Tuesday, 27 May 2014

life lately -almost there

At the Mamco, Geneva

Life lately has been the odd bundle of mixed feelings and emotions that come with the pervasive sentiment of having completed your university degree, at which point questions that you had put off for a while start resurfacing in your mind -what do I want out of life? what do I want to do? am I doing the right thing? why don't I feel ready? what is the point of anything, really?? I have been trying to get accustomed to this feeling of uncertainty, but I must admit it feels hard at times and I guess that old man on the street wasn't lying when he said that really, no one ever knows and everyone simply pretends. Which is a vicious circle because the more you pretend, the less you seek for genuineness,  a rare quality these days. I find it incredibly refreshing to meet individuals who are so unabashedly honest it makes you shiver with shame at the mask you wear. What would happen if one day we collectively take off our masks, even reluctantly, and realise that indeed we share the same fears, and oh how comforting to the soul it is when you find out that feelings are universal! I tend to forget it, at times, and think that objects of desire shine differently to different people, that fragrances of happiness smell differently to different people... But really, we look up at the same moon and wonder why we are who we are -humans who get wet when it rains, and forget about it when our skin dries up, soaked and doused in hard sunshine... How come happiness leaves no scar?

I have been neglecting my writing and painting (and anything creative for that matter) for a while, and although I have been telling myself it is due to my research for my dissertation, it is otherwise... Mainly, there is this nagging feeling of dissatisfaction when it comes to my work -dissatisfaction which I'm sure everyone encounters at this stage of their life... The desire to produce good work suddenly meets the inevitable realisation that what you had envisioned for yourself isn't quite what you have and/or making. Everything is beautiful -even the ugly, especially the ugly, and bad work holds its place and importance just as much as good work does, but at times it feels like biting into cold metal knowing your teeth can melt it into a warm, bright liquid that will slowly slide along your ankles... only your teeth aren't strong enough, or incandescent enough, or sharp enough. I know the best teacher is practice, so I have been drinking a lot of tea, and I have been reading inspiring works of fiction, prose and poetry in my bed, hoping to get the pen going. I plunge head first into universes of wonder, and emerge fascinated, lusting for a kind of life I'm not quite certain exists. Constantly wanting more will wear me out one day, I wonder what defines me as a person, and perhaps this is it. I remember reading Antigone, and one of the many sentences that hit me went along the lines of 'You want me to love this life, it's repulsing, like dogs licking anything they find... I want everything, right now, and in its entirety -or I refuse!'. I liked that about her. I always want to say no, and I don't really understand why. I remember one late night of drunkenness, when a man told me 'You want nothing yet you want to devour life'; I swear I could have kissed him then but I walked away, ashamed that he had seen and sensed so much. Like that scene in Girls, when poor, miserable, fat, jealous Hannah secretly whispers that she wants to be happy, too -with an unavoidable sense of guilt and shame on her face. Some things in human nature will always fascinate me, like this notion of worth -happiness is undeserving.
Late nights in Geneva

Isn't it uncanny how we can simply say goodbye and leave? It's fascinating how we can, at any point, say goodbye to everything: friends, family, lovers, home, career, civilisation, cities and countries... Yet we all choose not to on a daily basis. Leaving is easy, staying is much more difficult and requires double the work. It's strange that an entity like our existence can exist independently from other ones. I never think about saying goodbye, but one some days like this one, it hits me that goodbyes could be as easy as closing the door  -or leaving it open. Is it human to turn back when we walk away and leave through the door? Do animals look back one last time?

The last few days have been ghosted by fragments of useless worries as I see things slowly falling into place, which frightens me to the extent that I start doubting why we would ever want things at all. As privileged as this may sound, getting things I wish for is extremely scary, and reminds me of the feeling you get when you finally accomplish a puzzle only to say 'so...what?'. Or the ending scene in the Graduate. I'm not really sure that's a good comparison, and I'm not even sure any of this makes a lot of sense -I'm pretty sure I sound entitled and undeservingly privileged, but I promised myself I would write honestly, even the bad thoughts, the jealous thoughts, the weird thoughts and the unnecessary ones. So, here we are..

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