Regretful Things

Inspired by the thing poems from Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book. You can read select writings of her’s here: The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Translated by Ivan Morris.

An idea sinking into your unconscious. It’s an intriguing catch, the start of an epiphany about something remembered. The top of it rides the waves, and you think you can still grab it. But no, it’s gone under, capsized by the brewing storm. You sail, searching for El Dorado once more.

It’s gone forever.

Passing by people you cherished. Desire to pop across and preach the pent-up tension brims from the top of lungs, waiting to burst. But no, they’ve drifted by and you’re still frustrated. You sought the salty popcorn you two shared at the movies, the wild jokes you exchanged, the promised emotional bedrock. But they’ve gone past. They’ve gone.

It’s gone forever.

Expecting the unexpected. Memories of surprise, elicited by unorthodox syncopation, enjoyable obtuse syntax, a twist in the fold of a story. But even diamond wears down with time. Memories rusted by overexposure – you’ve opened the vault too much – refilled the vault too much. Listened to that mixtape enough to burn your ears deaf. Read that book enough to rewrite it, but not anew, not fresh.

The wonder is gone now.

It’s gone forever.

Passing a deadline. Your gut starts coiling before your mind does, but your mind is what should be coiling. You need to coil yourself out, to safety. Maybe this time it’s a paper, or a presentation, or a project. But the exit is gone forever.

Your train passed your station, and it’s one-way. Your time is gone, and your luck is too.

Something pivotal disguised as a mundane task. Thinking you were making another inconsequential decision, you arbitrarily pull. The clanking inevitability veers left into the foreboding darkness, which is mantled by a stone arch. All along you were part of a Trolley problem. Something down the track is gone forever, thanks to a certain someone’s choices. Nothing exists in a vacuum, there is no 0K.

Something is gone forever.

There he lies, his face alarmingly violet. Nothing hits him from behind, drags him back out of bed, backward into places now a sepia or greyscale. There are no foregone conclusions left born of living life fully. Regret is the real grim reaper, you can’t escape it, even if you avoid it. Yet you wake with a start, and your face widens, half cheerful, half fearful.

You’ve not gone yet.


Potato on Children

Is the connection between parents and their offspring in fact a noble ruse engendered by evolution? Let us assume that the world runs with a sort of nihilism, chaotically jumbling along with no greater purpose. To endure the endless revelations of meaninglessness, and the resulting flood of disappointment, a mind creates a perspective based in emotionally charged beliefs. Minds can create perspectives, but as philosophy has proven, perspectives are ridden with holes which they can be torn asunder. As such people seek companionship to corroborate their perspective, for connection cements one’s existence. If a person feels wanted, they feel validated; they feel as if they exist. If they exist, then surely their eyes do not deceive them, their feet walk on solid earth, their perspective gained from their eyes and their body is true. Sadness is associated with nihilism because a mind without certainty is a mind of panic. If the near future cannot be predicted, one’s chances of survival must fall drastically, it reasons. People seek companionship for stability, and the bliss it provides through its ignorance. Bringing a child into the world is just another way for people to endure their struggles, by connecting with another who struggles as well. The connection between mother and child, father and son, parent and siblings, is enviable, sobering, enduring, fragile, tragic, hope.

Predicting Rebellion

It is hilariously saddening that liberalism and conservatism exchange their dominance in the political consciousness of the people every generation. The generation that sees their fathers and mothers work to forge change in the name of rising above their current, despicably contradictory reality becomes disillusioned once they fail. The generation that sees their fathers and mothers work to save what can be saved through a mindset best applied in situations necessitating damage control becomes disillusioned once they succeed, questioning the cost of the success. Honorable, crushing failure follows bittersweet success. Two sides of a coin endlessly flipping, advancing, propelled by the inertia of emotion.

Fungal Metal

I have a habit of riding my bicycle prior to beginning my nightly shift as a wordsmith. The cool whipping wind annoyingly ruining my swept back hair tickles the mind, as does the sight of the metal mushroom-like building across the highway. Every trip I take, I round the turn and view the fungal metal planted in the distance, and my quivering mind is magnetized before it, launching into tangential streams of thought. Whether it be deconstruction of the day prior or conceptual construction of the day after, the pleasant strangeness of the thing never fails to set me off. Though I am curious about it, I neglect following that curiosity, mostly because of sloth, but partly because knowing what the thing is for would ruin its triggering effect; something badly needed to start half-baked thoughts later committed to paper.