New Fragment: “Pieces of Thought”

I found myself in a splendid moment and thought that I should stay in it, and get the most out of it. The thought alone stole my presence and so I lost it.

Human beauty. The calmness that comes with age and the knowledge that you have already played your part and can therefore let the mask fall and stop pretending to anything since conceit no longer has any point. At that point beauty can shine through. Anything attempted before that is simply external and often requires a fair amount of faking.

Most people cannot form a coherent system of ideas and settle for having really strong opinions about one thing taken out of context. That is a highly destructive approach, considering that even the smallest thing is intimately interwoven with the rest of the world and cannot be considered “all by itself”.

By focusing on that one thing you could damage a lot of its basis, and ultimately destroy the thing itself.

I mine for thoughts. I have plenty – it’s just that some are better than others. And since they all fly by so fast, they are difficult to grasp hold of. But somehow they all lodge themselves somewhere in the back of my mind from where I can recover them with hard work and dedication.

And if that fails, if the thought contained something I genuinely needed, it usually flings itself back out into orbit to make sure it isn’t forgotten – somewhere down the line…

Life itself is designed to suck life out of a person. Rendering itself void. How practical.

I struggle with losing faith every day. I write to express myself because nobody ever listened to me speak – but nobody reads what I write either.

I tell myself that the drive to create is what matters and that acclaim is a secondary thing that merely distracts – but I know I am simply trying to delude myself.

I cannot deny that I am depressed – that I feel isolated and alienated from the rest of the world. That I detest the fact that the loudest screamers get acclaim for nothing at all – while I remain invisible. 

I cannot deny that all motivation for doing absolutely anything at all seeps out of me every time I consider the fact that I am invisible to the vast majority of people – even my own family members and those whom I call my “friends”. 

What is the point of making an effort when nobody notices? If they do, it is only to criticize and say that it could’ve been done better. Never to encourage me to proceed.

I am not the type of person who complains, but perhaps that is the whole problem. Perhaps if I screamed and cried in public and on social media, someone would notice me. But I just don’t have the energy for that drama – it is against my nature.

So I will die as I lived – forgotten. That is not a happy thought. But it is the truth.

I have over 20 years of experience in the art of making myself invisible. Unseen. Unheard. Thereby safe. And now I cannot make myself seen at all – even though the silence chokes me to death. Nobody comes to my aid since nobody sees and nobody hears.

I have no energy for drama, and I would rather focus on creating art and genuinely thought-through word pieces than spew attention-grabbing nonsense. 

I am an outlier in this respect – I know. The rest of the world has an on-going screaming match, and I have given up in advance where being heard is concerned. I just don’t have the energy to compete.

Unfortunately it also means that my art and writing is rendered meaningless since practically nobody notices it.

Depression is realism in the face of a world of self-obsessed individuals who care nothing of each other’s well-being – ignoring the fact that their attitude makes their own lives worse since it backfires when nobody else genuinely cares about them since they too are focused only on themselves.

The value of free speech is based on listening. If nobody listens to each other, speaking at all is meaningless.

People allow their differences to get in the way, ignoring all the while that we are all different somehow, and if we cannot accept that, we ruin every chance of community.

The easiest thing to fight about is words. It is also the least effective fight to take. But it wastes some time, and since people can think of nothing more worthwhile to do, this exact meaningless pursuit has turned into a popular pastime.

My voice is easily drowned out by the chorus screaming at you that they all most deserve your attention. I merely raise a hand – and remain unseen. I would offer you a choice – but when you’re too stressed to think, the choice is meaningless.

There can be no genuine understanding between people. Those who don’t know you will
catch every sentence out of context and take everything at face value. And those who
do know you will see everything you say filtered through the lens of past events.
Nothing you can do or say will ever make people truly understand what you mean to say,
so there is no real point in attempting dialogue.

The desire to find a community is a human weakness. Some are lucky to find some
resemblance of understanding – those with average minds and average interests. The rest of us, however, may search in vain for years, and grow increasingly bitter. We
may end up giving up on the people we meet in real life, and extend our search to 
online fora. We may pose as someone else, or purport to believe in something we don’t,
all just in order to be given the support and comfort we need. From the wrong people.
A ridiculous aspect of the needs of social animals.

Every human experience is encapsulated in a bubble. Each can only care about a limited
circle of people in their immediate surroundings. The further away, the blurrier the
people seem. Eventually they are just a mass – impossible to distinguish from each other,
and locked into their surroundings. They might as well not be alive. 
Every attempt at believing in universal love and understanding must necessarily fail,
since humans aren’t built to be kind and generous. We are built to aggressively protect
our inner circle from the intertwined mass of blankness outside of it. We are built to
get angry and defensive if we feel badly treated – not to question if the person who
did it might have bigger problems than ours.
All in all, we are not built to be good. We are built to survive, and at the cost of
others if necessary.

Podcasts are fascinating. Now, you don’t have to pretend to read. Now, you can make even less effort to appear smarter than you are. You can just pretend to listen! You probably have plenty of practice at that anyway, from engaging with other humans.

And the media touts this as the next great medium, disregarding the fact that active engagement (such as being required to read) makes you remember better, and get more out of the content. Listening in and of itself gains you nothing. Not unless you act on that which you hear, in order to make it stick. Extra background noise will not aid anyone’s understanding of the world. Just add to the stress that already prevents them from thinking for themselves.

I like to think of myself as a voice of common sense. But I suspect many may see me more as an annoying, old-fashioned stuck-up git. Fine by me. Better than naïve and helpless. Better than play the victim or damsel in distress. Better than blindly following the beaten track and obsessing over meaningless things and jobs that are equally meaningless. 

What do I do besides complain? All the things that led to the complaints, of course. And then the things necessary to avoid further complaints, whenever necessary.

Why bother bemoaning the state of things? They will inevitably get worse. Humans need to make mistakes in order to learn, but when those mistakes happen on a global scale, they cannot be fixed in time to ensure our survival.

Published By: K-M Skalkenæs

Danish poet, writer and painter. Writings include her own original poetry in English and Danish, and translations of poetry from the Scandinavian languages and German into English.

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