean this up this is ridiculous, this is unbelievable...this is blasphemous...this is m—”
“This is Mary”

“I don’t believe we’ve met” reaching across white tablecloth and over flowery centrepiece

“Of course you haven’t met her, but she’s a mite displeased about your paper. Let me tell you”

“My what? Wiping mouth with pristine cloth.

“ Your paper" Calm voice relays

I point to my own chest, mouthful, dazed query.

Nodding follows

"The very same”

“W-what about it?”

“How can you write that without knowing me--- a clean voice. She speaks. Porcelain white.

“I’m sorry?”-blinking- “I’m sorry—I-- can you say th”—buzzing—“can you say that--” The hum is louder. ... clearing ..... Focus

"B-but that's what we do"

"What do you do?" The calm man is stern. Porcelain Mary sits.

-Sipping Water- "Oh, right...write...we write about....things"

"Things you don't know?"
"Things I don't know?"
"Things you don't know...about...Things that are beyond you, things that you cannot understand?"

-Sipping Water- “I’m sorry, could you– could you say that again?"

Humming gows louder... porcelain Mary.... washed out with trebel-floods


“ And you know it’s just another one of those things with you isn’t it...Alex!
Alex, are you even listening to me??”

I pull my headphones down and arch a cracking neck, straining to view wide-eyes peering into a clouded din of senselessness.

“I’m sorry... can you say that agai---“

The door slams shut.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mother Polska

I could imagine his eyes. Emotionless, stern, even foreign. My mother told me how his face used to hang on the right side of nearly every wall— or at least, that’s what it seemed like. She told me how it was he that had them learn what they learned. It was he who decided what cuts of meat the people would get, what jobs, what pay, what purpose they’d have.

My mother told me about a cold man. A detached man. A man who’s dark eyes and firm brows and pointed goatee were all that was really ever seen of him in his time; and yet his presence was still so defining—still so powerful. He remained, it sounded, like some sort of contradictorily-omnipotent ruler in portrait form.

It was always a story I liked to hear her tell when I was younger

“We learned his languages and his history” her Polish accent was pronounced enough, but much less apparent for me, having heard it my whole life. “Always Russia, Russia, Russia. Never Poland.” Of course her mannerisms remained audible for all, and here they were applied with force. “We had to know Russian, know the anthem, every single capital city—every victory! Every single one, I tell you! Oh, it was just terrible!”. She waved her hand towards me as she spoke, as if attempting to ward off some foul nuisance. “That Lenin!" she scoffed. His Russians even took our Christmas oranges one year!” They weren’t his Russians, per se, but there was a notable tinge of venom behind her words nonetheless, as if spitting on that once ever-present portrait would collectively deface all that wronged her then...

Vladimir Lenin, the very man who pressed the heel of Russia on the neck of my mother’s birth country, fired the first salvo of communism in Poland, and handled the creation of Poland as a nation indebted to the Russians, was certainly a man with a powerful ability.

He was also dead.

He had been long dead, too, for the course of my mother’s years in Poland but his presence was so strong as she had said it, that the man himself seemed to be a personification of all that was wrong with Poland then…of all that forced my mother from her country so many years ago.

“No. I didn’t really like it anymore. I wouldn’t go back. I’m Canadian now. This is my country” she had offered, rather matter-of-factly to me, when I asked whether she would go back, full time, if she had the chance.

You see, my mom was a young adult when she left her family behind. She was adopted instead by two well-off Germans who ran a few properties-for-rent. They were friends of the family, and now took up residence in Canada—Thunder Bay no less. They were seen as her way out of communism...Out of the suffering that those dark eyes and pointed goatee so immovably represented.

Her adopters treated her poorly when she came and lived with them—cooking old food, offering unfit clothes and even limiting water-consumption for things like showers and tea and coffee. It was strange then that despite the money they had, they used so little of it.

And despite the proposed liberations of the capitalist world, my mother was as hemmed-in as she ever was in Poland and still haunted by that spectre of limitation-- communism or not .

Yet still, my mom would never have gone back.


Could communism really be so bad? So terrible, that a residence full of grumbling German cheap-skates was preferable?

It was more than just communism at it’s core that kept her away though. It must have been!
– Of course, it was at this point in the tale that my Canadian born father routinely chimed in from his chair, whilst keeping all eyes on the hockey game:

Raising a hand as if responding to having a winning ticket called: “I saved you hunny! We both know you stayed for me, after I came riding in to rescue you!” Even though I could only see the back of his head, that small-mouth smirk of his was audible enough in his voice to know it was creeping across his face just then.

I hardly needed to look at my mother to know that she was rolling her eyes in response, either.

… But it was more than just communism that kept her away. More than suffering. And by all-ccounts more than just my dad. After all, she suffered as much or more in her early strides in Canada…

“They told me I’d be back”

“Who did?”

“The men at the airport”

--Her family could only afford to send one of their children to a better life in Canada… She was the youngest. She was it—

“I knew they were wrong. They had to be. I didn’t need their country anymore. Didn’t need their rules and limits...”

I pictured a bearded official, dark facial hair and grubby hands in uniform. I imagined sallow-coloured walls and an opressive pane of glass between the man and my mother. I pictured his snarling smile, and teeth capped with gold and silver fillings. I saw a pea-green uniform with red accents and gold edging. I imagined harsh strokes from his pen as he signed her release papers.

“Vhy in de Vorld vould you leave diz kountree for Kanada, of all place?” I could heard his condesending, heavily-accented grumble light my mother's stubborn Polish blood aflame while he slipped her the release papers through the slat at the bottom of the dirtied glass. -- My mother said nothing.

"You'll be back" he said, smiling.

...She never was...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Jumps

“You scared?”

A dense and shaded forest stood ahead of us; foreboding in the early evening.


I lied.

“Pfft!” There were snickers all around-- barely audible disagreements to my claim. “Well, let’s go then”.

Eyes widening, I looked around at the gang - my brother and next-door neighbour Brent among them- then to the sky. It was cloudless, darker, and fairly calm.

Yet glancing back at the evergreen mass, I could feel a wash of dread overtake me. My mouth grew dry and my clammy hands threatened to slip from the crutch handles. I repositioned them and feigned a strong grip. Made it look like I was ready... I was never a good salesman...

“Come on Alex, it’s just The Jumps"

“Yeah, quit bein’ such a scaredy-cat!"

The Jumps.

The Jumps were just across the road from both our houses. Not forty yards away was the safety and warmth of home. Perhaps dinner. Perhaps Nintendo…

Yet here we were.

A place where we’d never gone far enough into to know what was really there. Dark masses of twigs and ever-greens seemed to us a kind of wall that concealed God knows what—whatever we dreamed up, maybe. Whatever we could imagine.

I could imagine a lot of things…

I remembered stories that Brent told us about older kids who rode trick-bikes in the forest here, taking jumps on small dirt moguls. I pictured them in dirty jeans and white tank-tops. Tattooed and smoking highschoolers that would beat me or hang me from the tallest tree…

“Come on already, let’s go!” Brent took a few steps forward from the dirt-laden outskirts.

My brother’s eyes seemed fixed on the forest some yards ahead, past the initial shrubs and twigs. I set mine on the first brambles, the first twigs, the first fallen trunk. Then casting my eyes low, I glanced at my crutches.

I put my weight on them, pressing the yellow straw-weeds into the ground.

The crutches felt rickety. I felt rickety.

Suddenly my brother started forward. Brent after him, and the others after that. I had no choice but to clip up at the rear, using my arms to propel me over some stiff weeds, the likes of which the rest of the gang tramped on in defiant ease. A swell of anger rose, and was replaced by an unthinking need to simply catch up, and not trip and fall. Not be useless. Not be slow.

So we walked. Though home was only some yards out, they were yards that were un-walkable. Passed possible. Old news…

My brother moved through the grass, past some moguls, and into the first thicket with such speed that I was hard pressed to follow, stumbling the whole way.

It wasn’t long before we came to the thicket’s mouth. In my crossing I had been gouged in the torso by a few errant branches, but all eventually gave way to a scene of swaying and darkness.

I broke out in sweat. Small inklings of dampness came over me. My hands pressed even more tightly to the crutch handles, as if they were some kind of pillar. Glancing over, my brother swatted a fly and said nothing before proceeding; hopping a small bit of dead log.

The log to me was more than a speed bump, and the vast expanse of tightly-woven trees resembled the Berlin wall, complete with its own electric fence.

I looked down again, this time at my worn shoes, covered in the dust of my brief sojourn. A tide of doubt ran laps inside me. It welled up and maliciously twisted my stomach; and as if some fey thing had willed it, my right hand suddenly atrophied, dropping my crutch. It hit the ground with a hollow aluminum thud.

It was a familiar sound.

The group looked back a moment and I instinctively reached for it.

“Thought you fell again” one muttered. The words were the inevitable pin-pricks I ought to have expected.

“May as well go stay there anyway, won’t be able to do much through here...”

I swelled. Filling with anger and determination like an overflowing aqueduct, spilling with a desire to push on. The usual aluminum thud resounded again in my mind...

I bit my lip, snatched up my crutch, yanked it free from a spot of muck and forged forward.

Won’t be able to do much…

I plunged furiously into the forest and my nostrils became swarmed by a horde of black-flies.

They crawled into ears, noses, locks of hair—inspecting us. Branches scraped and tugged at my shirt, like wooden fingers that wouldn’t let go. I willed myself through them. There was never time to stop.

Pits of dark muck sought to hold my advance. More fingers tugged and poked and the swarms got to the gist of our matter. It was like Hades bade us welcome.

I imagined myself as Odysseus on the River Styx. And felt just as alone.

Keep paddling.

I looked up. My brother was always ahead. I pressed harder. Crutches sank and prodded depths, leaving crutch-prints where crutch-prints maybe hadn’t ever been.

My hands were callusing and drenched--I pressed still.

Vaulting through the forest now, I wanted to believe I was Champlain, or even Columbus. Somebody other than me. Someone who was unquestioned—never doubted—someone who--

…I heard the hollow frame of the crutch creek and the cuff swivel. I felt my body twist and dip to the left, while a crutch slid forward.

It was only a few more degrees before the clatter of another crutch against stone; before a slicing of my right arm; before the dense thud of the left side of my face against the chalky ground.

I had hit twigs on the way down. Carved my arm on my own crutch. I was bitten and bleeding, lying in the forest.

Ryan looked back from his pole position and said nothing, though I could hear him just fine…

His feet fell as commanding steps towards me…

Keep paddling. I whispered, disturbing the hardened earth, dog-tired and breathing heavily.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lungs of Air

[Intended to be used for our Creative Non-Fiction Course]

Frosted air danced a sinister two-step on my face, urging my cheeks to a frozen red while unleashing its fury with such a force, that I feared it might cleave weathered lines onto my face in only a mere moment of time. My black coat billowed with the harsh wind and for a moment, I felt like a character from a comic book; full of show and full of purpose. Then the winds suddenly die, and my coat returned to form, as if to say that I was neither hero, nor villain, and that I certainly did not belong in a comic book.

The departure of the wind was a rousing re-arrival to the here and now. I was not standing on a tall sky scraper, with a billowing cape and a hardened heart. I had no duty to save the world before the nights end, nor had I the desire to construct a machine to end it in the same frame. Instead, this departing wind took with it the thoughts of grandeur that it had brought, and left me only with its lofting air, and an acceptance as to what my actual position was. I was standing at a bus stop, inside an oddly constructed booth that did very little to keep the cold out without the advent of doors.

“Air” I addressed it, for that was all that remained with me where I stood, “If you’re so important to all life, then why can’t you at least stay warm? That might help the whole lot of us far more.” A feeble shot it must have been, for as always, there was no response- not even a tell-tale gust. And thus, amid silent air, a silent forest of evergreens that stood to the rear of the booth, and row upon row of silent homes, I stood waiting…

The road upon which the vehicle might arrive was no more than three feet in front of me by any measure. Yet, as a likely widow stands waiting at the edge of a cliff overlooking a stormy sea for her long-gone husband, I stood staring down the street, idle and waiting for that long and ponderous ship which sailed its own sea of concrete narrows to take me away.

Then came a gust. A powerful swirling torrent of wind sliced into my face, invaded my lungs, and pushed the wool coat to its limit and nearly removed it right from my body. Just as the wind pressed its advantage onto my skin and into my being, so too did it press with force onto my mind. It was a mental jolt.

I suddenly began to wonder…about all of this. I wondered what life might be like if I had decided to stay in bed for the day. Would it be any worse? No, I thought… The world would run fine. Would I be any worse off? A little, for I might miss class, but my foundations would still hold, I reasoned. So, if there was little reason to be here waiting for this bus to go to somewhere, what was my reason to go at all?

“A drive…” something inside me forced a whisper.

“A drive for what?” I retorted aloud

“…To be...” I said, and wondered what I had meant the very instant it was said: “To be?”

To matter… to be there instead of here!” An authoritative voice in me spoke.

But what’s wrong with anywhere… being anywhere? I mean, no matter where I go, I matter, don’t I?”

You’ve got to do what matters! Achieve the standards of others! To be, you have to be where greater matters are, and to matter, you’ve got to succeed in worthy matters!"

My two-headed thoughts confused me.

There was a man in me that knew that playing society’s violin would be the only way to be anything. Part of me, that suit and tie, shaved face, and dutiful part of me knew it. It was that part of me who won out more often over the other and it was by his will that I stood waiting for the bus to go wherever it was I sought to go. Yet, despite the dominance of the dutiful me, there are moments when the other side comes through… Small inklings in time and space that in spite of, and yet because of their fleeting style, shock and effect me as deeply as a sudden realization that of the meaning of life might be imagined to. These moments -these bursts of passion -often dominate my whole psyche when they arrive and here… it was no different.

Standing in this open world, rife with blistering winds, flailing coats, longing stares and time to spare, proved a breeding ground for passionatethoughts, which, though they had great moments, could also bring me to despair… These thoughts could only be said to be raw, as they were raw passion. Just as blood pours out of a raw piece of meat, so too does emotion flow from this raw side of mine, the one that grips, if only a little, on a greater meaning of life than where I was headed seemed to be providing me, or guiding me to. In fact, it was on this very day that a realization seemed to burst from inside me, flowing directly to my brain, as the champagne of a freshly celebrated bottle bursts from the top and spills all over.

At once a thought dominated me, soaked my every atom and sent me reeling, alone at the bus stop, more than any wind, cold, ice, or fire ever could.

It was a realization of that raw beast, and perhaps, of what that particular hydra meant this time. It was a many headed beast indeed, for it was a realization of sadness because of happiness. It was an understanding, maybe… a grip, perhaps, that took me like a squall takes a sailor: to the ends of his wit, the ends of his strength, and the ends of the ocean…To the ends of everything…The whole bloody universe. Yes, that was it… It was a grip… It was a torrent’s grip on my soul, pulling on my very being like a small child plucks an ancient, neglected harp; with reckless abandon despite fragility.

The squall surged ever onward perhaps forcing a tear from my eye. They fell, if only because I had too much emotion for my body to hold. That must have been it, for what I thought here and now alone, is what I’ve held for a time so vast it evades number.
It was hardly a great thought. Just a great place for it. It was some kind of grasp on the notion that maybe life was more beautiful than words. Maybe everything in it could truly be seen as wonderful... From forests to faces, people to places. Gripping that thought and believing in that notion would make this rush so much harder to bear, I knew, but I could no longer let these thoughts sit idle, so I grabbed onto this one for everything it was worth.

I’ll be damned if this world wasn’t everything I thought it could be.

I laughed aloud! Yet, gripping that wondrous rush inside me caused my eyes to fill with excess emotion once more, for when I latched onto the thought for all it was worth-- when I seized this beautiful Life and held it in the orbiting palm of my mind-- all I could think of was where I wanted to be…

I'm not where I want to be... I mean, I want to see this world... I reasoned, scatterbrained. And the thought dominated me as I feared it might have, for I sought some different kind of life.

Life’s beauty and her worldly compatriot…(Yes, Life and Earth together), did me wrong by doing me right! For coming to terms with a swirling acknowledgement of the beauty and greatness just out of reach, did nothing but sadden me. Thoughts consumed me. Trillions of tiny images were afoot in my skull: There’s so much out there, that I'm not depressed, but... oppressed... I see happiness and know it, and feel it... but there's more… There’s more than this to it all. I glanced around my urban surroundings, and the shallow hut that engulfed me on the side of the road.

There’s more to Life than thisThere’s more happiness to be had. My thoughts were breathless and hopeful, but never truly optimistic. And like Napoleon Bonaparte and the French Empire of old, I wanted these frontiers as my own. I want that truest love... I want that breath of fresh British air on a Scottish hillside... I want that perfect poem... That one moment that puts all others to shame... Surely, I had been living life, of that there can be no true debate, but for the life of me, I could not say that where I was, was where I wanted to be.

Droplets fell onto the heedless concrete below.

I just want to reach out and feel these things around me... Love, lady, belonging, lungs full of satisfaction, a meaning... To be recognized, to be rewarded, to... feel... like I've done something.... to feel full.

And I hadn’t felt it yet; No, not yet. Nineteen years old then and every challenge felt stale; every question systematic, and every answer worse yet. I was sick of the challenges, sick of proving my worth every few months, on and on again. I had this vision of an adult life -of a beautiful life- and my boyhood dreams of adulthood seemed to be setting like the sun, before my adult life even began. I wanted a house, a city, a destiny all my own; I wanted a bedroom splashed with sunlight on an over-slept Sunday morning, and the face of a true love to be the first thing I saw in that morning... Oh, these images, how I wanted them and so much more... But they seemed as though they might never be, because all that I had in front of me was another essay, and behind that another, and another still. Each time I imagined my future, chalked full of more proving grounds and often heartless texts, my soul grew a tad soulless.

I wanted to drive off into the sunset. I wanted to buy that plane ticket and go far and away, I wanted to seek life as human life ought to be; devoid of cubicles, and desks but full of blue skies, black nights and badlands.

The Earth, I thought, The Earth is our home…My home. And life…. Life is my treadable path… To lands, lakes, lungs of air; to love, leisure, and time to spare… For life.

For life and in its name I took a step outside the bus stop, and onto freshly powdered snow. Glancing down at my feet, I watched my right sole step once more, and the left, and even my soul itself urged me on and away,- my determined soles pressing their advantage into the silken snow- beyond the station and where I was to go.

And then I heard it.

That slow… unmistakable engine, engulfing the concrete like a war machine. My transport to the expected life was here, and its breaks screeched a falcon’s cry for me.

I glanced back, only once, and made no move.

“Getting on?” said the driver, calling out his side-window with his head protruding slightly, knowing nothing of the epiphanous strife inside me.

At this I turned round, meeting the harsh wind face to face with my wool coat flailing and did the only thing I knew how to; the only thing I had been conditioned to do. At the moment where my view of life and myself stood on a knife's edge, and the moment I could have chosen something; took a stand; fought against that which held me down, and made this muse into a powerful reality... I didn't.

My heavy steps onto the solid floor of the city bus wrang out. They marked me like such well-placed nails of self-defeat that I could barely stand to acknowledge the driver. I was just another dutiful citizen-student. Just the kind of one we like. The productive kind. The kind that pays vast sums to be within the system; to be graded, to be given some title; some letters to indicate a bizzare sort of societal-self worth.

I was the kind that couldn't break free; The kind that couldn't forge a flame without being granted a match.

...Just the kind we like....

I walked slowly to the back of the bus and took a seat on a suprisingly comfortable bench. I turned my attention to the window and the very sidewalk that had given rise to my mental rebellions and sighed.

At least it's warm in here, I thought, before floating away to wonder whether or not that Lampman essay could use another draft or two...

...The dutiful capitalist doormat.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This Beautiful Chaos

[Reminder: though this was my first post, this post isn't 'official' and is NOT part of our Creative Non-Fiction blog requirements! Thanks! ]

You know, for my first attempt at blogging EVER, I legitimately felt as though I ought to simply write whatever’s on my mind, so I am.

And chief among the numberless threads of thought that coil up in my mind on any given day
are those that deal with a more zoomed out perception of life.

I feel as though today’s society often forgets about what life is, in general. I feel like,-- although no one could possibly prescribe exactly what life is—we forget some basic elements of knowledge that we do know about it, and that might help us exist within it a little more freely. A little more easily.

In fact, the first thing I feel as though we’ve got to remember is that: Life is Chaos. We know this. We know that Life is, (for all the human attempts to make order from it) so far, a rather bizarre little beastie.

I mean, here we are: Several billion biological entities with above average intelligence (as far as all life on this rock goes) all living, --working, building, breeding, loving, thinking, dreaming, dying—on a floating spheroid in space. Come now, you couldn’t write a more unbelievable script than that if it wasn’t the very life that we lived!

**** Warning: The following is NOT creative non-fiction and is used just for fun!**************

“Billions of them?” The editor furrowed his brow, whilst looking at a stack of 200 some pages laden with computer-processed lines of ink

“Yes sir, Billions”. The man at the other end of the table was pallid, and produced an audible gulp

“Living on a what?” The thick voice of the editor had risen into a grunt of disbelief that came from beneath an even thicker moustache. At the question he let the lone paper he was holding fall back onto the stack to the left.

“Um…A sphere sir” the man’s voice trembled a tad… “A –uh- a Spheroid, to- to be more precise, sir”

The editor looked in pain, and pressed his thumb and two fingers to his head, in visible frustration, before he raised his head again and spoke

“A billion of these guys—“ The editor began to recount quietly

“Six billion, actually”

If the editor wasn’t so busy trying to cull a headache, he might have rolled his eyes before continuing.

Six Billion of these guys, living on a spheroid just floating in space?” The question pressed the man like a dagger to his throat.

“Y-yes sir. Living and building things, and loving and—“

“Building things?! How the hell don’t they fly off into the blackness ahead, or something?”

“Gravity, sir”

“Gravit—You expect me to believe this rubbish!? Get out of my office Snelling and don’t come back till you’ve got an idea that’s helleuva lot more plausible than that!” The editor slumped into his seat as a rather appropriate exclamation, though Curtis Snelling had leapt from his seat with an astounding speed and was already gone…

**** Demonstration over****

Yes, every now and then when I think about the plight and scenario of the human race, I have an image like that bobbing in a pond of images in my skull. That was the first time I’ve ever tried to put it on paper and I’m not exactly pleased with the outcome. There it is anyway, though.

Alright, now that I’ve given you a minute to reflect on exactly what the human scenario is, I think we might agree that, on the surface, the human life is chaos. Billions of us folk going to-and-fro about our various businesses, living, working, eating, wasting, sleeping, thinking—and all of us, every single one, professing to hold some kind of uniqueness. Is that not so bizarre? And is it so different from the images we might think of when imagining a bee-hive? I don’t think so. That is, with one important caveat: We think for ourselves.

We create, invent, build and produce. We make rules, we run systems, we give grades, we arbitrate justice, we pass and fail, we maim and murder. We live and love—and of course, we die.

In all of that craziness, in all of that strange existence, I understand that it can be so hard to remember just what life is. We find ourselves, so often, slaves to systems that we created. We fret and worry; we stress and sigh; we sometimes feel as though we have to always be the best we can be. Hell, we worry so much about what might happen in the future, that some of us have no real present! We pine about whether or not that girl in class really likes us, or what Steve will do when you say you’re through with him. We worry that we’re not social enough, that we can’t hold conversations—so we stay indoors where it’s safe. We hurry off to our jobs, and our careers, and sometimes, when we’re not thinking, we hit a cat along the way and just keep driving…. You understand what I’m getting at, I hope.

What I’m getting at is that we never stop and smell those terribly evasive roses. We seem to live and move and think 'passed ourselves'. It's like we project ourselves so quickly through our every-day, that some of us seem to exist so far 'forward' that we're numb to the here and now. We rarely realize, I think, that we’ve got this one life to live, so far as we know, and we should live it as it is, with the very knowledge that maybe we can’t predict this life. Maybe, just maybe, we’re not going to do well on that test, but maybe that girl really does have some interest in you. Maybe we feel as though we’ve always got to be at a hundred percent, but maybe (as we race along our crowded side-walks with our cell-phones, heedless of those around us) we’re missing the point that the connections we could have made with one another along the way were what really mattered most.

We forget that systems shouldn’t rule us. We forget that life is chaotic now, because it’s always meant to be. And that is to say that these systems of order, and dominance, and rulings -and these worries that we always have- shouldn’t rule us. Indeed, perhaps nothing but the purity and whims of Chaos truly should! Maybe what we have to do is just honestly look at life, and realize that for all our organizations, and all our tests, the fundamental fact is that it's barely ordered at all, and the fundamental beauty in life is that we cannot predict it. If we could, what fun would that be?
I read a quote once, it was actually on a Magic the Gathering Playing Card entitled: Telepathy. It read something like: “The most disappointing thing about Mastering telepathy is finding out how boring people really are! – Telefri, Fourth Level Student” (I included a picture below for fun!). While I don’t agree with the rather hilarious point about people, I do agree that knowing everything—or knowing exactly what’s in store for you in your life—would be terribly uninteresting!

So go out there and enjoy this godforsaken planet! Go out there and seize this beast by the horns, and understand that maybe the best thing about life is the chaos that’s inherent to it.
In a way, life is just a massive platform of beautiful, beautiful uncertainty and chaos; where your wildest dream could be realized just as easily as your morning cup of coffee….

(Be well everyone!)
-Alex Jackson