Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Don't think about all those things you fear

I haven't had a proper ramble for ages, well not a public one anyway. In fact there hasn't been any action, from me, out here in cyberspace, for quite a while.

I'm quite prone to introspection, you may have noticed if you hadn't been staring at your own bellybutton. And it is both a gift and a bind. But it is something wrapped up within my insides, feeling tightly wrapped around like I have been rolled over and over inside a carpet so it clasps the whole of my being.

Perhaps introspection is another name for sensitivity, perhaps even hypersensitivity. I crave peace and quiet, loud noises jolt me with impatience and I baulk at how the non-sensitives will shout into their mobile phone whilst sat next to you, or park themselves adjacently to your long-searched-for-solitude on a remote beach ovelooking the sea.

At the hinges of the seasons I feel my sensitivities even more and they career between overwhelm and near blissful wonder at the world.

As autumn begins I feel this the most strongly. My feeling for the world is so fiercely overwhelmed but amongst the raw and vulnerable feelings are glimpses of infinity and heaven. But what can be imagined and intellectually understood is not the same as the experience itself. As to live through a hyper-sensitive episode is to be within it, rather than an impassioned observer of its trials and wonders.

Here's something I wrote just as a stream of conciousness back in September, when I was staying away from home for work and felt the full force of autumnal sensitivity.

"I ache, I ache all over.

People watching: what is it to be old, what is it to be young, transporting my enquiring mind into theirs to live their lives for a brief moment. Looking into each persons eyes through my dark glasses, looking at them looking at me, looking at them. Too many interconnections, too interconnected. Need to turn the volume down.

The inxplicable ache of beauty. An impossible Tsumani of creativity and experience, overwhelming sensitivity. Want to bottle it in a jar, keep it and live with it always but also be able to put the lid on so I can breathe and take a break. Sensitivity is such a paradox. While you ache, things take on such infinite proportions, whether you ache for a break, for the world not to keep rushing you with such force, or whether beauty makes you ache, grabs you and affixes its beauty to your soul so you cannot escape, like your brain is being pulled out through your eyes. The aches oscillate between positive and negative each with pull like a powerful magnet, pulling into its clutches or repelling you strongly.

Hard to escape and hard to resist, a trap so overlwhelming you want it to stop and yet when the pain is gone, back comes mundanity. You don't feel the absence of pain, only at the moment it recedes, when the relief replaces the sensitivity. And yet when it's gone you ache once more, you miss it once it's gone, you want it back. You want to feel alive to your core, once again.

Thoughts and interconnections tumble out of your mind, such a thrill if you can catch a ride on one but so often, you just want to pres the pause button and see what it is like to watch and experience what it is you are experiencing. To sit back and watch yourself deluged in a sensitive flow of tumbling thoughts so you can make sense of them, take a step back, have them happen whilst be able to witness the flow, see them for what they are, bring them altogether, condense and channel them. But as soon often in life your instrospection does not allow you to silently witness the flow, you are ungulfed in its midst a passenger in the torrent."

"I am writing this sat in a hotel room on a sunny Sunday. What a day to be hyper sensitive.

Away from home for work, with no outlet except a pouring out of words into my laptop, like an ever open ear. Earlier I sat in a pub and ordered myself lunch and attempted to read my Sunday newspaper. My brain on overdrive, I could only muster two paragraphs before my eyes would lift and scan around me to see what was happening, jittery and unfocused, the tsunami gathering momentum all the time.

Battling self conciousness, sat on my own, the sad travelling worker. Newspaper and sunday lunch, pint with billy no mates. And yet the feeling of exposure, the looking at people and the lives, and their ways, their companions and them looking back at me. It heightened it all, the flow of words, the introspection. the self loathing, the strong feeling of the utter transience of existence, the overwhelming power of inexplicable beauty in the world, what it is to be alive, what it is to be sensitve, what it is to trying to make sense of all these things, trapped in a wave crashing onto the shore, tumbled over and over and over.

Me watching them, watching me, whathcing myself, always trying to draw back one more level to make sense of it all, put a box round it and be a witness, so desperate to make sense of it all.

And yet when you think you make sense of it, one of two things happens, it suddenly diminishes, to explain is to take out the mystery, to extinguish its flame or sometimes the opposite happens.

Sometimes it is a revelation as two parts of your mind speak to one another for the first time, like an explosion of inspiration, a never bofore made connection opens up an entire new world.

The world comes spinning back and the wave you were once engulfed in is just one roller hitting the shore, there are 100's more following it in, to engulf you once more.

But what becomes so evidently clear is these words are futile, a nothingness, a distraction in pointlessness. My imagination cannot bottle up those and replay them to me at will, I cannot take them home in a little box tied up with string. I need to be living them now, in the here and now, they are there while they're there and it is then when you feel them in your soul. The memory is bitter sweet, it isn't that thing, it has none of its intensity but it has enough of a clue to remind you to go back and feel it once again.

And this leads me to the ache I feel most of all. the transience of existence. Just as a flower is transient so is a thought, so is a life, looking back is neither here nor there, it is all present in the here and now in its infinite beauty and variety.

But each moment is gone as quickly as it arrives as will be my life, my existence. Embrace the brevity for it is all you have. One day soon you and I will be gone."


Pete Woodruff said...


Good to hear from you again Richard.

Richard Shilling said...

Thanks Pete, you too.

jesusaguado said...

Fantástico blog y estupendas creaciones!! Un saludo!! Jesús.

Vicky said...

Very touching.. I feel this