“I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?” ~ Criss Jami, Killosophy
Artist: Salvador Dali
"Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it." ~ Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants
Confusion clouds my mind and muddies my thoughts. He stirs up the stillness of my mental waters, waters that had been resting. Undisturbed. Transparent. Quiet. Clear. He sits atop the lily pads of perception, playfully; mock scepter in hand. He toys with me. It really isn’t his fault, he’s merely doing what I’ve asked. After all, I brought him here to entertain me. The jester just wants to spice things up, generate some excitement, cause a little trouble. Anything to keep it interesting. Playful. Dramatic. He means no harm, truly. Confusion just wants to have some fun. “Now, what’s the harm in that?” He says with a smirk and a wink. I try and see his face, but I can’t see past his charm. His face is dynamic, it can be both everyone and no one in particular, all at once. Empty. Hollow. Blank. He wears the mask of whomever and whatever I currently deem responsible for his presence. Variables. Different labels, similar outcomes. Distractions.
Confusion the entertainer, the jester of my musing. He keeps me preoccupied, ends left undone, old jewelry knotted, forgotten and resurfaced from the bottom of a drawer. Long ago lost, easily replaced, conveniently found. Unnecessary things call out for my attention. Suddenly. Just when I might be onto something. He feeds me tasks to be completed. Lists. Never ending. My addictions to old patterns, repetitions, cycles of thought, looping. He has pages and pages of material to pull from, I have given him endless fuel for his wildly fire. He sets it blazing. Interesting. Mesmerizing. Bewitching. Clarity is never fun, according to the fool.
“The human mind isn't a terribly logical or consistent place. Most people, given the choice to face a hideous or terrifying truth or to conveniently avoid it, choose the convenience and peace of normality. That doesn't make them strong or weak people, or good or bad people. It just makes them people.” ~ Jim Butcher, Turn Coat
He captures the eye and entangles the mind, offering me something to work on. A task to deter me from my “boring” clarity. The prankster. The misleader. Deceiver of truths. I pretend to hate him and secretly love him. I must, I’ve welcomed him in. Remember, he’s just doing what I’ve asked, I brought him here for entertainment. Time and time again, without fail. I sit in the deep waters, still, I beckon him forth to come join me. This temptation of confusion, it is my own. I have built it, woven through my consciousness, across the sands of time. Beguiling. Potholes I dug on streets I grew up on, surprised every time I fall in. My life, an absurd charade. Childish play. The exhausted act. Do we think I’m having fun yet? Does this sound entertaining?
You see, I have a fear. A fear that runs deep. Deeper than any other. The realest of my falsely manufactured insecurities. A fear I would rather wave off and deny, or admit, shallowly. I will tell you of my fear, I have told many others, callously. Few, I have told of the gravity of my fear, frighteningly raw, unedited, overwhelming. Frequently I rush through it, casually, I don’t give it proper weight, I make it lighter than it feels. calculated. I refrain from leaving it suspended in the air, truthful. Lingering. I guard my fear by not allowing myself to feel it; I live in outward denial while it consumes me from within. Choking on smoke that fills my lungs, silently. I speak of my fear flatly, I don’t let the words sink into my skin, I don’t give them time to spread through my blood, to crawl through my organs. I do my best to glide over them, cautiously, speaking words that are true whilst avoiding the seeping, the feeling, the sitting of the words like a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I confess this fear, trivially. For a mind that is riddled with addiction to fears and tangled up patterns of old thought, clarity can feel threatening. Ahhh. What’s more soothing to fear than a good distraction? Confusion, I welcome him in.
“Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honour of losing and the joy of winning I am not here to tell you that defeat is a part of life: we all know that. Only the defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of love that we fight our first battles – and generally lose. I am here to tell you that there are people who have never been defeated. They are the ones who never fought. They managed to avoid scars, humiliations, feelings of helplessness, as well as those moments when even warriors doubt the existence of God.’’ ~ Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra
Self fulfilling prophecies — I bring about what I fear the most by denying its very existence. You see what I did there? I told you of my fear, eloquently, beautifully, — shallowly. Did you see it? I used words to help you feel the gravity, to smooth it over, to ease the fall, and, I have yet to tell you what it is. Who am I protecting, you, or me? I’m building my prison, brick by brick, sealing myself in, whilst begging for my freedom. Is this making sense now? Are you following my logic? I have this fear. Deeper than any other. The realest of my falsely manufactured insecurities. I have this fear of failure. Deep seated. Visceral. I know what I need to do, always. My intuition speaks to me in words beyond form. Her voice echoes through my marrow. It’s all I can feel. My instincts tell me when to run and who to run from, they tell me what will be good for me and what will distract me from my path. You see, I pretend to be confused. I cover my clarity with denial of truth. This fall, into denial, avoidance, it is a misuse of power. Denial was bestowed upon us to deny the notion that anything but truth could be real. I believe in my fear because I created it and we believe in what we create. I forged this misperception on beliefs I never held, circumstances I found myself in, correlations on observations I wasn’t mature enough to make. Misguided.
“And that is how we are. By strength of will we cut off our inner intuitive knowledge from admitted consciousness. This causes a state of dread, or apprehension, which makes the blow ten times worse when it does fall.” ~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterly's Lover
I hide my clarity, I clothe her in moth eaten garbs, dusty, barren. Rotting. I bury her, deep. My imagined fear has become so real to me, I can’t tell what’s true or false anymore. I can’t tell the real from the imagined. Everywhere I look, I see only the past. I go after things that do not matter to me. Shallow. Neglectful. Oppressive. You see, when I follow something I do not love, something empty, something that could never be what I hope for, I cannot be disappointed. I can’t fail if I never really try in the first place. Unconsciously, I rationalize that if I fail at something that doesn’t really matter to me, then it really isn’t failing, because, well, I never cared about it in the first place. Thus, I’m trapped. Excelling at things I don’t care for and being praised for it. Glorious cycles. Societal pressures. Magnificent lies. I chase fools gold. Aimless. Ineffectual. I trade the unknown possibility of disappointment, potentiality, for a life of dependable mediocrity. Is this sounding fun yet?
"I protect myself by refusing to know myself." ~ Floriano Martins
Running fools errands and burying my yearning for a life of meaning leave me in disharmony. Confused. Misaligned with my deepest desires and hearts deepest longings. Playing small on stage, in a drama, cast for a role where I pretend to play big. Incongruent. Afraid to tell the truth, to feel the truth, to uncover my fears and confront them head-on. I inevitably welcome in what I try and push away and avoid. My denial of what I fear the most creates the worst imagined outcome. I allow it to control me from the depths of my unconscious. I fight off my courage and hide in the shadows, tearful and frightened. I’m cowering in corners, running from ghosts, all while masquerading as the hero of my story. Are you finding this confusing?
My dear, tell me of your magnificent lies, I won’t judge them. Tell me of your fears, I can hold them. Sinking. Feeling. Crawling. Seeping. Tell me of the jester, is he entertaining?