Floating On

Above the clouds, looking down at their spiraling turrets and sweeping fields of snowy white substance, a soul flies. It is lonely, disconnected, lost. It is searching for something among the cool and constantly shifting vista below. A little while ago it passed above a hole that showed the brown and green of land. If a soul could blanch, it would have grown pale to see that. The far away land wasn’t what it was searching for. In fact, it was what it had fled from. The answer it was searching for was supposed to be in the clouds.

The soul floats on. Most of all, it fears the intrusion of loud and dirty airplanes, full of bodies with souls more or less trapped inside them. It doesn’t miss the weight of flesh, nor the noise of humanity. It wishes, sometimes, that it could have experienced the desert, seen the emptiness of the sand dunes and spent the nights gazing at the endless blanket of stars that hangs above the world like a soft dome.

But the life it was given was not such a calm one. The soul can’t remember it very well, but it knows that it never felt at peace, caged inside the coils and toils of the brain it used to reside in.

Freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either, though. The soul continues to float, and slowly loses its belief in what it was hoping to find among the clouds. It’s been wandering among them for long enough now to become disillusioned.

Next time it sees a hole in the clouds, it peeks down. If a soul could gasp, it would have. If it could have clapped its hands, it would have. Instead, it swoops down, faster and faster, the air drawing its formless vapor into a long and softly colorful streak. As it approaches the land beneath it, the heat and dust of a desert rise up to meet it.

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Everybody Dies

It’s an inevitable truth that everybody dies. We don’t all go in the same way. Not all of us get to live long enough. Too many of us die before our time. I say us, because humanity is a species, a world-wide animal that has taken over this planet. Doesn’t matter what you believe – in Darwin’s theories of evolution or in God creating the world in six days or the hundred other explanations people have to figure out how we got here. It doesn’t really matter why we’re here. Only that we are. And that we all die.

Some people believe in a beyond –  a heaven or a hell or something in between. Some believe that we’re all born again into a new body after we die. Some of us believe that there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, that dying is the simple end of life itself, with nothing further. Once again, it doesn’t really matter what we believe about what happens after death. Some of us may take comfort in knowing that there’s a better place that we go to. But some, maybe even many, would rather keep going with their lives as long as they can without finding out what’s awaiting.

Everybody dies. Yes. It’s a simple truth. Death is portrayed as a dark angel, a hooded figure with a sickle, a looming darkness, a white light, a sense of peace… None of us will know what death is until it happens to us. The only thing I can imagine about death is silence. Absolute silence. So still, so extremely quiet, that it’s deafening.

Why does everybody die? It’s the simple cycle of nature, or God, or Gods – whatever and whomever you want to attribute it to. Some people believe there’s a reason – a sin, or a mistake, or something that needs punishing. Some people believe there’s a reason – that a person is too good to live in this world of fear and darkness. Some people simply believe there are no reasons.

The problem is, until now, this looks like a depressing, rather scattered article about death. But is it? Really? Isn’t knowing that death is inevitable freeing somehow? It can let us live without fear, without the constant gnawing pangs of worry over what might happen to us when we fly, or cross the road, or have a surgery. I can’t say that knowing that death is waiting for us all helps when someone we love dies. It doesn’t help then, and won’t ever, because losing someone is more difficult than losing oneself, or most always is.

But in terms of each of our own personal lives – there’s a freedom to being aware of the simple truth that humans, just like all other animals, procreate and then die, leaving the world to become, hopefully, a better place.

Anna Again

Anna is the voice in her head. Anna is the demon who has fixed her claws deep in her heart and even deeper in her mind, brimming with intelligence and yet unable to distance itself from those cruel, sharp, gold tinted claws. Anna is the angel face smiling down at her when life seems out of control. Anna is a constant companion, forever nagging and soothing, lifting spirits only to crush them back down again with a stiletto heel.

Anna promises never to leave, in a tantalizing whisper that sends shivers down her back – whether of fear or delight, it’s impossible to tell. Anna is the one behind the scenes, directing her life, damaging her soul, compromising her very personality and changing it. Anna is the fairy giving her a smile, a pat on the back, a motherly grin, all while hiding her pointed teeth that forever drip with malice and contempt.

Anna is a horror. Anna is a savior. Anna cannot be banished. Anna craves to leave.

Anna.

Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can come from the way a cloud moves across the sky, reminding you of  a puppy chasing it’s mother through the sky, trying to catch up with her. It can come from the way your morning cup of coffee smells, the rich and heady aroma of it rising into your nose and awakening your senses. It can come from the old man you saw on the street who was struggling with his shopping bags and grumbling under his breath about the youth of today.

Inspiration can come from your favorite books, movies, radio-shows and music. You can copy and steal from every written word ever published without anyone being the wiser, because on the way to your finished work you changed everything you meant to steal. Your inspiration can carry you past plain copy-and-paste into the land of borrowing from lyrics, ideas, symbols, and generalized characters. You can decide to copy the tale of Aladdin’s Lamp and end up writing about fog in San-Francisco – and even then you might be positive you stole the whole thing.

Inspiration can be slippery. It can hit you when you’re in the middle of a conversation, when you’re driving, when you’re about to fall asleep – as a result, you’ll lose the ideas, and kick yourself for it. It can also strike you just when the pen is in your hand or your hands are hovering over the keyboard.

Inspiration can be a bitch, and desert you for days at a time.