Do we think The Veil is thinner today?
I enjoy the cycles and rituals of nature-based religions. There is something very soothing to the human about indulging in the undulating rhythm of the seasons. The constant ebb and flow, from full to new, to full, to new, to full, to new, to full, to new. The gradual rotation of the axes of our year, from extremity of light or dark to equality and back again. A time for everything. Everything in good time. A safe and meaningful passage through the ages.
I struggle, however, to keep up. I get distracted by the trappings of modern existence. The grocery shopping. The school run. The job interview. The laundry basket. The time spent driving from task to task. The effort spent driving myself through each task. The sense I need to be more productive. The chronic strain of having my worth as a human externally judged by my financial buoyancy. Buoyancy is just how hard you push down on what’s beneath you.
I need a thinner veil. Because I am feeling disconnected. I am a little too far removed from what is real, and a little too far enmeshed in our comfortable collective delusion. I liked the idea, for a while, of chasing money. Chasing status. I liked the idea of the relief it would bring me. The world would consider me successful, and I could stop worrying it considers me a failure. The World. The World we have constructed. The Artifice upon which we teeter.
I don’t mind The Artifice. It’s useful in a lot of ways. It’s broken, sure, but it can be fixed. I just can’t live in it completely for very long before I start to feel ungrounded, and I need to reach back through to the other side. But the longer you stay away, the harder it is to feel your way back. So I probably need a ritual, and a night when The Veil is thin.
I’m getting dammed up with words. I have drafts piling up that I can’t bring myself to post.
Go on, take the leap.
When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time thinking about wishes. Like the working class youngun I was, I fantasised about what I would do if I won the lottery, and I also whiled away hours constructing the perfect wishes that, should they come true, would fulfill all my heart’s desires.
I’m a lot more suspicious of the concept of wishes these days. I’m too acquainted with complexity to want to risk taking such responsibility for my life. There are many things that I want, that I believe would give me the life of my dreams, but I know I don’t know the full ramifications of them manifesting in my life. So I prefer to keep things vague. Focus on who I want to be, and how I want to feel, and let life fill in the blanks. It’s not that I won’t pursue what I desire, but if somebody was to give me the power to click my fingers, I’m not sure I would take it. I still find myself pondering what I would do if granted a wish, but it’s more out of trepidation – I do not want to be tricked by a wily jinn.
I happened upon one of those pretty social media quotes that people like to post the other day. Something about being tired of being strong, and wanting to just have what you wanted. I don’t recall exactly. And I can sympathise with that. But I read it and I thought nah, I’m not tired of being strong. It kind of surprised me, to be honest. There are significant parts of my daily existence that you’d think I’d be over by now, yet it turns out I’m happy to keep grinding away with them if they’re making me better.
But the Universe has been playing a little game with me recently. Bizarre synchronicities compounding to propel me down a path and make the past feel altogether more present. It has been raising infuriating questions that I have no way of answering for myself. And it reminded me, there is still one area where I’m tired of being strong. Still one area where it strains me to bear the burden of not having what I want. And that strain has made me strong; incredibly capable of bearing other burdens and barely even noticing. But I am tired. And I would like to have what I want now. I have one wish.
I don’t want to intepret the symbols anymore, I just want you to speak to me.
I’ve been writing a story since I was sixteen. It started out as one thing and evolved into many other things. The world unfolded itself to me; the characters revealed their intentions; their actions shocked, disappointed and delighted me. The story has taken up space in me this whole time, existed within me, in some sense complete and yet still unrealised. I’ve been scared to look at it, honestly, because I felt incapable of finishing it. I expected it to leave me at some point, and find a home somewhere else. But I’m starting to believe only I can tell this story, and that’s why it’s still here, waiting for me to breathe more life into it.
I took the plunge and looked at it today. And then I spent the entire day engulfed in this world that revealed itself to me, over years, bit by bit, word by word. And I realised I’m already at least sixty thousand words deep, though not even close to the end of the story. It’s probably more like eighty thousand. Hand-fucking-written. And I’m invested in these people living in my story. I know them. And I want to see how it all turns out. And it’s not enough to think about it. I have to write it.
I typed up about five thousand words today, and edited the existing twenty. And I’ve read through everything I’ve written, and thrilled myself at what exists there. It’s getting late, but I’d like to keep going.
The idea of spending ten hour days immersed in this world of my creating is really fucking nice. I don’t think there are many other things I’d like to spend ten hours doing. I’ve been flip-flopping incessantly for the past couple of months, trying to decide what to do with myself, unable to commit to the fact that what I really want to do is fucking write all day. Because it sounds too fucking nice. I have a huge problem with even the idea of permitting myself such an indulgent career. It’s not even about whether it’s ‘realistic’ to make a living as a writer. Whether I’m good enough. Whether I could do it. For some reason I’ve made it about whether it’s moral. Because I’d be having too nice a time. Who the fuck am I to enjoy my fucking life?
What the fuck is wrong with me?
I probably could have written it by now if I’d stopped fucking about.