I am a child.
Don’t let this beard fool you.
Beneath the hairs on this chest is a heart weak from fear.
I am a child lost at a train station, surrounded by big, confident people bustling with purpose to reach their destination. I’m swept up in the crowd, anxiously looking around as I try to stay inconspicuous. I’ve managed to get by that way until now. But I know that soon we will exit this system of carriages that move for us, and I’m going to have to figure out where to go next on my own.
Where to go, what to do…
I stumble through each day, manage to not stop breathing. But I don’t know what I’m doing.
Because with all due respect, as glorious as having “the Shechinah rest upon you while becoming utterly unified with G-d’s essence” sounds, scraping together enough money to be able to spend every spare moment sitting in front of a holy book is simply not a life I have the desire to live.
I need there to be something else of worth for me to do. And I need someone to tell me what it is.
If G-d is my father, He’s in the middle of an eternal Shemona Esrei, not paying the slightest attention to the crying child tugging at his leg.
He is my own father, spitting a scathing “Do what you want…” when I’m just trying to understand what’s expected of me.
I don’t know what I want to do.
All I know is, I want to be wanted.
I am a child, pathetically counting my friends, to reassure myself that even though none of these people would care if I slipped out of existence, somewhere out there there are people that do.
Counting the people I could message to say “hi”, and who sometimes message me. Sometimes…
I lie in bed pleading for sleep to take over, so I don’t have to feel anymore. To come put an end to this relentless flow of thoughts; this turbulent river in which I watch my own reflection as I drown.
Humans are the only creature able to be self-aware. I am a creature unable to not be. I am trapped under my own stare, squirming uncomfortably beneath my own gaze. I live in a constant state of near-death-experience, floating above the scene, watching my own lifeless body. Detached from this pulsing, vibrant reality which everyone around me is managing to enjoy.
Far too deep. Way below the surface, where there’s no light and it’s cold. Where I’m crashing into icebergs while everyone else is skating on top of them.
My heart is a child,
but my head is an old man.
While they frolic playfully, my mind is crushed under the weight of everything mattering so much, and not mattering at all.
While they stroll off into the night or lay gazing up at the stars, my heart wonders whether it’s missed.
Why should it be?
Who wants to be around someone who writes these words?
Who would choose to spend time around a human blackhole that sucks the joy out of life, when there are those that radiate it?
And for what should I be joyful?
Would you want to be me? No.
So why should I be happy to be me?
I’d be you.
You’re alive, and thrilled to be so.
To you it’s all fascinating, and everything matters just the right amount.
To you, it’s all good.
You’re so fantastic, I want you to be my best friend.
But I’d never be yours.
You’d never choose me; lumbering heap of iron with a weak, insecure heart and tired mournful mind.
I wander, lost in the darkness of my own shadow, praying for a way out of this lonely pit,
as I rust in your shining light.
Shining light, whose glare is constant. Which blinded me as I write these very words, derailing their course.
Shining light which caused these words…
I’ve travelled far away, to where your burning light can’t reach me. And for the first time in so many seasons, I saw a world. I was able to lift up my gaze, no longer having to shield it from your corrosive brilliance. Gone was the paralysing darkness stolen from Egypt in which I had been forced to hide.
There was laughter, and it was my own. The ache in my throat and chest moved to my cheeks, for they became weary from smiling. There was beauty, and that was meaning enough. I made sport with words, because I wasn’t afraid to hurt anyoue, though I’d never intend to.
I didn’t think of existence. I became a character in the story I had until then despised; dived in from the high perch of cold, deadening analysis and swam in the warm bubbling stream.
Life was in me.
I’m back under your radiant shadow.
And in its shining darkness, I once again see the world’s skeleton. The depressing truth concealed beneath the joys we create to survive being conscious. It consumes my mind, while you consume my heart.
Eventually I’ll become desensitised to your light, I half-heartedly hope. And then I’d finally enjoy life in your presence, were we to somehow be together. But I fear, hard as it is to imagine, someone else’s light will inevitably shine on me in equal strength. The burning night will descend back over me. My world will go cold.
What kind of existence will that be?