Friday Freewrite

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Sometimes, when I realize something about myself, I wonder if what I’ve seen is true or if it’s just a vain reflection catching sight of another reflection. I feel like my soul exists in a hall of mirrors, capturing all the worst and most superficial aspects of myself and reflecting them back in disproportionate and grotesque detail.


Sometimes, even our search for the truth, the most noble, intimate, vulnerable and purposeful aspect of our soul, becomes corrupted, a vanity, a parody of a search that enjoys all the trappings and adornments of associated with a searching soul while the soul itself has refused to search any longer.


I look in the mirror, a broken battered version of my former self1, and I recoil back at the hideous visage that stares back at me, so alien in appearance.

My soul, blackened like my face, peers outward, coroded2.

I want to die.


Footnotes

1. This one is fictional, not autobiographical.

2. Should be spelled corroded.

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Friday Freewrite

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He saw the old man standing there after communion1, looking so serene. Surely heaven2 waited for the likes of him. But what if he were to stumble? To fall, to lose grace before he met his end?3, 4

He could make sure the man got to heaven2, could hasten his appointment with Christ to make sure he was in a state of grace when he died.

Yes, God would be pleased with him for his holy work, for his effort to save a soul.

He lunged forward, knife in hand. He would set the man free.


The congregation spoke out in unison5, a low bass monotone thrum, and Jason couldn’t help but be reminded of the Borg6. “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”


Footnotes

1. This came to me during mass one Sunday. It’s based on a deranged man’s perverted understanding of Catholic theology concerning the “state of grace” and its necessity for salvation (see footnote #4 for more on this.) I like to explore humanity from peculiar angles.

2. Heaven should be capitalized.

3. The last two sentences sound better and make more sense if written like this: “But what if he were to stumble, to fall from grace before he met his end?”

4. Catholics believe that one can lose their salvation by sinning gravely and by not repenting of that sin before they die. Through the lens of insanity, the deranged individual reasons that the old man, on account of his holy appearance, must be in a state of grace. He further concludes that since it’s possible the old man might sin gravely in the future and therefore lose his salvation, he can do him a favor by killing him now, therefore guaranteeing the old man a place in Heaven.

5. At first, I didn’t want to include this passage because I thought it would detract from the more serious and horrific one that precedes it. But I wrote both of these on the same day and they share a common theme, so I decided to go for it.

6. If you’ve ever watched Star Trek, you’ll get the reference 🙂

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Friday Freewrite

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I reflected on the state of my life, thought about all the many flaws I have in my character. They say that knowing yourself is a good thing, but I think that this kind of introspection is worse.

I know that I’m a loose cannon, that I overreact to small things1, but I’m helpless to stop it, can only watch as my life becomes a train wreck.

At least if I were unaware, I could feel that I was being righteous, like I was a crusader for good. Instead, I get to watch the train wreck of my life unfold, powerless to stop it.


Something Al had learned2 as one of life’s great truisms was that nothing turns a man into a rabid dog quite like being told he’s going to have to work over the weekend.


I closed the door behind me, took a moment to let my surroundings sink in. I fingered soft linen towels, squinted up at the lights, felt the smooth polished brass of the door handle.

I pulled down my pants, plopped down on the toilet and let the years of my childhood wash over me.

I spent a lot of my childhood years cocooned in bathrooms.3 At a time when I was insecure and prone to bullying, they provided me a sanctuary, a place where I could think and philosophize, process conversations I’d been forced to have, ponder my fate, to dream, to imagine.

In the bathroom, in the beautiful silence of the bathroom, I found freedom and peace.


Footnotes

1. I wrote this in 2014 while at work. I don’t remember exactly what happened, just that I had overreacted to something my boss had asked me to do, a regrettably common pattern in my behavior, and was frustrated by my inability to control my anger.

2. And by Al, I mean myself 😉

3. Being an introvert, the bathroom has always been a safe place for me. It’s where I go when I’m feeling besieged by social forces and need time to recharge.

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Friday Freewrite

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The war within myself rages on1, but today the soldiers have set their guns and their bayonettes aside to observe a day of silence.

For the first time in a thousand years, the air is still. I breathe it in, deep, full of life, remembering the boy I used to be before self-knowledge shattered the peace.

There are no mortar shells bursting in the air. There are no bullets zipping through the air, piercing holes, sapping the life blood from my ravaged psyche.

There will be no peace until the day I finally take the bullet meant for me; there is no rest for the wicked.

But today, today I can pretend.


Footnotes

1. I would like to tell you more about where this one came from, but it’s very personal. I usually like to provide context to my freewrites, but this time I’m going to let you figure it out for yourself.

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Friday Freewrite

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When it comes to art, what is the artist but a mere vessel, an empty chamber which passively receives all the many shouts of the world and magnifies them, combining them into a single echo, a convolution of existing thoughts that only seems original in its unique combination?


Einstein’s theory of relativity was incomplete. Time dilation didn’t just occur at relativistic velocities, but in moments of extreme fear and anxiety. And in these cases the effect was much stronger, more prevalent.


As a writer, my characters influence me. Is it like that with God in relation to man?1


“I want you to lie to me,” he said brusquely, reaching to undo her bra straps. “I want you to tell me you love me.”

“Why, baby?” Her lips brushed against his ear. Her tongue gently probed its surface, exploring uncharted terrain that it would never see again.

“Just do it,” he said. Unseen tears dotted the corners around his eyes. “Say you love me. Lie like you mean it.”


Footnotes

1. I sometimes think of God as if he were a writer and we were the characters in an unfinished novel.

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Friday Freewrite

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Redemption. Salvation. I have begun to write once more1. I’ve emerged from a fitful slumber filled with terrors and anxieties to find the light once more.

I’m reoriented. Recalibrated. The old ways have returned. The folly of my former ways is but a bad dream, a hazy recollection that might never have happened at all.

A bad dream. Then poof. Gone. I have discovered myself once more, amid a hall of mirrors and vain self images, an endless array of mirrors and empty reflections of reflections.

I’ve found the true self, huddled in the dark, despairing of rescue. I’ve saved him for myself. I now hold him close to my bosom, my love, my life, my reason for being. With him I will once more accomplish great things.


Ideas. Tumbling. Spinning. A tempestuous gale of conflicting senses and values and ideas, rocking the foundation, battering the flimsy support beams, already rotting and corroding from the inside out.

The storm intensifies. I huddle beneath a failing foundation, trembling, despairing of the house of convenience and comfort and assumptions that I’ve built up around me. I hear the beams creaking, groaning, sounding their death cries. It won’t be long now.

Collapse. I lose everything. All I had once held as self-evident truths has crumpled to ash2 before my tear-stained eyes.

I gaze about, lost and broken. The storm has lifted, and after a dazed numb silence I begin to pick up the pieces.

I work feverishly, building for myself a foundation that combines the new with the old, though I know there will be another storm, for such folly is my life eternal.


Footnotes

1. As you probably guessed, this came at a time when I hadn’t written for a long time. I was so excited when the words started flowing again that I had to capture my feelings on paper so that I could remember them later.

2. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever find the truth.

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Friday Freewrite

 

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Bound by rules I don’t entirely believe1, I wander through the desert in search of answers, a pursuit that surely has no resolution, no termination except in death. Loneliness is my companion. Uncertainty my consolation. I observe the lives of the others, the carefree jubilation of the ordinary things that are a part of everyday life, and I stand outside on the periphery, too turned away from the ways of the world to participate, too doubtful of my order’s doctrine to remain with them. I wander the vast yet narrow no-man’s land of the intersection between, broken, lost and alone.


It seems to me that all of this must mean something2. Surely, this is more than just random chance. I feel so lost, adrift in a dark sea of uncertainty, ruderless3 and without a paddle.

This all feels so superficial, so empty, like a cheap plastic coating. Does this plastic coating hide behind it mysteries worth exploring, or is the plastic all there is, all there ever was?

Sometimes, I feel that if I only squint hard enough, if I only focus a little further, a little deeper than usual, I might glimpse something from between the cracks. Perhaps the thin plastic of ordinary life contains cracks. Perhaps it’s worn and frayed and peeling at the edges. If I only focus had enough, just maybe I’ll see something. If I do, I hope it will be something worth seeing.


I wander through the desert, traverse sprawling dunes, trudge through blinding choking storms of sand, searching through perpetual night, searching for a light, a beacon, some guidepost to light my way and help me find my way home.

Truth eludes me, taunts me from a distance, promising I can find it if only I search dilligently4 enough. Yet it hides from me, flees whenever I feel it might be coming close.

“Just a little closer,” it mocks. “You almost had me.” Then it’s gone.

I’ve wandered through the dark for so long that I fear I’ve gone blind. In the absence of light, I ask myself if I will ever see again, and I find I have no answer.


Footnotes

1. I wrote this psuedo-fictional account of a man on the outside at a time when I was experiencing a lot of doubt about the things I myself believe. I still have those same doubts, and don’t see myself resolving them anytime soon, but I’m doing my best to live my life in spite of them.

2. I firmly believe this, but sometimes my faith is tested.

3. Should be spelled rudderless.

4. Should be spelled diligently.

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Friday Freewrite

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He’d left his old life behind1. Old habits, old places, old faces. He’d moved on, gone to somewhere far away, never to return again.

But even though he’d moved on, ghosts from his past would still visit him, haunting, asking him why he’d given them up for something new.

He’d reasoned with them, told them that nothing lasts forever, that to stagnate is to die. They’d left him, sad and doleful, but would come from time to time, hoping he’d finally return to them.


Young people are always arrogant2. They don’t mean to be. They just don’t have enough life experience to know how to live any other way.


Everything is in motion. Even when you choose to stand still, you’re hurtling through space and time. You can accept this and be happy, or you can dig your heels in and be miserable. Either way, death comes to us all3.


Footnotes

1. My life has passed through many phases. I’ve found that who I was in the past is constantly dying so that my future self might find new life. It’s the constant tug of war between the two, the loss of the past and the uncertainty of the future, that fuels much of my writing.

2. No offense to the young 🙂 When I speak of youth, I speak only of personal experience.

3. I think about death a lot. It haunts me.

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Friday Freewrite

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In an ocean of voices, how does one communicate his own? The sound is lost before it ever leaves his lips, consumed by a torrential outpouring of a million different words all trying to say a million different things.

In an environment such as this, where everyone gets to have their say, how can one make himself be heard?

Sometimes, the effort just to continue speaking seems too great to bear; like a heavy boulder strapped to my back, I cannot endure it.

I just want to lie back in my bed and not get up in the morning, to just lay there in the darkness, blinds drawn, waiting to die.

Sometimes, in the darkness of despair, I think that maybe death won’t be so bad, that at least in non-existence1 I can find the peace I lacked in life.

Death, if there is no life beyond, is a dark stillness, an eternal sleep, a state in which one’s problems never trouble them again.


The fear I have isn’t always that I won’t fulfill whatever my purpose in life was, but that I’ll discover on the brink of death that there was no purpose3, that all of this was just some unhappy accident.

From non-existence to existence, then back to non-existence. Conservation of energy and momentum. Cold hard balance, foisted upon us all in the dark and uncaring void of space and time.


Footnotes

1. I don’t really believe that we cease to exist when we die. But sometimes, when I’m feeling really depressed, I begin to wonder.

2. I believe that all of us are born into this world with a mission, that we all have a purpose. But I often question that belief.

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Friday Freewrite

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The mind is a rough unrefined oar1, full of gold, but in a useless form.

Freewriting is like dynamite. It blows the rigid unusable rock of the mind, blows it into tiny chunks and find sand that can be melted down, refined, worked into polished gold and silver and crystal.

Sometimes, to solve a difficult problem, to break through a writer’s block, to give expression to an inexpressible thought, all you need is a good old fashioned2 explosion and the patience to pick up the pieces.


Magic. Each of us has the power to change the course of the world. We can drive people to success or ruin; we can build or destroy relationships; we can literally change the face of the Earth; we can do all of these things with mere words.

There is power in words3. In words we find the expression of ideas, thoughts, laws, love, hate.

Through words, the will engages the world; through words, the will exerts its influence on the world, shapes and molds it with fine grained4 tools.


Footnotes

1. Should be ore.

2. Should be old-fashioned.

3. I believe this particular freewrite gave birth to the blog, A Real Magic Power That You Possess.

4. Should be fine-grained.

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