Word association

I’ve decided to play a game.

I’ve written a bunch of random words on teeny tiny pieces of paper. Well, maybe not random, exactly. Just whatever the fuck came into my head as I was writing, really.

They will live in a box with an elephant on. Not relevant, but true nonetheless.

Every day (edit: okay, maybe not EVERY day), I will pick a random word out of the elephant box.

Then, I will write a blog post, using that word, on a predetermined topic or theme.

That’s the game.

It’s a word game.

Don’t tell me it’s not.

Stone cold fox

Sometimes, I look in the mirror and think FUCKING HELL, I’M FUCKING GORGEOUS! The world should be expressing endless gratitude for the privilege of gazing upon my fucking splendour, so magnificent is my visage!

Then, other times, I let out an involuntary vocalisation as I am physically accosted by my own tired, grey appearance. I wouldn’t say I recoil in horror, exactly, but I’m somewhere in that region. My reflection is jolting. I look amusingly bad.

The other day, though, I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan wolf. And then I thought no, that’s the wrong animal. And then I googled it. And then I thought if I were an animal, I’d be a Tibetan fox.

Self portrait

With a twist

I watched another one.

I watched another Christmas rom-com. Except this one was one of those rom-coms with a twist – you know the ones where the romantic interest turns out to be a ghost? Yeah. One of those.

And look, I quite like it when the outcome isn’t girl gets guy and they live happily ever after. I quite like it when, instead, girl builds a better life for herself despite the profound absence of guy, because he was actually dead all along. I guess that’s more relatable for me. But it’s still a bit sad, right? Like, it’s not as good an outcome as if girl built a better life and then guy was magically resurrected and they lived happily ever after, is it? It doesn’t have quite the same depth of satisfaction. The story doesn’t quite feel complete. Something is missing.

I thought, at first, this post was going to include criticism of the idea that girl even needed guy to facilitate healthy transformation in the first place. Like if we’re gonna challenge stereotypes, why not fucking push the boat out? And that would, of course, be criticising myself, because I did. But the reality is we are ill prepared for the life we enter into, and we rely on many crutches to get us through the day. Acknowledging that is not a fault.

But if, when one of those crutches breaks – which, considering the strain we put them under, is nigh on inevitable – and we fall painfully; if we then somehow, from some place, find the strength, the wisdom, to rise on our own and walk forwards, then we, and the whole world, should rejoice wholeheartedly. That should be more than enough of an arc to sate us.

So why is it that I feel so empty when the crutch is not replaced? I don’t need it anymore. Why do I want it so badly?

I quite like it when stories mirror the natural, complex, partial satisfaction of life. The trap with life, though, is that you can always keep hoping that the story isn’t over. And that’s the very thing that stops the story moving on.

The power of a cupboard

Sometimes it’s best to just stuff your sin away in a cupboard and get on with your life.

My home, as I may have mentioned, has been something of a visual cacophony these past few months, and I couldn’t seem to get on top of it, or even really make any headway with it. Week after week my routine chores would fail to scratch the surface of the clutter that had become endemic to my abode, my thankless toiling at the kitchen sink or laundry basket fundamentally incapable of making anything look any cleaner or suitably arrayed. My vacuum cleaner broke in protest at having to skirt awkwardly around lumps of various classification. I was despondent, defeated, and prevented from practicing yoga by just a bit too much stuff on the floor.

Here’s the thing. I have a large, large cupboard. When I put things in the cupboard, they cease to exist. So I had pulled things out of the cupboard, to force myself to deal with them. And then I did not deal with them. In half a year, I probably dealt with three of them. Okay, maybe I’m not being fair to myself, maybe it was five. But there were more than five things that I had pulled out of the cupboard. Yet I could not put them back in the cupboard, because then I would not deal with them.

You see my predicament. The solution to my problems was the very thing I had told myself prevented me from solving my problems. And so I resisted my salvation for far too long.

…I finally put them back in the cupboard.

Now all is well. Life is a breeze. My Roomba is free to roam. I’m going to do some yoga tonight. I might even go for a run first, not because it’s related, just because I fucking well can. Sure, there will be a time when there is something I need, and it will take three hours of concerted effort to extract it from the cupboard, but that time is not now. What I needed in this moment was floor space.

Lurking in wait

Lately, I have been numbing with noise.

There are worse vices.

But it has become a diminishing factor in my life. I can’t seem to go anywhere without an input available, and I’m not being as deliberate about quality as I usually would be, either. I can tell it’s making my existing meditation practice as effective as pissing in the wind, and it’s also, most likely, a main contributor to the fact that I seem to have forgotten how to go to sleep. Like, literally; I go to bed, and then I just…don’t know what to do. And sleep reigns supreme on my list of everyday problems, so…this should be addressed.

Why am I scared of the silence? What lurks within it?

There is only one way to find out.