(I am just a shadow of who I used to be.)
I try to remember a time when the world was still innocent. When I was still innocent. The earth tremored in delight, not in fear… did it not? And blue… blue was the colour of fine skies, not of sadness. The flicker of every heartbeat signalled to life, not to this creaking pain. I was once unhinged, free to roam and dream and smile at the thought of having those dreams because fantasies defined my realities. But now, fantasies have become just that – fantasies and nothing more; a testament to what could have been but will never be. I am just a rusted piece of metal, too frail to swing open, drowning in my own papery breathes. The doors that once beckoned at me with the vitality of a billion lights have now closed upon me. I am alone. And it is dark. And it is cold.
Innocence is not ignorance. If life’s greatest purpose is to be happy and I was happiest in my innocence, then surely I was at my wisest point in those childhood years? The older I grew it seems, the more unsatisfied I became – it was as though age impaled upon me the inability to see the good through the bad; so much did I acknowledge the bad that I forgot to consider anything beyond that.
But maybe… maybe I think… there’s no point comparing who you were to who you are? Maybe to lose your innocence is to gain a deeper understanding of suffering? And maybe understanding suffering equates to understanding happiness… because how could one ever know how it feels to be happy if one did not know pain and sadness first?
I think maybe I shouldn’t try to remember, because to remember is to accentuate the differences between the past and present – differences that cast a dark cloud of longing and unfufilled dreams over your head ’til you’re reaching for a version of your childhood that never even existed. The doors are closed now, but maybe I still have a little energy left in me to open them up again. Maybe this is a choice. Nothing’s easy and simple anymore, but that doesn’t mean nothing’s achievable. And I have a choice now: either to stay in the dark or take a step forward towards the light.
(You know what I’ve always liked about shadows? They are indications that even in darkness, light exists close by. And you are the reflection of that light.)
I always made a living so I could make movies. I never made movies to try to make a living… If the reason why you’re doing anything creative is to make a living, then you’re doing it wrong.”
– filmmaker Casey Neistat
We all have those so-called ‘pipe dreams’, I’m sure. Dreams we fantasise about, dreams we leave for the elusive ‘future’, dreams we tell ourselves to pursue only after we’ve reached some degree of financial stability.
We think such dreams to be impossible… and seem to believe that if we act later rather than sooner, we’ll have a greater chance of accomplishing them?
Because how can you ever think to accomplish something if you aren’t even willing to take the very first step?
I want to be a poet, an author, a photographer, a screenwriter, a filmmaker. I want to write my own novels, direct my own movies, create my own ‘inspirational quotes’. And what I’m realising is that, it isn’t a matter of becoming well-known or famous in any of these fields; it’s a matter of doing what you love, and loving what you do. You are truly passionate about something not because it may make you a lot of money, but because it will make you happy.
So don’t let the thought of imminent failure put you off. Don’t ‘save’ your happiness for later. Don’t stare at the closed door; open it.
(NOTE: this is a work of fiction. I try to write positive endings most of the time, but this poem has a sad one.)
Dreaming of another day,
drinking hour hands awry;
you’re aching to seal your heart away
from spoils of a broken past.
From wreckage is born
a treasure chest of rusted gold –
but its key has drifted into future seas,
and you’re still stranded in a former life.
Lost on an island in midst of nowhere,
finding relief in footsteps on the sand –
says it’s a temporary refuge,
the only sign that you exist.
Then even this is washed away
by torrents of almighty waves –
a brewing storm explodes,
and the grey clouds in your mind escape.
You remain. Cage bars are bent open,
yet you’re still a prisoner of yourself –
unable to let go of chains
that do not even bind you.
Still dreaming of another day
and drinking final breaths away;
still aching to free your heart
from a future you mistook as the past.
(c) 2015 Katho28
Camera in your sweaty hand,
Capturing dreams in a foreign land,
You take a chance,
You lose your pants,
But you’re smiling till the end.
(c) 2015 Katho28