I have been living through a familiar dread—one that I have carried with me my entire life.
A major part of my predicament is in the stringing of my thoughts—in the way my mind instinctually expands off one concept onto another. At times I seem to be thinking, or at minimum existing, at multiple levels. Not in a psychedelic way; yet, in a very definite effectual state in which I am neither here nor there, but everywhere. There aren’t any lights or awakenings, but there exists this extremeness of a structure or building, as if I were a skyscraper itself expanding out in exponential infeasible directions beyond the view of the naked eye. And here, I slip simultaneously beyond what I am able to see and into the place of invisibility.
I recognize I am absent, with my faraway stare. I recognize I have lost my leash to the rest of self. I see from beyond that I am standing outside of where I am, holding a string to the other place of where the rest of me exists; my body in most ways remaining a shell.
In life as in fiction, I can be watching a scene play out, and at the same instant be analyzing the characters’ personalities, the actors’ personalities, the screen writer’s purpose, the landscape, the environment and feasible psychological ramifications of the spoken words and actions of the people. My mind seems spider-like in its ways, capable of reaching out in a potentially infinite array of directions, with its spindly legs sprouting and spurning in fanatical rupture. The rhythmic zeal moves from abstract to concrete, and I am swept up in the weaving of a thousand stitching legs—the legs themselves as streams pouring out of a waterfall, each spawning another waterfall. Picture after picture. Image after image dripping down in a thousand ways. All of this birthed into a whirlpool of thought that is neither disorganize or organized, but collected in the same manner in which one would forge food for the winter or build a nest for safety. Here is where everything is.
In sitting to do or think of anything, I am sitting as the aching spider, as the legs, as the fountains, as the streams, as the nest. Some large living machine pulsating with connections. I can sense this happening, as I am thinking about thinking about thinking. I take an elevator in thought or jump through the illusion of self that is in actuality the mirrors set upon mirrors—each image further, smaller, deeper, but just as real and just as exact.
I don’t actually see a spider and legs, and the rest, but I feel this movement as such; where if I had to describe the pulsating chains of me, this is as close as I could come. But in truth there isn’t anything I can follow or find, just this sense of substantial never ending depth akin to the collective pool of unconsciousness or perhaps liken to a life-size mold where self enters to be reinvented again and again.
Here in this space of no space, I meander through the chambers that hold the record of all experience, shifting through the files and bringing up into the light that which has yet to be discovered: a scaffolding mechanism reviewing what has been, what will be, and where I ought be.
The trouble begins, need I say trouble, when I open the files of ‘ought.’ There is where the stinging nettle comes, with the burning so distracting that all else falls down. The ‘ought’ files take over. For some reason or another, my essence absorbs the rules, regulations, how-tos, structure, system of being, and so on. I don’t know why, and it hurts to try to figure out the why of why I need to know the whys. I just do.
And in so being immersed in the ‘ought’ files, I get lost. I become over-expanded, swelled, and pressurized. A sponge in a pool expansive and foreboding, each movement of thought yet another burden onto self. Here in the pool of ‘oughts’ I become confused, primarily because there exists contradiction beyond contradiction. One school of thought against the other. One way of being beyond the other. Each standing in line shouting to be heard. Here is a room that has too many choices and too many directions. Too much depth. For a child as I be, I become mesmerized and trapped in the gooey notions of ‘ought.’ I begin deciphering each segment, each crumb, reaching the same conclusion continually: That all is an illusion and all is not.
I stand there ashamed of my own being for not being who I ‘ought’ to be. As I stand there, too, erect in self proclaiming who I am. I stand there crying in the confusion. And I sink there too, the strokes of my arms useless, as I wade through the muck of nonsense.
I become useless onto myself with so many options that lead to either dead ends or the opposite or the contradictory voice of a mass of many; the ‘oughts’ tie up the whole of the machine into a ball of inability. Motionless enters. I remain trapped, focusing and refocusing on what is evidentially lies or mistruths. I hear the echoes of the all. The ways in which the ‘wrongness’ hurts the masses. The ways in which we are each silently tormented in our minds by the rules established by the ones who are equally predispositioned to torment. It becomes a jumble of confusion and mayhem; something far beyond the enchantment of mystery and far closer to the bowels of a bleak twisted jail yard.
I am myself here, still. Uncorrupted, unmoved, but nonetheless made into something I don’t want to be. I am crying on the inside while strong on the outside. And then I am strong more so in the depths of self and made weak on the outer layers. I am bathed in this place of non-discrepancy, baptized in a sense by the very alive confusion. Drowned too, unable to breathe, and then spat out, left as naked and brought back to this place I am now. Here. Present. Aware. Alive.
I go through this in a way so swift and abstract, yet so expansive in distance and very real, that I cannot help but to be altered, existing as this being reborn and reborn again, through the loud shattering chaos that the world whispers as truth.