Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Shitstorm That Is 2013

I haven't blogged in ages. I don't know if I can anymore either.

I've had one of those years. One of those years that you feel you can't really write about and do any justice to, that you rhetorically ask yourself what the point would even be.

I've been kinda frozen this year. Haven't written, haven't painted, haven't got on my metaphorical cardboard box like I usually do and said, hey guys listen up I have something to say. It was quiet, like folding a paper in on itself, so quiet that nobody really noticed.

I think I'm blogging about it because writing to an imaginary audience used to be therapeutic. So maybe it'll help. Even though every part of me is writhing in protest against the idea of sharing this with people.

I think the first blow and the only one that mattered was the racist movement back home. I am so sick and tired of hearing about it and talking about it so I'm not going to now. I will say only that it altered my perception of reality, and that that can be very uncomfortable. It was like being told your mother is actually a cyborg (except not even remotely as cool), there was so much incredulity and doubt, and then the recognition of this thing you'd been blind to, but had been there all along, hiding inside your own house. I think I'm still in shock and will be for a while at least.

Some other crap happened around this too, nothing phenomenal. Just the usual stuff that you mustn't be a whiny bitch about. I lost some very close friends. The children I used to teach at a slum were relocated and their education neglected, because nobody cares. My belief in religion has wavered like never before. These things happen, it is the way of the world (or at least those are the words you say to try and make sense of it). I guess in a sense, I grew up this year. I'd been living in a state of naivety housed by certain unshaken beliefs about reality and purpose and the goodness out there, and the bubble had broken and I'd seen that no, things can be horrible and senseless too.

In my first week in Sri Lanka during summer holidays, I was on edge. On a bus to Kandy I looked around and wondered if there were any people in it who hated Muslims. I was afraid to look people in the eye when I was strolling through Bamba. I stopped enjoying social outings. I was taciturn and irritable with my parents. I spent weeks at my grandmother's because I felt safer there. Most importantly I couldn't talk to anybody about it, or didn't want to. I was hypersensitive, like something had created a wound but the scab hadn't grown over it yet.

When you see things things you wish you hadn't, when ignorance is literally bliss and the opposite is torture, but you also know opening your eyes is inevitable, I think the most important thing is to not let it dominate you. I'm not talking about seeing your friendship fall apart or not getting cake on your birthday, I'm talking about seeing a fourteen year old rickshaw-driver get fifty rupees a day to support his homeless family, seeing women being attacked for nothing short of having a vagina, seeing crippled children lie on the pavement of a crowded affluent street, seeing people proud and shameless about their hatred, and seeing the smiling complacency in everybody else, which is uglier than all of it put together.

The important thing is to be able to shut your eyes and take a time-out. To listen to a song or listen to somebody making a joke or telling a story, to divert yourself, and block everything out for a while. Then tackle the bad stuff in short spurts in-between. It's important to not indulge in your own feelings, they are not as momentous as you think. It's also important to realize you're still learning, that you don't know everything yet, and probably never will, so maybe your conclusions are all wrong and so there's always still room for something new, that nothing is fixed so it makes no sense to fret over what can and probably will change.

I'm babbling.

Anyway, maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'm glad sometimes. Not because 'light at the end of the tunnel' or 'you come out in one piece' or anything, but because shitstorms are fascinating things. You don't really know what's coming your way, you don't know how you'll get over it, or if you will, and that not-knowing is a great feeling. I think it takes balls to face the unknown and the uncertain, and if the whole thing is worth nothing else, at least there's that freedom you possess in making the choice to keep your head up and confront it. 

1 comment:

  1. Every shitstorm has its weakness. You need to attack the eye of the shitstorm and then see all the shit landing like a fragments of meteorite..

    I hate this senseless hatred.

    If only people looked at stars in the night and realize that their actions amount to nothing in the vast material world.

    Maybe if people wondered a bit more. Had less answers and more questions.

    I don't think we have all the answers yet we don't even know the right questions.

    The answers that we have contradict the rules we place.

    We think more and feel less, but feelings do get us killed.

    And sometimes feelings get killed.

    Sometimes you find solace with the fact that there is nothing out there for you. Or live as if there is.

    Answers, I think do come only at right time. And sometimes I am glad the experiences however bad I have seen has only made me realize that there are somethings I can never let myself live if I ever did those things.

    And then you realize that you still had it better, when you see that there are those that suffer. This realization expands to all forms of life when you realize that apart from the ones that walk talk there are others that feel this pain and confusion.

    I choose to live as if there is something out there, I don't have all the answers and there is life underneath every rock.