I have been quiet for awhile. To those who know me well, my silence through the written word has indeed spoken volumes. I gave in to insecurities that convinced me I had no point to make; I myself of no value. I pretty much gave up. I found it sufficient to just follow the news, be caught up in the follies of the world writ large, make a few comments here and there and listen to conversations while forsaking the subtleties of my thoughts.
Little did I realise it was slowly killing me. Aiding the atrophy of my mind were nuanced factors I myself had not noticed till of late. I shall save my belaboured meanings for a longer prose, and shall be quick to draw your attention to a few.
The impetus which brought fingers to keyboard is one that in chosen moments, attack my breath to a point I fear I shall be no more. Moments when I gasp for air attempting to calm my wildly beating heart and reach out a cold hand towards Brett, in hopes of calming this fear of being taken away to a place I am not ready to go to. And in those moments, I fear that I have not yet said what I am meant to say. That I have failed in my purpose.
In these past few days, I have forced myself to remember the words I so loved in my teens. I found my way back to John Keats:
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain
I know that we are all meant for a purpose here on earth. We do not merely subsist to find a belief system which caters to our own brand of prejudice or sense of exclusivity and somehow “faith” ourselves into a heavenly experience, but to be of value to another. We are definitely not meant to surrender the vitality of our minds nor the passion for life. We are not meant to compromise who we uniquely are as individuals. Our heads are not to bow towards the injustices of the powerful and in so doing, lose our voices. Nor are we to be held back in the pursuit of our thoughts, for what are we without questions? Why is doubt so villanised? Doubt is the impetus of critical thinking, is it not? Is that not how a child learns; how an inventor or a scientist keeps going to find the answer? Why then do we try to quell the artist, the performer, the writer? For are they not themselves observers of this world, prophets who warn us of the things we cannot see; poets who crystallise our inner yearnings and thoughts and singers, musicians who give another dimension to love, joy; sorrow and pain?
For if I am compelled to be silent, then I will cease to be. If I am required to neither question or think, then I die a little. For I may see that which you do not. I may hear voices you do not. The mirror I hold up to you may not make you comfortable but hold it up I must. And I will. I may go places in my mind so far beyond that which is called real, you may accuse me of madness. But in this madness, my madness, I speak truth. For those they call mad one year, they call genius in the next. Allow my thoughts, my questions, my statements to morph out of its cocoon. Allow me to trust you with these workings of my mind. Allow them space to grow. For then, you allow me to live.
then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
When I have Fears by John Keats, 1818