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On Coping

One day soon it’s going to happen to you
and when it does it won’t be pretty.
One day soon it’s going to happen to you
and when it does… I won’t be there

Moonpools and Catterpillars, "Soon"

Interesting thing, how we cope. It tries us like nothing else because everything is left up to you. Nothing else isolates the individual than an anguish that permeates every moment and aspect of his existence. Thus, even if negatively, one feels being alive again, knowing what it means for the body to give up and acquire the status of a weight, for the mind to suspend itself in front of the absurdity of the world, and for the spirit to evaporate from the now dead flesh. Grief, like joy, gathers the fragmented self to a solitary mood, focusing itself into a single lens through which the world is (newly) seen. Either the world appears as gift or is disqualified as vain. Either way, in front of a world that stays silent, the individual is alienated from everything and finds himself alone. He finds himself alone with only a memory to keep and a mess for a heart. And it is this memory which both feeds and kills him.

For, like the shadow behind your back, one cannot simply shrug off the irreversibility of a tragedy, the absence of loss. Forgetfullness, like the momentary breath of air as one surfaces from the bottomless ocean, can never last long enough; how can one hide from that which never sets? Unlike Orpheus, anguish stares you at the face and it is important not to turn your back to it. The way back to earth runs through this passage of tears. And one has to trust, that in walking backwards (because it is important to move on) while facing the past (one cannot but look back), one still--however impossible it may seem--would be able to find one's way back home or to a new dwelling where it is possible to begin again. To begin again? That would be asking too much from someone who is still on the way.

And that is all that can be done in coping--to fumble one's way with steps that lead to nowhere, drifting here and there, wishing that the next tide will gently carry one in the right direction yet knowing that all one is doing is to continue to fall. Nothing more can be expected from a man who no longer expects anything from this world. For him, the future is suspended and tomorrow is another moment in this eternal sorrow. Melancholy freezes time into a deathlike monotony where nothing happens. Nothing emerges from the landscape and everything is struck with boredom. And it is onto this neutralized screen of reality where visions of the past, and the pain of reliving them, are played out in an eternal and thus unforgiving present. With nothing to see and nowhere to go, one is then nailed to the cross of his past, on the very summit where he had died, and there, he continues to die a thousand times more, reliving (re-dying?) each moment, like a riddle on your mind--except that this one will never be answered. Unto forever.

They always tell you that time heals everything. What they don't tell you is that time is the last thing you feel or worry about. What you feel is the sting of your gaping wounds, never the silent passage of time.


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