It’s been a while again since I have written anything, I like to think that it’s because I have been doing well mentally, though I am sure that’s not really the case. Sometimes the more my mental health suffers, the less I am driven to pick up a pen or sit behind this keyboard. A couple of weeks ago I actually picked up my journal and just stared at the blank page in front of me, pen in hand, unable to make that pen do its magic. When I am feeling it, I mean really feeling it, it’s like the pen takes on a life of its own, like I am not the person writing but the pen itself has something to say and when it touches the paper it just starts forming its own words and writing its own story; like my brain is sending all its input out though my hand and into the pen. Other times, when it appears I have lost it all – all the passion, all the drive, all the want – it’s like the pen is a block of wood in my limp and lifeless hand and my brain has been unplugged from the power source, unable to send signals anywhere, let alone my hand.
After staring at the blank page of my journal for what seemed like an eternity, and flipping back through pages of random thoughts, uncategorized entries, word collages and drawings I found myself writing in broken print, fast and unkempt – no thought, no coherence, just writing. Here is what I wrote:
Yet a million thoughts run amok
In the confines of my brain
I can’t write them down, I can’t
Speak them aloud, I can’t
Silence that inner voice that
Violates my soul with a tongue
Laced in acid.
A million times to match the
Million thoughts I’ve tried
In vain to speak but try
As I might no words can be
Reaching with trembling
Fingers to pluck the words from
Thought, to paste them upon
Paper, only to have the thoughts
Turn to goldfish – swimming fervently
This way and that to outwit
And avoid my probing digits
I am without hope, without cause
Absent; adrift; falling between
The cracks and grasping with
Torn and tired fingers, trying to
Find my way back to the surface of
This ocean that seems hell-bent
On drowning me in my own tears
And perpetual malaise.
Just a few paragraphs, nothing serious but still all encompassing. I have no rest from all the thoughts that ramble, mostly incoherent, throughout my mind all day, every day. These thoughts I have no words for, these deep, dark, moss-covered thoughts, like a fallen tree in the forest – aged and tired and broken; damp from the rain, decaying to nothingness under a fine layer of moss that grows fuller and thicker as the time passes and the clouds rain tears upon the forest floor. That tree can’t ever be repaired, we can’t replant it and make it grow again, that tree is broken and dying and alone.
Maybe when the sun shines a little brighter and the darkness attempts to subside, that tree could be hauled from the forest floor and repurposed into a new life, one dead branch at a time can be limbed from its trunk and formed into something new, something useful, something with a purpose; but it will never be truly unbroken.
I have taken the vase that was shattered so long ago and glued each piece back into place, there are no holes that are visible but if you look close enough you can see the tiny cracks in the surface where the glue was lain to join those pieces back together. That vase is even more fragile now than it was before it was broken. Each sliver and fracture is a weakness, a soft spot, a point of entry to an end that results in shattering once more and if that be the case, that the vase gets chipped away at and a fissure becomes breached, then I fear there is no glue in the world that can help put it back together again. Maybe it’s the fear of that end that makes me keep that vase enclosed in a padded box, wrapped in plastic and encased in concrete, placed upon the highest shelf. If I build the walls high enough and keep the box hidden far enough away, then maybe, just maybe I can make it out of this life unscathed. But to what end?
Do I want to be the tree or continue embracing the vase? I want to be the tree. I want to let go of the vase and spread my arms like branches of a great fallen forest tree, a tree that has a purpose even after it’s fallen. What purpose is a vase anyway? Even one that has withstood the test of time? What, but to hold a bunch of flowers that will wilt and die and become useless themselves?
And this is greatest question at hand.
“To Be or Not To Be?”
And answering this question proves to be more difficult than one would think, when the thoughts can’t form words then the pen has no hope of writing thoughts. I can tell myself that this too shall pass, that it won’t always feel this way, that I do have a purpose, that all these things happen for a reason and that I shall overcome – dwindling hope make the light hard to look at, like a snowy field on a bright and sunny day – right now my eyes are squinted just a little too tight. Though dwindling as it may be, hope is all I have and our eyes eventually adjust to the sunshiny snow. I don’t know what today or tomorrow will bring; maybe I will buy me some sunglasses. Today my brain let my thoughts out through my fingertips and I guess just for today I can be grateful for that, because as long as I am writing I know I am still alive.