2023 is a year of important paralysis. Urges to express are defeated by a question: “why?”. Having no good answer, I decline.
Between 2020 and 2023, my “why” was unraveling the yarn of my life. Looking to dissect myself, only to finally realize there was nobody there. From this position, what more is there to know? My motivation fulfilled itself and then imploded. The train of pleasant epiphanies had fully unloaded its freight.
My knee-jerk was to beat the dead horse… looking for more chapters in a book that was over. I hadn’t grasped the futility yet – I was too fond of having my worldview blown to smithereens. Alas, the ride was over.
In one hand, I was relieved to be rid of a lifetime of expectations. In the other hand, “what now?” became the new flame to my moth. Here too, I had no answers, but the mind relentlessly wants one.
My only option was to relax. Allow this question to sit unanswered, and go about daily life… work, running, reading, etc. Carry water, chop wood.
As time unfolds, I sit with my collection of epiphanies and contemplate their depths.
Admittedly this part feels both wonderful and lonely – which is one reason I’m writing… to, memorialize what this feels like, not just to have these epiphanies, but what it’s like to exist in relationship with the world while carrying them around.
When I am with others – I can feel like an impostor – pretending life isn’t absurd as I go about daily business. I see lighthearted emptiness in most affairs – but brandishing this view, or foisting it upon people as if it were matter-of-fact or preferable, is a no no, like smacking everyone’s baby. So, I shan’t do that.
Also, I’ve slowly compiled a list of ditches I’d like to avoid…
- Becoming an epiphany parrot
- Devoting myself to an established philosophy
- Imposing ideals upon the world
- Seeking more epiphanies
- Long-term retreat from civilization
There is some baby in the bathwater above, but in extreme cases, they all get ugly. Rather than pursue any, I’ll consider them sparingly when it feels right, staying far away from extremes.
Here’s my plan.
- Clean my house. Take a look at the mess of essays I made for the past few years. Shake my head, delete, prune, edit, revise, challenge, question. See what remains.
- Distill what I learned. Double, triple, and quadruple test the integrity of these epiphanies and see if they fail against any and all reality tests. Do this continuously, ad infinitum.
- Read a ton. Fiction and non. Experience the minds of as many people as possible. Contrast with epiphanies. Share insights here.
- Express minimally and through multiple mediums. Art, music, etc. Don’t soapbox. This is a personal investigation on display, people can take it or leave it.
- To the extent any of this clicks with others, enjoy that community.
- Live a completely normal life. Carry water, chop wood. Nibble the marrow of existence. Be available in the simplest ways and kindest ways.
This is plenty… this can sail me to my grave. It is a job that was finished before it started, even so, I look forward to it.
Coming soon: a distilled list of epiphanies.
A nobody with a splash of somebody.