Sunday, May 6, 2012

Writing through the Wormhole

a GUEST POST: by JOSH BARKEY

Have you ever time-traveled? 

It's hard, given the constraints of our straight-jacket space-time continuum, but with quantum mechanics and a really, really big slingshot, it may just be possible. Or, you could try a journal.

I used to write journals. Like, on paper. With a pen. Crazy, eh?

My journals are like windows into my past soul, and today I found a couple of them to peek through as I attempted to chuck some more life-detritus and neatifize my surroundings in preparation for the push into full-gonzo, write-like-a-motherfool extravaganza that is to come.

When everything extraneous was tossed or tucked away, I sat down to read some of the thoughts of my ten-years-ago self and I thought, "Dang! Who is this guy?" I mean, twenty-two year-old moi wrote some interesting stuff. He was a bit naive, sure, but not as big an idiot as I tend to remember him. It made me think I maybe oughtta give the guy a break, and perhaps even a voice here on this blog. If you like what he had to say (and say so in the comments), I may even invite him back for another guest-post in the future.

Without further ado, then, allow myself to extensively quote... myself: 

1. "Speaking of age, it's twenty-two years ago today that I first squirmed, wriggling and slimy and screaming, from the warm, dark cave where my cells divided to build a house for my soul. Twenty-two years of thinking and breathing, breathing and thinking. Tomorrow (if I live), I'll be thirty*; but I know it's just one insignificant blip on a line of insignificant blips in a barrel of insignificant lines.

Why do we insist on marking these blips? Why do we constantly offer up to Time the power to make a mockery of the transience of our being? 

The way to rid ourselves of these things - stress, fear of death, and fear of growing old - is to embrace the moment. Throw out the watches and smash the clocks. Burn the schedules and the planners and the mini hand-computers and go back to living in the now. Watches tell the lie of fixed moments, which exist only in our imaginations. 

Eternity can be now."


2. "Chris is a true artist - a musician who can touch an instrument and make you cry, without once bashing it over your head. He's been my best friend and soul-mate and he's leaving for Europe tomorrow. 

People think of a soul-mate as someone with different chromosomes with whom you manage to bond in a mystical, romantical relationship that lives beyond death and into forever, but it's not. It's a transitory, passing flash. It can be a moment in a glance or a lifetime in a marriage; but if you blink, you'll miss it. Soul-mates come and soul-mates go, but happiness lies in the ability to recognize and cherish a soul-mate when you see one

So many talks and so many shared moments and it's the last night we'll have together. The last moments. The last words. We slip away from the group a while and talk about how Chris's dad talked to him again about how sad the music makes him, and how he's praying for Chris, and how this bothers Chris more than anything else. We chatter about this and other old things, finding comfort in familiarity.

Then it's time to go, and we pretend that in two years we'll overcome pipedreamitis and actually buy that van and drive it off the tip of Chile. A hug." 


3. "What are friends, and when do acquaintances make that ever-so-subtle transition to the other? Walking around the Lynden Fairgrounds with old friends and new acquaintances, I feel the comfort of proximity and the distinction doesn't seem important. What is important is that we're enjoying this moment not alone, but together - that there is someone to turn to and yell, "did you see that?!" at the ludicrousness of a demolition derby... that there is someone to watch you crawl into a pen and pretend to be one of the goats. 

This is the beautiful life; the supreme gift - that we can spend it together. Each man is an island, yes, but they are floating islands, with so many other islands within talking distance. The waters may be filled with sharks, but at least we can throw our words across the gap, and so diminish the bite of our mortal loneliness.


- - -

*I wanted to change that bit to say "thirty-two," because the irony/serendipity would be too delicious, but in the end I couldn't do it. I'm not averse to helping my less-experienced self out with a little editing, but only for purposes of clarity and making you like me a little more.

2 comments:

  1. Your first point about time is so great...please post more of this

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Ms/Mrs./Mr. Anonymousface. I'll see if I can convince Yung Mi to share a little more timeless wisdom with us.

    ReplyDelete

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