There is an instant where you wanna cry. You want to scream. You want to yell from the bottom of your stomach and soul. And this is when you know you love or have loved somebody. When you look at someone. You see into their eyes. And you know. They are you. They are exactly who you are or were. And you love them you want nothing but to hold them. You want to shout in a carnal and cathartic agony until you feel that sense fulfilled. That sense that you have seen yourself. And can finally let go of yourself.
Category Archives: Realization
Well, as the title may have suggested, I am studying abroad in Africa this summer. I’m in Botswana at the moment. It’s been absolutely beautiful and an amazing experience. Here for a while so that may play a role in my next few posts, such as these. Enjoy.
Equality. It’s amazing how, cross-continents, a smile is a smile. Just as, from one culture tossed into another, a clown is a clown. Interacting with kids always brings me to the same state, just wanting to make them smile. The real difference between America and Africa is that here in Africa, it’s easier.
There is a wide separation between two aspects of learning; the direct/real and the distant/factual. In a real experience you can easily see what is happening in this world. When you stand in a Tswana ghetto, you see what poverty really means, what it actually is to do what you need to survive, and how it truly affect’s your fellow man. But that is there. It is impossibly difficult to imagine that scene in all the areas where it is all too common. In factual learning you see the breadth of the issue. The scene hides behind graphs and figures that allow you to see the problem in it’s exact entirety. The figures may seem unreasonable but they are have the ability to be factual. Without both of these you lose half of the equation to grasping a concept. And in that loss, you can lose everything.
In an instant there is so much I can witness. As a preface to this realization, I used to be absolutely terrified of spiders as a kid. Recently, in the past few years, I’ve been frequently using the phrase ‘I’m over it’ when in reality it’s more of a sense of forced indifference than anything else. However, in a moment, that outlook changed. Now, I was walking through the kitchen I flick on the lights and begin rummaging for some midnight snack. As I look for a knife to hack off a rather generous chunk of manchego cheese, I see a spider sitting very complacently along a wall. I stop a bit short, but have no real reaction; I avoid it as much as I can and go about my business. It was at this point an interaction was held, not between a man and an arachnid, no, between two beings on their right and equal level of existence. This spider flinched at the sound of my rifling or the light or whatever it may have been. And my body flinched as well. But ahhh… here is the point of fascination. It was not out of fear but out of compassion for this slighted creature, the simple unifying commiseration of understanding the resentment that comes from being risen out of a slumber. It is in this moment, through this earthly interaction, I witness something beautiful, and that is when, for any number of reasons, fear is overpowered by compassion.
We lie there, in the dark, simply holding each other. In that state she becomes more than I could imagine. Her form changes from the fixed person next to me to the collection of abstract concepts she truly is. There she lies, a multitude of intangible aspects: beauty, intimacy, closeness, compassion, everything. The lights go up, and I barely recognize her. This is certainly not for a negative reason, simply for the reason that she was all of these things in the purest incarnation. And to me, it is hard to even imagine all of this in a single person.
Skin. I see it more and more each day as the blankest canvas. And nothing peeves me more than an underutilized space for expression. I have no tattoos, myself, but I crave them. I look at my arms, my chest, my entire body, and I see all that could be. Continually as words and images float across my eyes and before my mind, there is no adulteration. My imagination spreads them, recreates and reproduces them, across my self. In my head I see phrases and aphorisms drifting with their black text, changing their font, always looking for the best possible spot so as they might seat myself properly as an external representation of the philosophies I hold dear. Every illustration from the highest masterpiece to the simplest graffiti, I question whether it might have a place on this canvas of mine.
Perhaps this is why I love my scars. They are simple representations to those around me of my history, the good and the bad. They are visual reminders of the places I’ve been and some of the people I’ve met. No, this idea is separate. It goes beyond the idea of art and visual stimulation. I love them for their primality. The simple fact that they remind me of the fragility of life. That they keep my consciousness in check with the realization of its delicacy. And out of this recognition, arises a greater appreciation. The appreciation of all the times I’ve fallen and will fall, of all the times I’ve risen and will rise again. Then again, perhaps it is the visual recreation of this internal drive I like as well…
To throw this out there, for those who may actually being following my train of thought within these posts, this realization was sparked by the same event I wrote about on Friday.
Driving through urban streets, there can be a myriad of scents seeping through the window. One in particular crawls through and I notice it immediately, remembering it fondly. My mind goes to the days of my childhood, running around with the toy guns making their little cracks. Laughing and running through the twists and curves of white suburbia. My smile sours when the realization strikes me, as it always does on this occasion, that we played in the wisps of gunpowder. Down these streets there are no children playing. There are no laughs of joy. There are still shrieks of surprise. Down these streets only tears fall at this aroma.