Monday, 5 August 2019

Journey to Nothingness



The rustling voice of railroad tracks ground by the train
The sunbeam reeking through the clouds
Reaching window where my head is glued onto
My eyes are gazing out 
Tailing landscapes altering rapidly. 
I am astounded.
It is nearly hypnotizing.

The train moves forwards but my mind strangely wanders backwards. It takes me seamlessly on how I am engulfed on days and nights of mundane routines for pointless efforts of trying to comprehend what every moment brings me to the table of life. Some days I find a thousand kisses so soft that smells like a cotton candy. Some other days I find water welling out of my eyes streaming down to test the limits of the sea that drowns the table.

Certain ripples from reality tick memories of particular place, moment, or person and take me into an emotional submerge on a ripped map of my own heart. They conspire to cajole me into travelling away from the presence and cornering me to exile into the past. The risk of being lost over and over engraves me a deep sense of intricacy. It feels like I am driving fast at a lethal speed and chased by hell only to realize that I am going nowhere.


I stand up and grab my personal journal. I step away firmly to the dining car and find myself a seat. I open my journal and read it page by page and rekindle of how fond I am of documenting moments. I start drafting this writing.

Since I was in elementary school, I had always liked writing how my day went by. To think of it, at first writing daily feels like an obligation. But as time goes by it transforms into a therapeutic activity that nurtures my patience and commitment. Most likely it is the longest commitment I have been in so far. I usually spend fifteen minutes to hours of writing down anything that crosses my mind. Even when my mind numbs and has nothing to say, I write it down.

Today my mind feels numb and it has nothing to say.

I have never been purely excited of anything in life but I know for sure that a journey always scorches something inside me. It fuels me like a throbbing heart desiring to savor a lover’s voluptuousness without violence; a gentle force of voluntary surrender that expels harshness. 

Long haul flights, train trips, and hours of drives amend me some time to stay silent, brood, and converse with myself. The idea of going from one place to another with a false sense of security and a pinch of benevolent unfamiliarity emboldens me comfortably; a warm welcome to the world where someone doesn’t have to explain himself. 

Reading my own words provocatively takes me into a visiting hour of days forgotten and the feeling slipped away simply for the sake of reminding what I have been through, what I actually was, and a reflection of what I want to be. Those days clinging onto words of grief completely trickles me in and the euphoria sometimes overflows me with unfiltered emotions. Maybe it is one of the results of my upbringing. When I was a kid, I remember crystal clear that going to elementary school was one of the most adventurous times of all. The distance between where I used to live and school I went to was not extremely far but I enjoyed the scenery along with every step I took: the street crowded with hawker food stalls, passers-by walking in a rush, motorcycles blaring loudly, graveyards behind the school, and one big mango tree with heaps of caterpillars waiting to be climbed. Few years later I went to junior high that was located further than where I used to live. I found more interesting parts to observe: people chatting and sleeping in a heavily crowded public transportation car, the wind breeze combing away my morning wet hair, the uneasy feeling of getting first days at school, the strangers I encountered, friends I barely made, friends that went back into strangers, and first books  I snuggled on bed with. Followed by a period of senior high school consisted of growing  more serious responsibility: part-time jobs, love affairs, self-esteem, spiritual crisis, and existential angst that made me ponder that transitioning is surreptitiously repetitious. It seems everything is normalized by social gesture of flowing with what others might have felt too. And without cordially giving me a hint of notification, then college life started. It accentuated a bloated feeling that galloped me with tender haplessness. I was thinking I had enough of everything but so it went on. I was vehemently forced to heave the air in and out to determine what it felt like to suffocate in the bleak future. 

And it keeps going on and on.

When I was in senior high, I found Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence compelling and relatable. To him, life consists of things of existence that recur over and over for eternity. It sounds much alike to eternal return theory that emphasizes the recurring of all existence including energy and universe in a self-similar form of an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. It is felt by moments that are happening days and nights and always the same following a certain pattern. I would have believed so if time wasn’t moving linear. The truth is we are never experiencing seconds exactly the same. Because time is moving linear we are plastered and trapped on an imaginary thread that has the force to push us move with it.  

According to Nietzsche, certain concepts like humankind, morality, and God have become inextricably entangled. It's closely related to what public perceive as good and bad. When making a fool of ourselves in public is considered not good, we resist the urge to dance joyfully in the street. We may stay in mind-numbing jobs, not because we need to, but because we feel it is our duty to do so.

Even though Nietzsche's thoughts on many things are personally riveting for me, I am becoming a much firmer believer. For me this thinking process constitutes an oxymoron extrapolated causality (not) to understand the bigger picture. And I feel profoundly subtle to let myself know that everything changes. In Plato's words, everything is in a state of flux.

Now I am provided with lots chances to gain self-consciousness where my existence is nothing but a mere vanity. Embracing to my existence doesn’t mean extricating me from perplexing feelings that fracture me. Maybe because the basic foundation of our existence is destined to be futile. Additionally existence and journey are like a shadow eternally attached to a body following wherever the light goes until both reach the grave. The only beginning we know is birth and the only end we are about to harvest is death. How gracefully a birth could happen and how imminently death could approach depends on our perception on life and death. It never lets us know of when and how. But death, just like life, doesn’t only want to be gazed at but also to be acknowledged. To be fairly speaking, they should be celebrated equally.

While grasping to mortality, therefore the definition of a journey is expanding to life’s immaculate eloquence. Neither it is strictly limited by definitions of means of transportation, distance, nor duration. Admittedly or not, everyone is on their own journey: journey to themselves, journey of escaping journeys, journey of seeking what feels missing, journey to the oblivious, and journey of unknown. Dealing with boredom and emptiness in our chest is a journey. Quitting a toxic relationship is also a journey. Fulfilling a duty as a breadwinner is a journey. Healing your wounded heart is a journey. To finish study and survive the job is also part of a journey. Journey is the most inherent part of human as we are designed for locomotion.

I am carefully hoping that this is not becoming a self-aggrandizement or excessive self-romance because we are the ones who know what we feel deep in the bottom of our heart. Each journey nurtures many things pertaining to self-attributes: personal growth, self-discovery, memories, achievement, heart-breaks, tipping moments, and other feeling we wish not to discover.  Like a Pandora box where all miseries are kept in, somehow it has to break out to be meaningful. Therefore it has its own odds to beat: the series of unfortunate events fall onto our laps. The suffering I once defied. But suffering brings pain that needs to be felt. At time, I was thinking either I had something to repair to obliterate the pain, or to accept my suffering as destiny I need to bear. With lot of struggles, I am learning to befriend this constant pain and suffering that signify something to a more luminous life. This also means learning not only to strive for the winning streaks with a smile ear to ear but also to accept the truth that every single thing is considerably important to of their role. By all means this is what makes one tormenting paradoxical journey worth the stakes. 

So here I am imploring myself to learn the abstraction of a journey that I often took for granted, overlooked, and even neglected. If life consists of sequences of small journeys, I will gladly accept whatever given to me to peregrinate until the end. Wise words reverberate to sad feelings, sometimes they ease them.  But I don’t possess any ability to work out a sentence to always console my own sadness or to tie my own happiness. I believe each of us is fending their own lives in many different and unthinkable ways. But here is the common thing between us all: we share the same air and the space only to maintain our insignificant existence revealing that everyone is on their journey incommensurable to each other.

Some people keep on clinging to their long run dreams. Some people keep on living day by day, some even minute to minute. Schopenhauer best described this with a lot of rationales that time and space is in the infiniteness contrasted with the finiteness of the individual in both. Only in the fleeting present the sole form of reality exists; in continual becoming without being, in continual desire without satisfaction. What makes us perishable makes us present.

This is why I have tendency to overthink. I am basically a dilettante of ruminating the past. To me every year concocts different tastes of tumultuous events; not only joy and happiness but also morose, loss, disappointment, rejection, love, and abandonment. And I have never felt grateful every time I let go of many things I couldn’t control over. In fact I am never in control of a single thing in my life. For the past three years I have submitted to all the emotions that come to seek a refuge in me: ones that make me feel good and bad. The irrefutable self-entitlement of my own feelings has been tarnished gradually into minuscule dust. Here I am periodically reminded that I am merely nothing. This me feeling nothing has whirled in the normalization that everything is going to be fine which is true. I felt tricked and oppressed by time and become a slave of destiny incapable of realizing that everything comes and goes in turn. The mere mortal permanency shatters me into irretrievable pieces; when something is gone and rotating, time for a split second seems slowing down. It seems stopping down to mourn with me, but it doesn’t. It gives neither of us any mercy. But no matter how despicable it seems, time helps everything grows and withers. It provides an opportunity to bounce back when I fall, to heal when I am wounded, to live and to eventually die. What has happened in the past is merely a coordinated interpretation of what our senses perceive meanwhile time only stays like a blink of an eye and everything has been planned with its law of chaos and order. 

It is like a long gone best friend who whispers into my ears whenever I crumble,

“You can stay long as you want, but you have to keep moving.”


This journey won’t stop until the very end of our breath. Struggling with tormenting confusions and the uncertainty, fighting with self-reliance, and nurturing self-acceptance are just some ways how we deal with it. Whatever option we choose, it will keep us going. 

Keep on going and surrender to a state of flux is like envisaging me waking up after a deep sleep only to find the pitch black still blanketing me. I try to open my eyes to seek any light but couldn’t. It is not darkness as the result of the absence of light. It is nothingness. I feel powerless against all cosmic catastrophes and these fixations of misfortunes. The hopelessness is inevitable and conversely it dissolves my anxiety to lots of rhetorical questions.

What is a journey that I am experiencing?
What is a journey I am not experiencing?What is in the ultimate giving where the desire ceases to selflessness?
What would remain when I am physically gone?
What does living mean?

Those are questions for life. Even a journey  spent for an eternity has not had a certainty to answer all those questions.

Nevertheless of all the things embedded in an uncertainty, I'm sure of one thing,

Our journey has been a long and winding one, but never a lonely one.


1 comment:

asasi said...

Wow how long it takes you to write this well written thought? Hope we find something along the journey