Choices, Choices

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

I open the door, and I see the lake. All my lives ripple along the water.

What could have been. What could still be.

I do not know what to choose. I do not know how to make what I choose real.

Sometimes it’s just nice to look. To daydream, see what makes my heart sing most. (And ignore the voice that says, Anything, anywhere, but here.)

I am trying to listen to my instincts. I am trying to listen for the signs. Are there signs?

I am trying to manage. Between desire, between expectation, between the facts of reality, between the burden of responsibility.

All my lives ripple along the water and I don’t know how to choose. I don’t know that I have a choice. But the longer I stay, the longer and deeper I am rooted here, in the one life I know I do not want.

The stone is in my hand. I feel its weight. The smoothness, the flatness. I grip it tighter, take aim, take aim again, arm swaying from side to side, my body no better able to make a decision, commit to a path, than I am. It just gets heavier. The stone, my arm, my heart, everything.

I drop the stone. I walk back through the door, back to my life. I know one day I might no longer be able to open it, and the choice will have been made for me, then. So I walk through it a lot more often now.

But what is the point, if I don’t know how to choose?

Finding Catharsis


thunder storm
Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

All is dark, except for the neon spider silk that streaks across the sky.

All is silent, except the roars that reverberate through the trees, through the earth. Through your bones, through your heartbeat.

Still you run.

The clouds burst and weep, soaking. Cleansing.

Almost there. Almost there. A little further.

You make it. The world spans out before you.

You see nothing. Then everything.

Hear only the rush of water. Then the blasts that nearly pierce your eardrums.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Wait. There, the flash of lightning. The thunder that follows.

You scream, your voice joining the sky’s.

Again. Again. Again.

Your pain bursts and weeps, soaking. Cleansing.

Your joy reverberates through your bones, through your heartbeat.

Almost there. Almost there.

Almost purged. Almost free.

Life is a hypocrite.
A liar, a cheat.
A tease, a bully.
A carrot-dangler.
A lover of never-ending cycles.


To see who is brave enough to call it out.
To see who is smart enough to catch it in its lies.
To see who is strong enough to stand up to it.
To see who is wants it enough to get that carrot.
To see who is determined enough to break the cycle.

And if you’re not?

Then it teaches you how to be.
Only, it’s up to you to learn the lesson.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Before the rain

My god. This is beautiful. The sky is at breaking point with the weight of those beautiful ominous grey clouds. They’re lurking over us, and I can just tell they’re smirking as they wait for the right moment to let loose. Hanging onto our anticipation, feeding off the tension of the Earth as she waits for her thirst, and that of all she has borne, to be quenched.

The wind is doing its job too. Blowing fiercely, enjoying making plastic wrappers and aluminum cans rustle, rattle and crackle about. Making spirals and puffs and swells of sand and dust, a tribute to the clouds above, an imitation that even the arrogant wind knows does them no justice.

The world is quieter. The tension is palpable. Even the normal early morning sounds are muted down. Everything. Everything can feel the presence. That unique presence. Strong, confident, patient, wise. The presence of Mother Nature in beautiful glory.

The clouds tease us further, allowing the scent of what they carry to drift earthwards, tantalising us with the promise of what’s to come. What we HOPE will come, for it may very well be that they decide to ask the wind to take them elsewhere, or perhaps decide to perform another day. In the meanwhile, all we can do is wait, and feel that presence, and be oh-so-grateful to be alive.

But what’s this? The sun making its appearance, slowly dyeing the sky pink and orange. And the clouds drift towards her like moths to a flame, entranced, in love, not caring that the energy she emanates will be their undoing. Floating lovingly to be as close as they can. The wind too has lowered his efforts to that of a small, cool breeze. He knows the sun can do nothing to him, so he is safe and and watches admiringly as she shyly reveals herself.

It seemed strange that such a beautiful thing knew not of her effect. That she could tame winds and turn thunderclouds to mere mist had never occurred to her. She just did what she did best, and loved doing: she shined her light bright as she could, without discrimination. All that was in her realm of giving, she gave to, content with that. Happy with it.

So there may not be any rain this day. But at least we have the sun, just as beautiful, if not more. No. Wait. Definitely more.

She was unreliable. Sometimes she shined her light too brightly, or gave out her energy too strongly. Sometimes she got too shy and hid away behind clouds only too glad to do as she wished and hide her away. And there was that matter of her dalliance with the moon… But since she did that while shining somewhere else, it’s alright really.

For all that, though, she is beautiful.

Magnificently so.

And I’ll just leave it at that.

I think too fast sometimes.

Thoughts will race through my head, then suddenly one, or several, will pass by without me even really knowing what they were. Only a vague impression of them. Then I’ll have to stop my train of thought, and go back, and slow things down, sometimes repeat them, over and over, so I won’t forget. Make sense of them, put them in words, proper sentences, describe them. I can’t stand thinking in chopped words or phrases. I always have to sort them.

It’s probably why I need to write so often. It’s easier to sort my head out this way. I can see the words, feel them beneath my fingers. But the irony of it is, when I get the tools to write, the thoughts disappear, only to come back once I’m away from this place.

Pen and paper, I can’t use. It’s too slow a method. One that can’t keep up with everything I think. Whenever I try I just get frustrated and then the thoughts go away again, to be replaced with what I’m typing now. Frustration at there being too many thoughts to take down at once.

How do we handle it? It’s like our brains are being shot with multiple machine guns.. ratatatatatatataratatatatatatataratatattat.. And sometimes it all goes so fast and so hard, I can’t understand how we haven’t succumbed to this incredible amount of pressure inside our own heads, controlling our body, never stopping, hardly ever slowing down.. How have we not exploded?

No wonder people go completely and utterly insane.

No wonder they end up losing their minds… They don’t lose them, they give them up, toss them away, unable to take that goddamn pressure.

I don’t want to miss a moment.

I’m tired. Really, really physically tired. This is a combination of short lived amounts of sleep and disturbing dreams to go with them. It’s taking its toll, and right now, the temptation to just lay my head down and close my eyes is growing so great the backs of my eyelids sting, as if trying to give me a sign. “Go on! Let us close, you moron!”

Soon. I’ll give in soon, promise.

Resentfully, though. Because this time is mine. The time when everyone else is fast asleep, so I have no demands to meet, no errands to run. There’s no one to interrupt me from whatever I choose to do, like write this post. And the silence is not confined to the many walls that make up our apartment, but to the outside world, as well. I am awake to watch the world fall asleep, and savour each moment of quiet solitude. I am awake to watch it wake up again, before visiting sleep myself. It’s become a routine that I am, for once, rather fond of. Almost like tucking a child in at night, then smiling as you watch them set out into the world in the morning while you finally rest. It’s a need to check that the earth is alright, to watch it and feel it come alive.

I wonder what it is that makes night and day feel so different. Fewer cars on the road? The darkness? Less people walking about, if any at all? Is the silence just from the lack of noise, or from something within us? That connection all humans share, letting us know the collective consciousnesses of the people around you are at rest. Their brains have slowed down, relaxed, stopped buzzing, and so it’s quiet.

Whatever the reason, I like it. I love it. It’s these times that I am most at peace, which is why feeling so damn tired is annoying me. I don’t want to sleep and waste away what would be another hour or so of delicious tranquillity. I don’t want to miss sensing it slowly sneak away as the world awakes, and grows louder with the clamouring thoughts of conscious minds as they go to work, go to school, build, talk, laugh, yell, live or at least exist.

I don’t want to miss a moment of it.

But since I really can’t help it, eyes drooping right now in fact, I’ll just console myself with the thought of another night to enjoy, and savour. And I will cherish it to the very last second.

So for now, Goodnight

(I don’t seem to be taking this very well.)

It must not agree with me. Maybe I’m allergic. Or intolerant. There is a difference, you know. Maybe I should just surrender to it and let it swallow me whole. The best way out is through, as the mysterious “they” say.

(Who are “they”? Hey! Can you give me the answers? Where can I find you?)

Really, though? Who has the energy for it? How are we supposed to get through over and over and over and over and… Well. You get the idea. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Or is it just me? Maybe. Maybe it is and I’m just weak. No surprise there, but I seemed to get on fine so far. I made it so far. So why now?

(Can’t I just lay here among the pillars holding me up?)

They’re cracking. I can see that, yes. There, and there, and there, too. Hmmm. Seem to be growing bigger. I can hear things inside them. They’re… No. I can’t tell. It’s too tumultuous. Muffled, but no less chaotic, no less… loud. I can see thin hands no less fierce for their look of frailty reaching out. Biding their time.

(I don’t want to look. They scare me.They’re waiting. Waiting to escape. Can’t I just lay here and not move? If I don’t move, they won’t be able to get out… Can I, please?)

Oh no. I can’t breathe again. It’s happening again. It’s been happening a lot. My lungs will contract again. I’ll choke in my effort to get oxygen into them again. My heart will beat unpleasantly faster again. My throat.. Oh god, what’s in there? Knives? Must be. In my core, too. Somewhere that’s not my gut, but not my heart, but everywhere at once. Knives. Daggers, sabers, scythes, short swords, long swords.

(Inhale. Exhale. Come on now, it’ll pass soon. Focus. Breathe. No. Don’t sob. Tears go back. BACK. There we go. It’s over.)

I know. I know you’re waiting inside me. I know you want to explode. I know you’re getting impatient. I don’t care. You won’t. I won’t let you. I won’t let you, you hear? You can destroy me if you want. But until you make very clear what will happen if I set you free, I will not. I will not risk you destroying everything dear to me. Because I know that’s what you may well do. Tear everything apart without a care. Go on a rampage.

(Then who will be left to clean up the mess? Make amends? Pick up the shattered pieces of not just myself, but everyone caught in the blast? No. You will never be free.)

Growl all you want. Make your threats. I will not break. I may be wavering now, may be growing a bit tired, but I will not break. You can’t make me. I won’t let you. I won’t let me.

(I’ll get my strength back. You’ll see… I won’t let you hurt them. They’ve done nothing to you. They don’t deserve it. I just need a little time… That’s all. Just a little time…)

You’re rattling your chains. I can hear them. You’re trying to set yourself and your minions free. I see them. I see you. Don’t you see? You can’t. Never. Ever.

(You’ll never be free. Even if it means that nor will I.)


With a smile, I push off the edge of the bridge, plummeting straight down into the rocks below. I can hear exhilarated screaming, and soon realise it’s me, my voice being carried up by the wind. My eyes stay open despite the sting of rushing air; I want to see it all. The world blurring past me, the ground rising to meet me, the bridge moving away, as if not wanting anything more to do with me. I feel my body cutting through the air, scattering the molecules, making them envelope me as I feel them run up my sides, from a singular point on my head. I am an arrow heading straight down. Gravity pulling me towards it gleefully, glad of the great prize it has captured, eager to share it with the earth that grows ever nearer.

And then, with a jerk, I stop, just inches over the ground. Before the bungee rope thrusts me upwards, I’m just able to reach down and touch one of the outcropping stones.

I’m pulled up, removed from Gravity’s grasp. I don’t have time to wonder how disappointed it must be, as the crowd claps and pats me on the back, congratulating me on my first jump. I nod and smile, then look at my instructor, who is beaming with pride. “Again.”

His smile falters for only a second. Surely such a thrill would be enough experienced only once? I can almost hear him think it. But then he nods, and announces it. Everyone looks at me as if I must be insane, or a thrill junkie, or just plain daring, but I ignore them and climb over the ledge once more.

This time, I don’t scream. I don’t even keep my eyes open. I simply feel myself falling. Enjoy the sensation of being completely out of control. There is nothing I can do. Nothing I want to do. I hear the air whispering in my ears, imagine those rocks growing closer and closer, almost anticipate what it would feel like if the rope snapped and I came crashing down with the full force of the momentum I’ve been gaining all the way.

But then I feel the jerk of the rope once more.

I’m almost disappointed.

Is it possible, I wonder…

For emotional wear-out to manifest itself physically?

If so, then it’s starting at my knees… Sorry mom. Knee caps are wearing out anyway, from running away from everything that scared me so. Running away from me. I see the fear in your eyes, you know. When you look at me. I see it. You, scared of me, of what I might turn out to be, what I might end up doing. And you’re scared for me, too. I can see it. I’ve always seen it. Maybe it’s my fear of myself reflected in your eyes. Or maybe I started being scared of myself because of the fear I saw. Maybe it’s both. Who knows?

I know what will be next. My hands. My hands will wear away from the harm they’ve done. To me. To anything and anyone else. Or rather, everything and everyone else. It’ll start at my fingertips that clutched blades, typed words, held, touched, hit. Then my knuckles, that tried to shatter walls in fury and pain and anger that I refused to let out to anyone else. Never them.

My mouth and tongue, too. From lack of use and too much use both at the same time. Harsh words spoken, and words bit back in fear, clutching at self-control with only the tips of my fingers so the words can be swallowed down to make a home in my heart and stay there, eating away.

My eyes. Dark and closed off. Eyes are the window the soul, it is said. I keep mine hidden away, and the blinds are closed, sorry. You won’t see that devastation so easily. That smoke and wreckage are no sight for anyone. She used to say that she could never see anything in my eyes. She could never read them, even when I tried to let her. Tried to show her. Only two things could she ever decipher. Pain and Passion. And both hurt her to see. Yes, they will wear away too. They have been denied their duty, after all. To reveal just as much as they observe. I made them selfish. Taking in, but never giving out.

My shoulders, from the burden I myself placed on them, and have now become too scared to ever take it off them for fear of the consequences. And fear that someone else might have to take it up in replacement.

Oh, and of course, my heart. I say nothing of it. There’s nothing I could say, no way I could describe it that could quite convey its true form. It… It won’t wear out. Because it already is, bit by bit. No. It will shatter.

One day. One day it will shatter. It will trigger a chain reaction of explosions; the rest of me will be in splinters and shards. When it happens, I will lay there in all my pieces and wait until I turn to minute dust, to be blown away in the wind and vanish forever.

In the meantime, I am wearing away, bit by bit by bit.

Shhh… It’s a secret. Until I’m ready to say my goodbyes.

She lays in bed, an arm by her side, the other lightly draped over her stomach. Her eyes stare without seeing at the ceiling, until it all goes dark and she remembers to blink. Thoughts drift through her head, but nothing of substance, of meaning. Random insignificant memories, snippets of songs, images that hold no importance whatsoever and so simply float along as she watches, waiting for something to grab onto and allow her mind to explore fully. But nothing comes.

She wonders wryly whether she has run out of anything meaningful to think. To say. To feel.

Movements are slow. It takes her ages to get up so she can do what she has to do. Longer still to get them done. The marrow of her bones drawn out and replaced with molten lead, it seems. She fears staying still too long; she can feel roots right at the nerve-endings of her skin, waiting for her to forget so they can grow and embed her.. where?

Anywhere, anywhere, just let her keep still. A shrub with leaden core, what a specimen she’d make.

The haze caused by the heated weather seems to be reflected within— a mist covering her emotions. She knows they’re there, but a dim outline is all she can see. She can’t feel properly because of it, either. Her emotions are reaching out a hand through the haze yet she can only feel the slightest brush of fingertips.

Everything is so… Nothing. Only those who’ve felt this before know what it means. Everything feels so nothing.

She lays on her back in bed, an arm by her side, the other lightly draped over her stomach. Her eyes stare without seeing at the ceiling, until it all goes dark and she remembers to blink. Her hair grows rapidly, forming bark, growing leaves, wrapping around the headboard. Her fingertips extend as branches and run down to the floor, taking root. Her spinal cord grows shoots from between her vertebrae and punctures through the mattress, entwining with the bed frame. She was still too long.

Her eyes stare without seeing at the ceiling, until it all goes dark. This time… she doesn’t blink.