Disillusion. A new way.


The world seems helpless and it seems hopeless.

I find myself in total disillusionment with everything. The work of several years to better myself and to come to terms with myself, work which was going so very well, is collapsing.

I learned to trust and love my friends, my family even my enemies. I moulded the remnants of depression and confusion into a beautiful contentedness. It became an unshakable grounding from which I could approach each wonderful day with joy in my heart.

I learned to meditate each day, to foster only positive emotions and to discard all negativity from my life. We only curse the earth with our presence for so long; what madness would make us choose to spend it in sadness and suffering? My inspiration was calm. I lost my anger.

I lost something else too, something which took me years somehow to spot.

I lost my spark. I lost the inner fire that makes us fight to live and love each moment, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. I was at peace, but all passion was gone.

And what now?

In a matter of months, the world I see has changed for the worse. The leaders of the world have gone wild and their supporters wilder. Racism, nationalism, sexism; every imaginable form of baseless, weak-minded discrimination is on the rise. It becomes increasingly clear that we have pushed the earth to her limit and the environment is close to a point of collapse. All that is solid melts into air  and this time we are entirely to blame.

How can I then, in a time where it all is falling apart, possibly remain content? How can I hold firmly onto the contentedness  that I have fostered, even nourished in these past years?

I cannot.

That time is gone. It taught me much and I am thankful for a truly essential development in my self, but now is not a time where apathy serves. I have joined the disillusioned.

How can I sit in acceptance, as hate becomes the norm of society?

How can I sit in acceptance, as the people become divided over lies?

How can I sit in acceptance, as we burn nature to the ground in pure, brutal indifference?

I am a liberal, left-wing, environmentally-minded, vegetarian, bi-, non-binary, creative, introspective, radical human-being. In these times, the only element there I regret is the last.

In these times, where to sit in acceptance is as dangerous as to fight against the rising tides we face, my fostered neutrality has been smashed into tiny little insignificant pieces.

After years of purging pain and anger from my life in the name of breaking through my negativity, I am letting it all back in. Perhaps that seems like a truest form of madness, as if I were a monk jumping out of deep meditation to burn his temple in spite. I think however that this is a necessity.

Now?

Now I feel an uncontrollable rage at humanity’s encroaching madness. The world seems to me to be on the edge of a crumbling cliff: Past it is the void. The void is growing, in size and in strength. It can’t and won’t be stopped.

A curious feeling has grown however out of my new rage and this feeling is perhaps even stronger, or at the very least more striking. Out of the rage has grown an uncontrollable love. Suddenly I have so much joy to see the magpies each morning as I leave for university. Suddenly each falling leaf is a universe with its own story to tell. When I see my friends, they cannot possible know how thankful I am now to see them, and know that they are well, that they survive in the face of our world in flux.

I feel some of the other disillusioned are giving up. But no, why should helplessness mean giving up? Are we not still alive?  Are you not still breathing, thinking,  whilst you read my twisted  words so lacking hope?

Let me tell you then, that these words are of hope, at the very least for myself. With this development of new emotion – of conflicting love and rage – I realise: Our experience here, no matter how dark it turns, will always have glimmers of intense beauty. For each person who joins the ranks of mindless nationalism and discriminators, we can fight back with rage-fuelled love. As contrary as that seems, Love and anger are linked in impossible ways. The enemy here is apathy.

It has often been times of darkness where great writers have appeared from the shadows. I am not one of them, but I have learned from them how important the mighty pen becomes in such moments. Brecht attacked national-socialism. Lu xun gave up a medical career to take up the pen and challenge the early 20th century society of China. I am writing because although I sense a painful future, I see glimmers within its blinding darkness. I am one of the disillusioned, and it has made me see the beauty we will have until the last moment. It may hide in caves or under rocks at the very end, but it will always be there.

And so I throw away the work of years to become a content soul, thankful and accepting. I embrace now my new-found love and rage. I will stare into the encroaching void, and laugh with pure joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tick of time; something lost, something gained.


For everything gained, there seems always to be something lost.

In visible terms, I’ve gained an impossible amount in the past few years. I’ve learnt so much, travelled so far, lived more life than perhaps my entire life leading up to this time.

What could possibly be wrong, in the light of such growth?

What could there possibly be to lose?

The world has become so big and so small simultaneously. It’s become normal to be in London one day, and eating noodles in China only a few hours later, yet this only makes it crystal clear how much more there is to see and how little time there is to see it all. With every wondrous experience, the desire to not waste what is given to us overbears every thought, yet as each experience becomes normality, new experience itself becomes a drug.

Without the new, time ticks louder.

Whoever knew that a clock would have to be fed?

Time is hungry. Time well spent is hungrier.

That realisation of the value of time forces a view to what was valued in the past. You suddenly realise how much has passed, and how much is lost. Places called home fade, replaced by houses without the memories. Old dreams become nightmares, or at the very least turned away and forgotten. Close friends drift apart, and although they may well mean the world, the world has replaced them, and perhaps a mutual feeling of being forgotten exists, although the opposite is likely the reality.

In fearing the ticking clock, I’ve lost the trust of people who played a part in my being. I’ve lost any of the small sense of belonging I ever had. I’ve lost safety and security and let unpredictability in in its place.

Yet as there is something to gain for something lost, there is something lost for something gained. The fear of the tick of time has brought appreciation.

Appreciation for every tiny passing object, moment and thought.

It may be normal  to swap one country for another, but I see value in each place I go, which I never sensed before. Even when complaining about the frustration of Beijing life, looking up to a grey poisoned sky, I think about how perfect the blue days are.

When an old face goes by, whether I stop for a conversation or not, a feeling of thankfulness washes over like a flood. I might not see that face again for months, or years, or maybe even ever again; it becomes essential to revel in the moment while it’s still there. I’ve developed more love for friends than I’ve ever had before, despite having not seen many for a number of years.

In losing any feeling of security or stability, any moment of a relative return to such things is an incomparable bliss, even if there now exists a need to avoid staying within that stability.

Any negative feelings now quickly fade, driven away by their innate pointlessness. Time doesn’t stop for misery, but misery eats time. It doesn’t deserve a feast.

Through the experiences of the past few years I have gained and lost so much. In both gaining and losing in such boundless measures, one intense lesson has been learnt.

Appreciation seems to me now to be the balance between gain and loss; the importance of it only becoming clear due to a heightening of both extremes.

Appreciate everything. the new will appear and the old will pass, but there is infinite value in both. The tick of time won’t stop, so each moment must be loved. We only have so many ticks, each one appreciated is a victory to the experiences gained, and a defeat to the experiences lost.

her truest love


the wind sighs gently over the branches, almost bare of their mantles of crisp leaves. With each break in the wind, the branches too sigh, a peaceful burden lifted, letting them rise back to the sky. With each lifted burden, another leaf falls.

Weaved from the tree’s old cloaks, a carpet of red and gold forms, slowly yet surely. One more leaf tumbles on the breeze and makes its way to its place in the golden carpet.

A fox sits contemplating, watching the leaves drop, one after another after another. She stares all around her in wonder, as if she has realised her kindred spirit with her home. In the blazen colours surrounding her being, she feels an impossible warmth, a truest love.

The wind sighs gently through her fiery coat, but the wind lacks the forest’s new love. The fox turns to face the breeze, chilling now, as if it were ice itself. Looking up, she sees one last leaf on the branches. Alone, like her, in a forest of naked trees. She feels more forlorn than she ever has, knowing that when it falls, her truest love will be gone and the snow will replace the autumnal hearth.

The wind sighs and the last leaf flickers, struggling against its gnarled branch to stay. The fight is lost. It twists and turns, as if in excruciating pain, through the ever colder air biting it as it falls. It takes its final place, filling the final hole in the golden carpet.

The fox lowers her gaze and turns away. The bitter cold is come, her truest love is gone.

An odd escape


This is a continuation of my ‘honest’ posts where I finally say things which I haven’t said before. It’s not happy at the start, but please fight through it. There’s a light at the end.

I think it’s relatively clear to anyone who has read my earliest posts that I had quite a long stretch of depression a few years back. It flavoured probably the entirety of the first year, and certainly influences everything I write to this day. What has changed is how. It was at first a dark influence, entangling everything with chains of negativity, but now it has become a positive force.

Today I want to talk about how my former depression made me who I am today. A huge proportion of people experience depression during their lives, and every experience is different. I really feel that the more there is about turning that depression around on the internet, the better. There is only so much you can learn about depression from a health website, as it’s such a personal condition. Personal experience is important in getting above it.

I’m going to a gig in a few days. A band called Anathema is playing in Leeds Minster and I’m more than excited. I feel like it was an inevitability to see these beautiful people eventually, Because despite the apparent disconnectedness to today’s theme, Anathema is an integral part of my escape from Depression.

Funnily enough, I’ve talked about this band before on the blog. Why? How does a single band get so much coverage on a blog with very little link to music? Because their music changed me. They are one of a few bands in the world that are so important to me that they have influenced who I am very clearly. I’ll come back to Anathema in a bit.

It took me a long time to realise I was depressed. Several years actually. From about 14 to 17 years old, I was depressed without accepting that fact. I only realised when it became too much, when the darkest ideas had sprung into my head and I noticed that it wasn’t healthy to be having these thoughts. I won’t go into them too much, but they weren’t too happy.

I went to the doctor. I was given a form. I filled it out. I got very close to the ‘ seriously dangerously depressed’ mark on the form. The doctor sent me to talk to a counselor.

At this point I still hadn’t worked out why I was depressed. Depression is confusing – it has to be for it to go relatively unnoticed for 3 years. I was about to find out why I was in this awful position.

I only needed to see the counselor once. She referred me to a more serious counselor, but I never went. In a few days, I wouldn’t need to.

The meeting with this counselor was strange – terrifying at the time – but the realisations I made in that meeting changed everything. It was the first time that I explained everything to another person, and in doing so it was the first time I explained everything that was making me depressed to myself.

I found out that my depression boiled down in the end to a lack of trust, A feeling of failure, and fear.

the worst part is that it seemed to stem mainly from my family.

When I was 17 I genuinely no longer trusted a single person in my family. The only person I trusted in the whole world was one of my friends. One friend. And I got to this point because…

Fear. Two people in a household of four were prone to being incredibly aggressive and I have always been pretty non-confrontational. I was however for a while convinced that one day I would be attacked during one of their uncontrollable rages. Because of this I had the entire house mapped. Despite hating violence, I knew what I could use as a weapon in every room of the house if I needed to. Some days I was convinced I would need to know.

There was also the constant feud between my two divorced parents. Little did they know how much that feud tore me into pieces. I didn’t know who to believe, so I chose to believe no one. One parent always told me how I was being manipulated by the other. The other parent did not say how I was being manipulated by the other. I only realised a few years ago that by being told I was being manipulated, I was manipulated by those comments.

Then there was the feeling of failure. I always prided myself in being smart. Up to the start of secondary school I was at the top of the class for everything but sport, and depending on the sport I wasn’t awful at that either. Then, from a mixture of boredom of the ease of work, and pressure from the formerly mentioned things, i stopped caring. By the time I was 16, my grades had dropped considerably and I didn’t enjoy learning anymore.

I also had loved extra-curricular activities. I had loved music lessons. I had loved Scouts. I had loved swimming and table tennis. A couple of years of feeling like a failure and I didn’t enjoy these things anymore.

And perhaps the most important part of my feeling of failure, was a member of my family who certainly didn’t hold back on telling me how stupid I was. Every day I would be called ‘stupid, moron, idiot’ +numerous angry expletives. After a while you start to believe that rubbish. My reaction was to become completely apathetic to it. Which naturally made me appear more stupid. I wouldn’t answer questions, lest I appeared stupid. I certainly wouldn’t ask questions, because that’s apparently what stupid people need to do (NOT TRUE IN THE SLIGHTEST), I wouldn’t shout back at the accusations of stupidity, because I hate confrontation. Withering away under an onslaught of insults was the only option.

And so it was this realisation of distrust, fear and failure that I found myself after this counseling meeting… I had one very bleak day after this.

But just one…

Now back to Anathema. They started out as a doom metal band. Doesn’t sound like a too hopeful solution to depression, does it? The thing is that their music has evolved beyond recognition from those early days (which are also excellent, but very different) and now Anathema creates some of the most soul-resonating music, I would argue, ever made.

And so the following day, as i was walking back home from school I was thinking about the dark place I was in, desperately looking for a solution now that I had pinpointed the causes of my depression. I put Anathema on on my mp3 player.

This I what I heard.

“Needed time to clear my mind
And breathe the free air find some peace there
I used to keep my heart in jail
But the choice was love or fear of pain and

I…
Chose…
Love…
Cos everything is energy and energy is you and me…

Light shines in through an open window
Shines inside your heart and soul and
Light will guide your way through time
And love will help you heal your mind and

Life…
Will…
Be..

Cos everything is energy and energy is you and me…”

A choice of love or fear of pain.

And my solution became completely clear.  The answer was to forgive and love everything.

In a moment, the world turned beautiful. It was like the switch of a light. One moment It was dark, and suddenly the world was beautiful and I was crying. I looked around me as if I had never seen the world before, marveling at the sky, the birds, the trees.

I never told anyone that I had done this. I didn’t run up to my parents and say ‘I forgive you’. They would have been confused if I had, because they wouldn’t have known they had ever done anything wrong. In fact in many ways, this is a horrifically brutal blog, because I never said to them that I felt they played a vital role in my depression, and now it is on the internet for the world to see. 6 billion eyes could potentially look at this. But they can rest at least in the knowledge that they were completely forgiven a few years ago.

Over the course of the following week, I was called stupid numerous times by that particular family member (it still happens to this day actually). It didn’t matter. I’d forgiven them and I only had love at that point. Aggressive comments were directed from one parent at the other (but not the other way round – that rarely happens, to this day). It didn’t matter. I’d forgiven both parents for any wrong-doing they had done, and I had only love. The completely blown out of proportion aggression towards normal every-day inconveniences from one family member continued. It didn’t matter. It was forgiven, I no longer looked for weapons around the room I was standing in when it all kicked off.

I made my odd escape from depression through total forgiveness and love. i only found the answer through a band called Anathema. For all I know, that band might have saved my life.

.

.

.

And now I sit here, wondering if I should publish this or not. It’s a completely honest piece, and I have been striving to be as honest as possible, that honesty hurts. If certain family members read this, they would be hurt severely by it.

But honesty is honesty.

And so it becomes public honesty.

You’re closer now


You won’t sink

To the shifting sands of time

They say

It consumes everything

Though I know

It only takes the shell

 

You were always far away

Out of reach

Out of sight

And somehow now

You’re closer now

Than you ever were before

 

I think back

To that place that never was

To favourite memories

Of which I dreamed

But never truly had

 

You were always far away

Out of reach

Out of sight

And somehow now

You’re closer now

Than you ever were before

 

Life will fade

From flesh and loving eyes

But life transcends

Love won’t fade

From time or space

And love holds life

Eternally.

The Sun and Moon


I’m not one to say goodbye before the sun falls,

There’s so much time.

There’s so much time

To dance in the rain and sing away our pain

That nothing lasts forever

That we know

Be my sun;

And I won’t care about the end.

The world around us comes undone;

We may be lost but have a friend.

I’ll be your moon;

If your light fades mine soothes you.

We come to end in times too soon;

Be my sun, I’ll be your moon.

Have a nice day.


One thing I love about having my little space on the internet as that I can reach out across the world and people can see what I think. Each and every one of you that likes a post of mine after reading it, is someone who has shared a moment with me, and I with them. Peoplewe know and see everyday, we may say the infamous ‘how are you?’ and wait for the generic answer of ‘not bad, and you?’ but here, it is something different. We open up before the link between the writer and reader has formed and that way that distant conversation from halfway across the world becomes meaningful and close; a meeting of minds, not secretive smiles of concious cages (I like that line…might have to use it in a poem). So today, I say to the whole world with a smile of joy…

Have a nice day, live today, love today, and let everyone you meet

have a nice day.