Born into this, kicking and screaming, taught from the first moments it’s a battle. A battle to breathe, a battle to live, a battle to open our eyes as we shake our tiny fists in the harsh glare of hospital fluorescents. From the beginning we cling to the memory of oceanic bliss, the mother beyond our mothers, the pre-mind behind the endless conveyor belt of thought. We cling to the finger pressed in our palm; we cling to the breast, the bottle, the stuffed toy. We cling to the dreamscape in which we’re free, before waking again in hunger, in pain, in an undefined and seemingly endless restlessness. We grow both larger and smaller with each moment — reduced to a name and a number, race, class and gender. This sensation of being reduced becomes the feeling of life itself — a set of diminishing returns. We’re taught that what little we have everyone wants to take. We’re taught that discipline is protection and boredom equals safety. We’re taught how to divide our time into smaller and smaller pieces and that whatever sliver remains is our happiness. We’re taught it’s better to be dead than ugly or fat or (God forbid) poor. We’re taught to love a golden cage. We’re taught to be quiet, to accommodate, to clear the way for the professionals, the government-funded experts, the army, the police, the doctors, the ONES IN CHARGE.
Fighting our way through this, wounded because of this, we stick to a plan that’s impossible to follow. We’re taught to achieve, to go to college, to become great at something while simultaneously giving ourselves away, bit by bit. We give ourselves to exhausted parents, to resentful teachers and cowardly friends. We give ourselves over to milestones and special events that we’re supposed to look forward to but the reality of which is little more than a sad joke. We give ourselves to fumbling lovers and televised sports and poisonous food and one drink after another after another. We give ourselves over to the fake relaxation of weed, the fake focus of speed, the fake solace of tranquilizers. We give ourselves over to shopping for the right clothes to get the right job to get money to buy the right clothes.
We’re always rushing, not sleeping, covering up the pain, the horizon receding and disappearing altogether as we’re thrown, pushed, punched, violated. Debauched, damaged, destroyed. A forever phoenix, rising daily from the ashes of the night before. Our birthright of peace is hijacked by a system that can reach into our wombs, into our brains, into our guts. We’ve been sold out, silenced and sanctified by the system. We work for it, worship it, are made sick from it and are unceremoniously replaced if we keel over in our cubical because of it. We are a copy of a copy of a copy — and it is only in the agonizing process of putting ourselves back together after finally falling apart completely that we realize we were always already reassembled. We realize, we are the story we tell ourselves. And herein lies the secret escape hatch, the tiny cup of truth that is the antidote to an entire sea of poison. A truth that by its very nature can’t be explained with words. A power that’s outside language, before language, after language. The raw, wordless power of creation that is within us all. The power of the feminine — not a gender, but an energy. The power of the trees and the rivers and the ocean. The power of mothers and grandmothers and art. The power of tough love, of being scolded than held and losing ourselves in the embrace, losing ourselves in love, in forgiveness, in protection, in peace. A power not revealed by a scientific report or computer analysis, but by a deeper sense of being.
Formed out of this, the forever fragments become whole. The forever pain is no longer pushed away, but held close, held like a lover, then released. It’s an opening up to the shadows, to the storms, to the earthquakes and war and destruction. It’s an opening up to the night and all that’s been cast out, all that couldn’t be explained. It’s the moon and the sky combined in a certain way and the tingling feeling in the top of your head. It’s what’s real being held with what’s not real. It’s the mask that shows your real face. It is the truth that only fiction can reveal. It’s the feeling in your stomach that tells you what to do next. It’s the love that overpowers the machine. It’s a look in the eye of someone who was born into this hell but came out the other end — the pain still present yet overcome, shining there, like light pooling at the bottom of a well.