Absorbed in the Self (and not in the Buddhist Kind of Way)

Ah what a mirror I’m constantly looking into.

What a fucking charmer I am. What a fucking fake.

Thousands and thousands and thousands of miles away from the physical place I call home. Longing for the people I left behind–for the people I’m always leaving behind.

Do I miss you or do I just long for what you represent?

The one I love has only distance for me. She pushes away from me as I push away from myself. And yet somehow I remain so desperately tethered to who I am–so unable to overcome my stupid fucking superiority complex, my awful feeling of constant loneliness, of disconnection–perhaps worst of all my anger towards myself and the world. I feel that it seeps out of me and pushes away everyone I want to be close to. It’s a real fucking turn off, I know.

Even now I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Central London, wondering how the fuck I am supposed to make it out of this void. It seems insurmountable, like a deep well with walls slick and smooth, lacking any sort of handhold.

I truly want to slip into despair and die. Let the Dark Night of the Soul take hold of me. And no it’s not because the one I love wants very little to do with me, but rather because I want very little to do with me.

Here is the terrible truth: I really don’t fucking like myself.

I can’t seem to lift a real pinky for another human being. Words are nice and fluffy but they mean very little in the end–which is ironic because I base my life around words–around communication.

Well here’s the truth. Right in front of you. And it’s not pretty in the least. It’s dark, and craggy like a gnarled tree rooted on its last legs.

I walk through a forest and all I want to do is sneak inside a snaky hollow and remain there in silence.

I seek out the womb, the cocoon, a true wall behind which to hide. For there, in the soggy dark, I might release what burdens me. I might come back into stillness. But how foolish? To think I can escape the echoes of distant laughter, of foot crunching fallen leaves, of children asking for mother, of planes landing and departing, even of the wind blowing through a grove.

I (arthritis aside) am like a crotchety old woman, soured by and sloughing off the world around her.

And Love… Love remains as well a distant song, heard by families, by lovers in hand, by dogs jogging the meadow.

And then, as one such family takes a seat on a nearby log for a photo, saying “cheeeeeeese” in monotonous unison, a thought strikes me:

That perhaps I have conceptualized Love as accessible only to those who find themselves in the midst of company.

That Love is a transaction of sorts, an exchange, from one person or being to another. Perhaps that is true, sure. But that alone cannot be the way. There must be something more to this conundrum.

And if there’s not, then God’s got to be a mean mother fucker, doesn’t He?

This is my thought, one that is by no means original, and even, on some level, comes adorned in awful redundancies and expositions and asides and ornate baggage that really just weigh the whole thing down in unnecessary trifles and frivolities. And that is this: that Love is something we can find within ourselves, alone in a forest, or in a freaking washing machine for that matter. So long as we understand this basic truth, perhaps there is hope yet for the individual, uncoupled, unattached, free, to find it burning in theirself.

As for me, the person from, for, and about whom this bit of blog has been made, perhaps there is hope too (and equal despair, to be sure) for salvation, for some sort of transcendence, or at the very least some good old fashioned acceptance and tolerance of self.

Since, as I’ve discovered, it’s not that there is something inherently wrong with me, that there is some way in which I am more or less human than anyone else, more or less suffering than anyone else, more or less of any such superficialities that we dwell in, superficial in the sense of surface appearance, in subjective traits, in qualities and manners distinguishable, discernible, or otherwise different from person to person, such as intelligence, physical beauty, fashion sense, height, weight, skin color, talents, blah blah blah, but rather that I belong to the single Universal essence which pervades and pulsates in all things, animate and inanimate, and it is from and to that essence I have arrived and I shall return, and maybe while I’m here, in this terribly liminal space, I shall rediscover what I already am, what I have always been a part of, but perhaps, in my foolishness, in my haste, in the endlessly spinning wheel of thought atop my cranium, I have forgotten, I have lost sight, I have chosen to believe in the stupid illusion of separation, in the false solidity of things, and it is from that choice, that shortsighted and most likely unconscious choice, that all this inescapable suffering, all these ridiculous manners of coping, defense strategies as they are, personality defects, flaws, and condemnable mannerisms, arise.

And therefore there is no puzzle to solve, no real need to constantly remain embroiled and absorbed, egoically I might add, in myself. That is the folly of human misery–but also that most of this boggy silt, sediment, and shit weighing us down, comes from lives past, from childhood (nonverbal stages most likely), from times not right here in front of us, nor for that matter are we to blame for any of this, for none of us made the conscious choice to take all this on, to be here.

And yet, the responsibility is ours to accept–the responsibility to uncover all that keeps us from Love, all that keeps us in darkness, all that separates us from ourselves and each other. If we can accept this basic truth–the truth of our creative capacities–then we might begin to unravel ourselves from the big, messy ball of sludge yarn we find ourselves entangled in. We might begin to live not as though we’re separate, nor as though we must yearn for someone’s hand to hold, someone’s lips to kiss, someone’s body to cuddle, nor for a fleeting hug, a rousing conversation, or a romantic stroll upon the bank of an emerald pond with our dearest sweetie (though all these things are quite nice, indeed), but as though it’s all right here within us, always accessible, always available–our birthright, our innate joy, a freedom (true freedom) that swells and surges independent of the physical, independent of ebbing and flowing circumstance.

And, yes, in the back of my mind, there is a gnawing voice that these nice fluffy words are grand and all, but that when I finish writing, when I emerge from the hollow of this tree (possibly a birchwood), I shall find myself once again walking hand in hand with my own wound, my self-absorption, my ego as it were, and all the things others (and myself) might glimpse and call god damned ugly.

No matter, the way out is in, is it not? So let me go inward and onward, and so, outward. For I’ve no other idea what to do, except also to share these thoughts, feelings, and speculations, with you, dear reader, in the hope that you don’t think I’m quite an oaf.

And also in the hope that you come a bit closer to who I actually am–that maybe, through my writing, I might tear down the wall, and plant some tomatoes, avocados, and wheat in a garden in its place, that we might one day enjoy a delicious tomato and avocado sandwich together. Cause in the end, the best things in life, while not necessarily free, are fleeting and momentary. Including the turn outward, the fastening of my attention, not upon my misery, nor myself in any way, but on the Here & the Now, and all the ways that I too dance upon its stage.

Signed, dearly and weirdly,

Your good pal Zo

(P.S. please excuse my extravagant use of commas. I never learned the meaning of a good semi-colon.
P.P.S. if you found yourself confused by the abrupt change of scenery [i.e. from the Starbucks to the hollowed birchwood] I apologize. Though after all, is life not a series of fractured and episodic moments, for whom a rightful name might not necessarily exist?)


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