Wordgame: Cracks

Well I do have plenty of those.

The parts things slip through.

Blind spots. Oversights. Areas of complacency.

But sometimes I can stare at a crack all day and not get any closer to figuring out how to fix it.

Points of friction. Dust collectors.

Bad fucking luck.

That’s why we avoid them after all. Scared we might fall in.

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.

Joy

Joy is the most difficult emotion to experience.

It’s so precarious. We are so vulnerable. What we have can be stolen so quickly; so easily; so unpredictably.

It’s safer to just stay fine.

If we don’t let joy in, we can’t be hurt when we inevitably lose the source of our joy. When it dies, or gets corrupted, or we find out it was all a con in the first place. If we don’t let joy in, nothing can ever take it out.

That’s why we’re cynical – because we’re cowards, and we would prefer to hide in our shady cave of fine, rather than risk the scarring interplay of bright light and deep dark. Joy is fleeting. That is a fact. We cannot keep it. And, once we’ve held it, we will always feel its absence when it’s gone.

In my pursuit of a wholehearted life, I have tried my best to let joy in. But my strategy has been to find joy in small things. To cultivate gratitude for simple pleasures. To savour the moment. To put my feet in the grass. To listen to the wind. To make joy more abundant, which makes it safer to hold.

I have been successful.

But, still, when I am faced with the threat of something really fucking good happening, I quake. And I say no, that’s not for me. Such good things don’t happen to me.

Silly

I’ve been watching a lot of low brow Christmas rom-coms lately. Let me specify; I’ve watched four. So far. It’s just seemed like the right course of action. So be it. The last one I watched had particularly bad writing, but I went along with it anyway, I stuck in there and, yes, I needed a couple of time-outs to collect myself when the plot holes were just too jarring, or the drama just too unnecessarily artificial, but I still found myself clapping, dancing, giggling with glee, and otherwise being just very silly at multiple points throughout, alone in my house with no-one to witness.

And I like it. I like the simple joy of it. I like that I can access it with such little provocation. I feel accomplished that I have reached the point where I am so easily pleased. Because I am a fucking complex character, and allowing my mind to enjoy simple, unanalysed pleasures was not exactly written into my programming.

But there’s a weird yet predictable thing that happens when I catch myself being so joyfully, needlessly silly. Because I do like it about myself, and the observer within me enjoys to witness it. But some different part – the analyst, I would posit – immediately wonders what other people would think about it. And veers off on a tangent wondering why we aren’t all like that around each other. Because surely I’m not the only one being so weird and silly when no-one’s around. It’s even a device used in the very films I’ve been watching to endear characters to the audience. So why is it socially unacceptable when people are around? Why can’t I feel comfortable being joyfully, needlessly silly in front of people who aren’t my four year old son? Even with people who I know, rationally, love and accept me for who I am; I’m not going to fully unleash my joyful, needless silliness upon them. Presumably because I don’t want to test it. Because I’m not sure they are quite so weird and silly behind closed doors. I have a suspicion that their weird and silly stops far short of my own, and revealing the true extent of my fucking weird silliness would somehow alienate them.

Why? Why is the world this way? Because I am nothing more than a not-so-neatly packaged product of it, so I can’t take full responsibility. But I don’t think we were supposed to stop playing.

I mean, I do very, very silly things in very, very public places with my son (and sometimes other stranger-children who join us, like that kid who demanded I be a moaning, eyes-half-closed zombie rampaging around the middle of a bustling Newcastle square. Your wish is my command, Child-I-Have-Never-Met-Before). But the truth is, I would like to do those very, very silly things in very, very public places without my son, without any reason, and I am (many would argue, quite fucking rightly) simply too scared. The only time any of us ever seem to do that is when we’re in a pack, and that pack is still largely shunned by the rest of society.

But imagine a world designed for adults that play! That is a world I want to experience.

Paid dues

I think I’ve made a decision.

It’s a decision I’ve made a bunch of times before, and then gone back on. But I think – finally – life has lovingly, firmly, backed me into a corner. There really is just no weaseling out of it now. If I don’t make this decision now, I’m categorically doing myself a disservice. Trapping myself in a life I don’t want. Denying myself a chance at what I do want.

And honestly, at this point, if I don’t make this decision, I don’t know what other decision I could possibly make in its place. So. Here we are.

The thing that has been holding me back most utterly is self-doubt. A lack of trust in my own ability to execute. A fear that all I’m good at these days is floating through the nebula. A fear that I’ve lost my agency. That my try is too atrophied to function. That, if someone won’t tell me what to do, I simply won’t do a thing.

Part of me is still succumbed to the track that broke me a few years ago, that I’ve been trying to undo the damage of ever since: That I’m doomed and defective. Doomed because of my defect. Undeserving of the life I desire but, what’s more, fundamentally incapable of it. It’s a track I had been playing in my head for all of my young life, until a personal cataclysm split the Universe in two and The Truth spilled out of the cavity. But before I could erase the last corrosive traces from my being, a man I loved and trusted whispered it back into me in my most vulnerable moments. My mistake to listen. My lesson to learn. I’ve been paying for it ever since.

How long will I keep paying for it?

When will I, instead, start paying myself?