Experience 

Can you feel what I feel? Dry yellow heat and heavy weight pressing down. Can you see what I see? Mesmerising white blurs on solid black, fuzzy dots of light seen through unfocused eyes, sculptures of perfection waiting patiently. Can you hear what I hear? Too-loud music in a shady bar, soft hums of love, cincadas outside a window, steady rhythms out of sync with a dirty record. And can you, my reader, taste what I taste? Strawberries. Toothpaste. Eggs and orange juice and borrowed breakfasts. Salt. The smell of a sweet plant, of an ear infection. Cheap noodles and chocolate chocolate chip pancakes at 1 in the morning. Fast food and home made dinner for six and a half. Three large gulps of cool water. 

I still wait impatiently for winter’s icy air and chest-deep shivers, but maybe summer is good for 2pm naps and domino’s pizza. And that’s okay.

~Harmony

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April

Oh, reader, how beautiful the world is and how sad its people are. Those around me are crying and letting rain pour down their faces, oblivious to the light and life around them. If only I could transport myself back to the windy fall, when rain came down gently and beautifully. If only I could once again put on a soft hat, a light jacket, some fuzzy socks. I miss the days of walking absently in the rain with tiny drops of water hitting my umbrella…. Now, when the sky is blue and birds sing to the sun, now is when I reminisce on those days of wet asphalt and dripping leaves. April has given me a fair share of showers, some delicate and others violent, but April cannot match October. April’s rabbits and flowers and sunshine cannot bring me the same feeling as October’s silence and decay and overcast. It is almost May, and then it will be June, and time will continue on and on until eventually it is once again my precious October with its comforting oranges and browns. The thought of nature’s cyclical routine is comforting during the spring and, soon, summer, both of which are overwelming in so many ways. 

Tears fall in April because the pain of winter hasn’t left. When the world surrounding one is black, it is difficult to acknowledge dark feelings. When the world is bright, however, every pain and every sorrow are illuminated. So many people are victim to this and, consequently, miss the beauty that can only be found and acknowledged during spring. I see and appreciate it’s beauty, but that does not mean I will abandon my love for fall. The connection is too deep. Still, though, I do make time each day to notice a new flower, a fluffy cloud, a baby bird…little signs of life and light and love. 

Take time to notice the little things, reader. They are the world’s gift to you.

~Harmony

Death.

It is time, reader, to tell you about death. I do not know how, exactly, I will die. I can hope for a peaceful death, one in which I am unaware. I can hope for a painless death, something swift. What I cannot hope for, however, is knowledge of if there is a form of “living” after one has passed. Most people fear death, and many of those people understand that it is the unknown elements of after that truly fear them. Sometimes I fear the unknowns of death too. But only sometimes.

In order for you to understand, my dear reader, I must explain my conflicting positions and ideas on spirituality and the creation of the universe. This is, of course, a controversial topic, and so I will say now that my views are strange in some ways and not strange in others. I hope that after all this time, a simple post does not come between you, the reader, and me, the writer. Two strangers who have, most likely, never met. What a lovely thought, to never meet…but I digress and return to the topic of death.

I am a person of science. I believe in evolution, in reason, and in logic. Religion without science is, in my opinion, synonymous with “foolish.” Blind faith holds no answers. Yes, science is where I have always gravitated! However…as I grow, and as I learn, the denial of creationism becomes increasingly difficult. I look toward a passion- medicine- and it is practically looking at me in the face. How can this world be? DNA, cells, viruses, reproduction, ecosystems…they all fit perfectly into each other, they are all puzzle pieces that fit so smoothly it is hard to believe they came about by chance, that they just happened to form this complex puzzle. Doesn’t it make more sense, I ask myself, isn’t it more logical for these pieces to have been carved? And that, reader, is a question I do not have an answer to. At the moment, I believe in science. At the moment, I believe in some vague idea of Creationism. The two- science and creationism- do not necessarily conflict, and so I accept it.

When it comes to God, reader, I must say that I do not believe in Him as Christians do. My God is not one higher being, one almighty power who’s omniscience is to be feared or awed. No, my spirituality is based in science and psychology. Science explains that energy can neither be created not destroyed, and that is a fact on which my beliefs are built. I believe in a universal energy, ever changing its form as we humans have proven possible. This energy is within everything- living or non-living, sentient or not. This energy can be called God, or it can be called something else. Changing the name of something will not change its properties. If I were to start calling all cats “chairs”, would they cease being living felines because of my words? Would they become a chair? The answer is no, it would continue on with being a cat and ignore my amazingly human attempt to neatly catorgize it.  I believe it is this energy that runs through everything, forever, that humans can not connect to because of the desire- no, need- to organise and understand the world around them, and so they create false ideas to help connect with it. Religion and myths are used to exlplain the unexplainable. How does the sun rise? The Greeks decided a god carried it across the sky. How did life come to be? Creationism became an answer.

This leads me to the original topic, death. Humans fear what they cannot understand. They create stories and beings to force a false understanding for themselves. What happens after death? We don’t know. Nobody who has truly experienced it can tell us. So stories of the afterlife and good vs bad and gods and souls came about. I must admit, reader, that I searched desperately for some kind of answer for a very long time. It wasn’t until I decided to make a story for myself- a myth based on what knowlede I had- of what happens after death that I became calm. What did I know about death? I knew that it happened to everything that lived, and that nothing came back from it. I knew the heart stopped beating, the brain stopped sending electrical impulses. And so my conclusion was that, after one dies, they stop existing. Their thoughts and opinions and feelings vanish; that person’s energy (or, as some will argue, their soul) will go back into the world and universal energy in some way or another. They will cease to think and feel, and therefore exist. When a person dies, we do not mourn for the deceased’s body, but for the mind we shall no longer connect and interact with. The dead do not think. The dead do not feel. The dead, as I now believe, are gone forever. 

Yet I believe in ghosts and spirits and the like. How contridicting, the two beliefs are, and how frustrating that contradiction can be at times. But that is part of what makes me human, I suppose. It would be nice to think that those who have died will not completely leave us, or that we shall see them again eventually, but to me these are small thoughts formed by a selfish mind. The human mind is undeniably selfish and flawed, and each is unique. And so we mourn each time we realise we can no longer interact with a mind we are particularly fond of….

There is a finality in death, a period at the end of a very short sentence. It is this finality that is sometimes a comfort to me at night, that I will share the experience of dying with every other thing that has lived or will live. So sometimes, when I firmly believe in nothingness, I do not fear death. Other times I do not completely believe, I do not want to believe, and it is in those moments that fear of the inevitable grip my heart. But I know that I, along with everyone, must pay for living out my life. The price is settled. We all must pay it. 

I’m sure others would like to argue and debate over what I’ve written. In all honesty, reader, I am barely conscious as I type. My goal is not to convince anybody that my ideas are “correct.” I simply wanted to explain why I sometimes do not fear death. For now I will enjoy my science-spirit journey.

Religion asks “why,” science asks “how.” The two should not exist without each other. 

~Harmony 

Unusual

I’d like to tell you a story, reader, that is full of metaphors and deep thoughts. I’d like to go on a long monologue about death and why, sometimes, I am not afraid of it. I’d like to tell you about how I pretend sometimes that you are there, currently, and are truly reading my words, though the evidence in front of me proves otherwise. I would like all these things. Instead, let me tell you about my world.

The air outside is an uncomfortable 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold enough to induce shivers, yet too warm to satisfy the craving of deep bone chills. It is usually overcast, but sometimes not, and occasionally a light mist will grace the dying plants for a couple of minutes. Never, though, does it sincerely rain and drown out all natural sounds with deafening thunder and shrill wind. Food, lately, is bland because most fruits and vegetables don’t grow well this time of year. Salt can only do so much, you know. Events have been lacking, and so I am faced with an ever growing boredom. The strangest thing, however, is the fact that it is almost Christmas. I have two people (at the least) I am obligated to give gifts to. Yet nothing about life feels festive or merry. The only reason I am sure it is, in fact, almost Christmas is the lights my neighbours have buried their houses under. This year, though, the bright twinkles in the dark sky offer no solace. There are simply not enough strong feelings this year, reader. For once my thoughts are unhappily empty and searching for the blanket of cold that is so strongly associated with winter. Sadly, my lungs remain warm (though my fingers are often cold) and my feet remain dry. I think the feeling that I feel is disappointment. I am disappointed that this season is not as miserable and uncomfortable as it had been in years prior.

Even the words I produce are too light.

~Harmony

Winter

Hello, reader. It is winter again. My, how time speeds by…Much has changed in the last year. It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since I first wrote here. What has changed for you, reader? Has the year gone by before your eyes, or have you tamed time?

There are so many things that have changed this past year. I have grown, I have learned, I have cried, and I have hidden. However, I think the most important change in my life has been a single person. This person has made me smile, and laugh, and be comfortable. This person has also made me frown, and cry, and be worried. This is a person I cannot imagine disappearing because they have become such a constant in my life. This person has beauty that not only rivals but surpasses the most glorious and fantastic things my mind can create. They have etched their voice and image into me. When I see this person, my heart stops and stares in awe of their existence and, more importantly, their existence so close to me. I have found a person who makes me feel and brings light to the darkest corners of my mind. Yes, this year I have found love.

I have also found a form of maturity that has improved my work ethic. The desire to be happy led me to a professional that has helped me improve and overcome many obstacles. I have pushed myself and, recently, been working hard at many things. Many, many, many things and many, many, many obstacles. That has been my year, lovely reader. And now it is winter again. I survived the spring chatter, the summer sadness, and the autumn transitions. It is winter again. I have the deep, chest filling cold to look forward to. It is winter. I know what will happen this year- the feeling of floating, lost at the sea of short days and depressing chills that make even my heart shiver. But this year I have warmth and light to guide my way. Maybe a lighthouse will illuminate the sea and really let me see the amazing fish swimming just below the surface. One day, I might be brave enough to dip a hand in without the fear of drowning. Maybe a day will come when I can jump into the water and swim with the fish under the light shining from so far away. Maybe my light is an illusion, a trick of the mind leading me to a terrible drowning. I do not know….Right now, there is only one thing I am sure of.

Finally, it is winter.

~Harmony

Gifts

Hello, reader. What did you do today? Was it a bad day, or perhaps a perfectly pleasant day? Whatever kind of day you had or have been having, keep in mind that each day contains a gift. Often, we do not open or appreciate our daily gift, and I am no exception. Today, however, I noticed mine.

I woke up in the morning and was displeased with many things. I couldn’t decide on what to eat, I wasn’t able to do things as planned, and I had a fitful night’s sleep. I called upon a friend and we decided to go out, maybe to see a movie and go to the mall. Normal, average, uninteresting. My gift, however, was something that, on any other day, I might have missed. You see, reader, today’s weather was rare. It was a warm, but not hot, day with a shining sun and constant breeze. The sky was clear and the air was fresh. As we drove along the road to our destination, my friend chatting beside me, I happened to look out the window…

The view was of a hill. Normally I would think of a hill as unimportant and easily ignored, but this was different. The sun shone brightly on the grass, illuminating it in multiple shades of green and reflecting back at me. As the wind blew, the grass bent, and it bowed in a wave over the hillside. It was breathtaking, this green ocean, and I all but forgot about my friend next to me, or the upsetting morning, or that my shoulder was a tad stiff. I watched as the gleaming grass danced, and it was gorgeous.

That, I believe, was my gift for today. It brought me back to the beauty of the world around us. It reminded me of how absolutely complex nature is, and how something as seemingly simple as grass can be, in the right moment, the single most beautiful thing in the world. I hope you open your gift today, reader.

~Harmony

Autumn

Hello reader. Have you had a pleasant summer? I certainly hope so. The warm weather is, theoretically, coming to an end. In its place I welcome crisp breezes and wet asphalt where there was once dry air and burning ground. Autumn is one step closer to winter, when the sky is dark and silence falls and humans have the need to celebrate in fear of losing any warmth they once had. Autumn is beautiful.

School has started again, and, though I have nine months to decide on a path for life, it feels the same as it has always felt. There is a single exception, though. A romantic interest. I’m not one for romance, reader. In fact, I find it to be an unwanted distraction. Yet why would I not welcome something different- a change- in the monotone life that is, “school, home, sleep, repeat”? Something to occupy my thoughts when I wake up at 3am (which I often do) or have to punch holes in 120+ place cards (planning a wedding is work, and I am required to help) should be a good thing. In the back of my mind I tell myself these things. In the front I ignore it. Somewhere in the middle I focus on a particular person, though, and my mind has taken to drifting towards the middle. It’s irritating. I have classes to focusing on and music to create and thoughts to think. I am waiting for autumn to start; it will, hopefully, clear my mind of distractions. Until then I have been spending my time on everything. I do homework occasionally, play guitar frequently, doodle constantly, and eat rarely. I can tell I am running from something, but it is unknown to me what that something is. I can only assume my mind is protecting me by pushing me towards work such as school and tasks such as learning songs. I have been playing folk music on an acoustic guitar. I do not enjoy folk music, so why have I been playing it?

I can’t wait for it to be autumn.

~Harmony

Confessions- Terror

Welcome, reader. I had intended to write a post concerning motivation and it’s sudden appearance and/or disappearance. That, however, was saved as a draft- an unfinished thought- and has been ignored for long enough now that I am deciding if I should discard it or not. Instead of sharing those half-thoughts with you, though, I’ve decided to confess.


See, there are many things I am afraid of. I’m the kind of person who will run out of the room at the sight of an insect or be too scared to walk down the hall to the bathroom when it’s dark. The creaking of settling doors make my heart skip a beat. Even hair moving in the corner of my vision will plant a small seed of fear in the back of my mind. It’s easy to be scared and to tackle your fears. There are many things that I’m afraid of, but only one thing that I am terrified of. 

Imagine a suburban neighborhood. Every house is the same or similar, and there is a car or two in every driveway. All the kids on the street are, somehow, the same age and friends with one another. Barbeques and block parties occur during summer, and the there are collective celebrations of holidays. It is a true community. Now, take that neighborhood and remove everyone. Empty houses, all the same. The sky is still blue and the pools are still in backyards. Now put all the people back…but stuck in their homes. The doors are locked from the outside and everyone is content in their homes. Only certain people are outside and the whole community looks out their windows at these amazing outdoorsmen. Clearly they must be strong and amazing to be able to leave their homes and survive outside! The people outside are our celebrities- musicians and actors and politicians. The ones inside are the common people. The commonfolk will call each other and talk about the things outside, they will send texts and photos and communicate with their neighbors, but never leave their homes. They don’t have the key to the door, right? They can’t find it. So they stay inside and are content. My fear is that I will never be content.

The only thing in this world that I am terrified of is not having the chance to go outside. I don’t want to be content in my home, watching others interact with each other outside. How is it that they all seem to know each other? Why can’t they see me watching them through the window of my locked commonfolk home? I am clearly one of their own, I think to myself. Yet as I think this, I can see others across the street banging at the windows as well. They’ve been banging for years and years and years. Their hands are bleeding and their cries have ruined their ability to make sound at all. The people outside rarely acknowledge us and, if they do happen to lock eyes with one of us, give a sad smile and turn away. You have to really grab the attention of one if you have any chance of being recognized by any the others. Then, if you’re very, very lucky, they’ll help you open your door.

 

It is very difficult to get outside.

 

So, where does that leave me? In my mind I obviously belong outside. There’s nothing more in the world (the small world of neighborly calls and window-watching) that I want more than to go outside. So I decide to find the key to the doors. After all, these windows don’t break or open, so why waste my time? I run around the house and dig and search and make a mess as I try to find this magic key. I can’t find it. I try to make one to no avail. Picking the lock proves impossible. I’m stuck in the damned house, forever doomed to watch the actors laugh on my front lawn and hear the musicians sing through my doors. It’s one-way. No one can hear inside the house, but everyone can hear what happens outside. There is yellow light in the homes and white light outside and that in itself makes all the difference. I have two options at this point. I can accept my fate to forever dwell within a home I hate, or I can keep fighting against the steel walls and bulletproof glass.

My hands are bloody from banging.

~Harmony

 

Oasis

Hello, reader. How was your day? Today was Mother’s Day, you know. Did you spend it with your mother? Do you have a mother? Some people do not. Some people had one, once, but no longer do. I am fortunate enough to still be with mine. This is not, however, what I want to talk about. I’d like to talk about a gift I received from our mutual parent- Mother Nature. See, it had been terribly sunny and bright and warm lately. It’s only natural with summer on its way. On Friday, however, and a small part of Thursday, Mrs. Nature gave me a gift- a small break from the constant sun. She let the sky darken and released water from the clouds and clapped loudly up above. It was a short storm, lasting maybe half an hour, but the chilly wind, humid air, and pouring rain were much appreciated by me. As my peers muttered and cursed the sky for it’s sudden shower I looked up and smiled. I took up every second of this oasis in the (seemingly) endless desert that is summer. Sadly, that weather has passed, and we are back to bright sky’s and dry air…but I feel much better now that I’ve gotten a drink of water.

~Harmony

Day

Today is a day that is a tad too bright, good reader. The sun is shining, students around me are wearing bright, summer-filled clothing, and the music playing through the crackly bus speakers is upbeat and peppy. Everything around me is changing into beaches and vacations and flowers.

There is one month left of school. Once school ends I will not talk to the exchange students I enjoy seeing. Once school ends I will not interact with so many constants in my current life. Once school ends, leading into summer, I will be that much closer to being an adult. I do not like school, but I do not want it to end. As each moment passes I find myself more and more drawn to the atmosphere of winter and the desire to leave my current home. The idle chitchat of my “friends” bores me. I have been spending most of my time behind a screen of some kind. Life is so boring and warm right now I don’t know if I can stand it. It’s like a comfortable form of torture is being inflicted upon me and all I can do is wait and endure.

I am not unhappy. I am not happy, either. I am in a state of in-between, delicately walking the rope until it turns into a plank, then sidewalk which I can choose to either stay on or get off. I don’t know how long this rope will be rope, but there’s only one way to find out. All I know is that my feet are burning and I have never been particularly good at balancing.

Today is an extremely bright day.

~Harmony