Retarded Growth

It is early Spring and the elder trees are daring to emerge with new leaves. Shrubs and hedges are putting out their babies to reach for the newly emerging sun. Songbirds are swooping into the garden, blessing the world with their existence. Life promises to grow, the Winter is ending.

I should be free from frustration, but quite the opposite! The growth of everything else is reminding of my retarded growth and that of those around me.

We should be free to express, to spread our arms far and wide, to let go of troubles and cease counting how much grain is left over Winter. Instead, we have school kids forced to take responsibility for a climate catastrophe they played no part in. The young generation is rising up to make up for the mistakes of the older. It is a burden they have the vigour to bear, yet I cannot help but be saddened by the recent youth climate march and school strike. It is great that they are mobilizing at such a young age, but why should they have to? They are young, life should be theirs to enjoy, property and prosperity should be their promise – not a life time of struggling against corpses which cling on to power.

I have seen the effects of fighting the system and constant swimming against the tide on myself. Of course, in my day, we were outcasts and vagabonds, ridiculed or ignored for our refusal to enter the machine. For the pioneers such action is always going to be harder – the youth should win more acclaim for their actions. Now it is common knowledge how fucked-up it is; we just need the political will to change things. But the toll has been paid by my body and soul. My growth has been retarded for most, if not all of my life.

I wish all the power of Spring to the rising generation. I have no resentment toward them – that would a conservative position of futility. But anger toward the great retarder; the one who blots out the sun and casts shade, the one who withholds compost and plant feed, the one who squeezes us into small pots which he always threatens to take away, the one who rarely bothers to pick up a watering can, the one who poisons the soil and drains our bodies of vigour, the one who picks our fruit when it is time to harvest but couldn’t care less when we are unproductive – my anger for this broken system and its retarding agents is strong. Perhaps it is my only real vigour outside of the arts!

Or perhaps a late bloomer can still grow into something beautiful. My new maxim is ‘depleted but never defeated’. Cut down but never pulled out at the roots. Spring is here and here we go again. We are on the cusp of Brexit madness, a buckling system, upheaval and unrest as the people-who-apparently-actually-matter (white middle class) prepare to suffer what we in the ‘lower orders’ have suffered for a long time. The indignities of privation and constant threat to person and property. Here we go again, I hope I can finally fulfil more of my loving nature this year.

Grow tall and strong, but grow thick thorns to protect yourself always! It is worth the energy to invest in defence, in this world which is full of evil. But even that evil cannot withstand us when we finally link our roots together and our good nature overturns the insanity of this wrong turn in humanity’s shared course.

Then we can grow, even if it is in our Autumn years.

 

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Feelings of rejection (Part I)

Rejection is a harsh feeling that has followed me around for as long as I could think or feel. Trying to come to terms with it is an immense undertaking which raises immense questions – is it all in my head? Am I my own worst enemy? Is there some basis in truth? Is it always going to be like this?

Looking at the first three questions, it is clear they are all linked. In fact, number one and number three are more or less the same. This suggests that subconsciously, I am placing emphasis on blaming myself, a very anxious manoeuvre, but perhaps a natural one given the feelings of rejection.

Internalizing and self-blame are the product of guilt – that most terrible and useless of emotions. I find guilt to be very prevalent in myself, a guilt for even existing or occupying space. It is common in others who have experienced abuse. Guilt is a weapon in the abuser’s armoury, it sows confusion, prevents escape, plays your good nature against you. My own feelings of rejection must be linked to this self-blame and guilt, itself instilled to satisfy an abuser’s power all those years ago.

However, as we move to identify the source of my feelings of rejection, we see that is not all ‘in my head’. Its not my fault for being the target of abuse. There is a basis in reality and an obvious historical precedent to the guilt and therefore for the self-directed anxiety.

I have felt rejected in the fundamental first relationships I formed. I was unable to ‘love thy abuser’ and this has instilled feelings of failure. It is of course all my fault, how could it be the abuser’s! All of the responsibility is on my shoulders, I have the duty to forgive the abuser’s faults and break through their shell to bestow upon them the love they deserve! Never mind that with every giving my love was rejected, my being was never respected, and mistreatment followed no matter what I did. No way out of rejection, a sense of hopelessness, all my fault, all because of my own shortcomings, guilt, guilt, guilt.

This is my fundamental experience, an alienation and lack of belonging in the fundamental relationship. All other relationships are subconsciously tainted – what if the same dynamic plays out? Indeed, it has played out a few times in my life.

This is clearly not ‘all in my head’. I am not ‘my own worst enemy’, nor am I ‘my own best friend’. Both of  those things require an immense amount of energy, they are draining eternal pits.

Is it always going to be like this?

If depression could take the form of a sentient being, this is one of the first questions it would ask. It would respond that yes, this is all that it can be and that these feelings should be accepted as a fundamental aspect of reality. They are nature itself – it would then seek out evidence to fit into its world view. The ongoing depression is a massive sustainer of my feelings of rejection and alienation. How it is all interlinked is dazzlingly disturbing – before a single step has been taken toward progress, I feel I am ten years of processing behind.

Feedback loops abound here as depression seeks to justify itself, proving with empirical evidence that rejection is the way to feel!

But this article isn’t some New Age bullshit or a one-two-three self-help guide to realizing your true inner potential. The universe does not give you back what you give and it isn’t all in the individual. Whilst I recognise my responsibility to challenge my thinking and resolve life-long repressed feelings through therapy, there is another entire aspect to these feelings of rejection which are not my responsibility. And this white middle class normality.

It is not my responsibility that I am perceived as a person of colour and more subtly from a working-class (read: lower-class) background. It is up to the racializing and classist minds of the others to do their subconsciousness homework so that their prejudice doesn’t make others feel like shit. If groups or individuals do not at least recognise the normality of white middle-classness, loud alarm bells sound inside me and naturally lead me to reject them before they reject me. This is where it is justified. Prejudice is another of those relationships where you cannot move forward – what can I do to be white enough or middle class enough?

Inspite of my admiration for the great middle class champions of English culture, my wish to give and belong, I will never be seen as normal. Just as the abused can never be good enough for the abuser until there is a fundamental change in his warped soul, so the othered cannot be accepted by the normalized until the uncomfortable edifice of social and racial hierarchy is recognised and brought down.

The empirical evidence seeking for this second category of rejection can fall into bias. You could actively seek out instances of prejudice and ignore exceptions. But in my life at least, I have not had to look far! All white households, all white groups, all white partners. It is perfectly normal to subconsciously seek another like you when you are in the minority, but is it also the same for the majority?  I cannot answer that, because I have never been in a position where I am in that majority.

Another massive form of rejection I have felt in my life has been romantic rejection. But this is another beast entirely and perhaps the worst of them all. It needs its own article to prevent it being cliched rubbish and I must tread carefully through that minefield of a topic.

 

Low-energy being, the Parasite, inner conflict

I have been seeing myself as a ‘low-energy’ being these last few years. I am surrounded by active creatures who can rush from place to place, miss a night’s sleep and not be wiped out for the next week, fill their schedules and carry out routines.

Ah, these are the normal-energy people to whom I am in comparison low-energy?

I don’t normally have ‘epiphanies’, but very recently I realized that perhaps my low-energy is not due to a lack of capacity, but that my capacity is constantly drained. As such, taking on new things or doing normal-people things is just too much strain and the system shuts down. The psyche is processing constantly and all the while made anxious by a hostile society, further hampering its processing. Perhaps a degree of ignorance is required to get through it, a mask I simply cannot don so ‘late in the game’ of life. So it must be lived with and dealt with.

This force I have come to personify as the Parasite. There is something which constantly sucks and feeds away at the soul, a force which holds back and prevents rapid growth or moving forward.

But this raises the further question of what is this Parasite and where did it come from? There are definitely social forces at work, values which exalt some people and not others. The effect is something like a parasite – all other things being equal, for a person of my complexion to take a step forward will be harder than for something with a more ‘favourable’ complexion. Likewise people raised with more favourable entitlements, opportunities and expectations will be much more prepared for ‘success’ when they don their smart shoes and step into the soulless world of professionalism.

But I would not stop at prejudice, class and tribalism. That would be to mask another thing the Parasite feeds on – inner-conflict. I believe this inner-conflict to be the loss of much psychic energy, with little to no gain. For years the demands to be loving and forgiving toward abusive people was a great contradiction and waste of energy. A duty fostered by deeply instilled guilt, but also genuine need for suffering people. My empathy and magnanimity is what keeps Parasite alive, I cannot tear it away from me nor tear myself away from it. This pity is a strong source of the conflict. The human psyche is a mystery even to those of us who wish to know it, and the confrontations demanded by the deepest wounded child are the hardest challenge imaginable. But this seemingly unresolvable problem is the cause of endless, enervating conflict.

Where does this black pain come from? Once you are ‘enlightened’ you realize that emotions are ‘psycho-logical’ and that the primal pain you have to carry is forced there from an early age. But what is behind that abuse? More abuse, stretching back into history. But how far can it stretch back and where does it ‘come from’ to begin with?

The suffering we endure and that is forced onto people, abusers and abused and all alike, is an element of nature itself. It is there and it is inevitable, waiting to be inflicted upon things that live. Just as a lie spreads half way around the world before the truth catches up with it, a being suffers a thousand wounds before it even starts to process a single one.

But some of us cause less damage than others. Some of us learn from our mistakes and place onto the scales of balance a greater degree of nurturance. I do not wish to promote a determinist message when I am somewhere between ‘fate’ and ‘freedom’.

We are not doomed to cause ‘evil’ just because it is an inevitable part of nature. To survive being subsumed by that immense force often means going against the grain – against a false family history painted by idealism, against an archaic society that is always a century or so behind, against dogmatic power and the false truths of institutions, against the small percentage of dangerous and deluded psychopaths who stain the fabric of humanity.

To be good and to do good is often an immense and unrewarded burden. But it is still worth it, for without good there would be no reason for a moral being to live in this world. And we can always choose the good, all of us, even if we feel a hateful resentment and will to destroy everything around us.

We will always be flawed and make mistakes, but what can change a man’s intention but himself?

 

 

The man under the railway bridge

There is a man who lives under the railway bridge leading to the busy high street.

All of his possessions are pushed against a wall and his mattress takes up about a third of the walkway. Curiously I was thinking yesterday that if it were me, I would put the mattress against the wall and my things as a kind of barrier. But maybe they would blow away or be kicked by passers by.

The man under the railway bridge has no safety barrier around him when he sleeps. You can look in on him, down from a bus window or directly there. He has no defences against other people’s eyes, no separation or privacy from the outside world.

The fumes from the buses must be poisoning him and the harsh outdoor weather slowing draining him and the light pollution denying him true rest and recovery.

What must have befallen such a person to lead them to this situation? I cannot know what he thinks or feels, whether he is fleeing something, whether he would rather be out there than in some place worse. But I cannot imagine it being a good situation.

If he is a musician he cannot keep his guitar in good order, if he is a baker he cannot work his hands on the dough, if he is a athlete he can’t keep his fitness high, if he is a teacher he cannot order his mind or keep to a schedule.

Whatever this man may have been, he is in a place where that potential is not realized. Somewhere along the way, enough people have failed him and the system has failed to catch him – or deliberately let him fall.

I hope the man who lives under the railway bridge is picked up by the two great, warm hands of society and given walls to protect himself, refind himself, counsellors to talk him through whatever needs to be spoken or just to be there in moments of desperation and friends enough to give him something to live for.

I hate this callous system, its economics and its deranged values. Those at the very ‘top’ must have gouged-out hearts and atrophied souls to allow for, or even cause, so much suffering both to their fellow man and to nature itself.  It must be a heavy burden on them, all that power, all that real suffering they cause.

That is the real tragedy here – all that suffering is for nothing. It does not teach our souls or take us on some spiritual journey. There are people who are forced to suffer, it is immoral and it needs to stop.

Don’t trust everyone

At the start of my crisis, and before it, I tended to be quite open about my mental health. Now I will not even tell people who know me that I have therapy – I just tell them I am having non-descript ‘sessions’.

There is something about this discretion and lessening of trust which is building me up as an individual with his own power. I have more power over my boundaries than I thought.

Life taught me not to be too trusting. I honestly believe that gains in my own power have come from this with-holding; as if whenever you give yourself too cheaply your subconscious swallows a nasty draught of something toxic and self-negating. And everytime you give trust to the wrong person, you end up with a dagger to the heart and a dark wound. I will not let this happen to me again.

You don’t have to trust someone you do not know. You don’t have to help someone you do not know. You don’t have to trust your parents or your siblings. You don’t have to trust the authorities. You don’t have to trust anyone.

Of course, trust is a vital and beautiful thing. In Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Saga, ultimate trust is demonstrated by revealing your ‘true name’ to someone, giving them total power over your being. If your true name falls into the wrong hands, you are fucked. But you can offer ultimate trust to another sentient human being with it, and if they reveal theirs to you, you have communed with another on the most fundamental and beautiful way possible.

Without this trust-giving, we are isolate, and isolation is just as much a destroyer as naive openness. We have an imperative to escape our isolation, it is in our nature to. We are all individuals, and this is where liberty stems from, but no man is an island.

I cannot trust the sea of humanity anymore, but I can trust my tried and tested crew, or communities I have come to know. And of course I can trust myself.

 

No work, no home, no woman.

It sounds like it could be a blues song, but it is real life. And its mine.

No work, no home, no woman.

I can self-deceive only for short bursts of time. This has been a hard and sorry life.

Even with great progress made on some fronts (why do you think I ain’t been postin’? When things get good I don’t write about how good it is – I just get on with it!) Things can fall down like a house of cards. Things are so fucking frail. Things don’t really go anywhere when you are in the belly of the beast.

It feels like you have moved forward, but this could be conscious deception. The depths are where your true meaning lies, and shifting that perception is like moving a mountain stone by stone.  Something inside is timeless. It can’t be outrun, and it doesn’t move with ideals of progress. It is just there.

I am more familiar with this deep, dark pulse. Every massive leap into the unknown I know I can come out of the other end swinging and somewhat intact. But this is to be dragged from battle to battle, with no promise of a castle to rest in at the end of it.

This is no way to live.

Its no way for anyone to live. But there isn’t much ‘live’ after this.

Our generation has been shat on and shat on and shat on. Any of us with any semblance of conscience have no choice. This is the life we have live, to live.

That is why I ain’t got no work, no home and no woman.

There is no work that is worth doing except for the fight; the system is collapsing. There is no home to shelter in; the world is crumbling. Perhaps the only consolation in life could be to love woman, but the above factors and an extra helping of fucked-up don’t go down too well with them.

This is why I have found massive affinity with early Tolkien, namely his ‘Germanic myth’ stories. The characters go through endless tragic shit, and often die at the end of it, victorious but completely destroyed. These are more true to life than Hollywood’s bullshite mythos, with its bullshite characters.

Even the darkest of films has nothing on Turin Turumbar. Now that was a fucked up life. He had no home (he had to leave very early on), no work (other than fighting Morgoth from the age he could hold a blade) and we won’t even go into the last one.

 

 

 

The power of dreams

I have started to come into full connection with my dream-self. This means the habit of journaling dreams, but also on a deeper level, trying to understand them. I am far from an ‘expert’ in why we dream and what it all means, but I do not propose to provide solid answers. The subject matter seems too ethereal for that. I wish only to journal my thoughts and express what I believe; perhaps you will find commonality there or can help me realize what they are all about!

There is a logic in dreams, one that cannot be discerned from the light-world of reason and conscious decision. It is so easy to ask ‘how does this fit into my narrative? What is it trying to show me?’ I am now asking ‘what is the logic of the dream-world; is there one at all?’

I am believe two things of two things. Firstly that dreams are not meaningless. It is laughably arrogant to think so – as if the conscious mind alone can find its own significance; as if a being can ignore its very primal creative power and expect to know anything of itself! I believe our dreams to be visions from the unconscious mind, a ‘spiritual’ guide. If anything, it is the contextless, socially-shackled conscious mind that is more prone to meaninglessness – as this part of us alone can be subverted and truncated; there is no escaping the truth of our dreams, for without sleep we cannot live, and without dreams our sleep is poor.

Secondly, I am sure that dreams  are not just suppressed desires. This may be a part of a dream’s expression, but I do not believe for a second that a dream is just the ‘id’ trying to reach the surface. This is a very crude explanation for our dreams, and it feels intuitively wrong.

There is something far more powerful, far more primordial to the dream than that. I feel the symbolism of the dream is linking me to something universal – even if I am the only dreamer and my dreams are about me as an individuated incarnation, the themes and the symbols and the language of the dream have been absorbed by the world outside them.

My approach is to be patient with these dreams, to recognise the themes and try to understand their language. It is not enough to just write about it and analyse it from afar, and it can be dogmatic to turn to a dictionary of dream imagery for our answers (for instance, to think that lions always represent fear, or fire represents change or chaos! Its so trite!)

What I believe we must do is try to become the symbolism, try to embody it to connect to this deep part of ourselves. To journal carefully and recognise themes, places we keep going back to, people we keep on seeing. On the same patch of green space near to where I once lived I have dreamed of totem poles, of little English estate kids who resembled monkeys, of a camp of hippies and eco-warriors right on my front doorstep, of jungle-like long grass and a sense of emptiness. Is it a vision of past, present or a prediction of the future? I have to work that out myself.

Is this a pure expression of our spiritual aspect? Our direct connection to the world which created us and generates us? 

What I will end with is the incredible creative power of dreams. Spontaneously they can create the most complex systems an environments. Last night I dreamt I was listening to a song on the TV – the dreams devised the chords and lyrics, and they were great! Sadly I could not remember it at all. I also tend to dream of  reaching impossible train lines where the stations have ridiculous jibberish names. I cannot remember a single one of them! Sometimes the names are more plausible, but still random creations of the dream mind. Imagine consciously coming up with thirty station names, how much effort it would take. Now imagine trying to bring them all into conscious focus simultaneously – that it seems is what my dream-mind does (unless it is generating them at some earlier point in the dream or in waking life, but isn’t that just even more incredible, that it can create a dream to exist in and prepare the next parts!)

All of this is spontaneous – this is what makes it so unbelievably incredible. Our dream minds generate entire complex worlds and characters, impossibly vibrant colours and combinations, without the slightest effort.

I will never take this deep world for granted again, I promise. Every detail I can remember will be written down – you never know what is relevant, and what is just beautiful chaos.

Listen to that deepest impulse

I don’t know how long this will go on for. I don’t know if it will ever be healed or go away, if it will let me live as other people do. I cannot give any guarantees to myself, or to anyone.

No amount of ‘sleep hygiene’ can guarantee a dreamful night. Positive thinking and mindfulness is not going to achieve much more than temporarily helping to cope – at worst it divorces you from your own being. All the new found things, breakthroughs in ‘gut health’, yoga and all that, is not the ticket.

All you can do for sure is listen to that deep impulse, let it manifest in you. It is you, you are not separate from it. Being aware of it will not fulfil it, there is no ‘pure consciousness’ which can perceive back upon itself. When a child cries do you tell them to be ‘aware’ of the reason why they are crying and expect them to be ok with that? I should hope not! You would listen to why they are crying and try to deal with the cause, to soothe their fears if they are unfounded and provide their needs if they are unfulfilled.

Likewise we cannot turn off or turn away from the manifestation of our deep impulses, our deepest pain. For me it manifests as insomnia and discomforting states. They can wipe me out, destroying a routine, disabling me.

But I have stopped using Valium to guarantee me a dreamless night’s rest. If I cannot make it to something the next day, unless it is extremely important, I have to accept I cannot make it. I will listen to the body-wisdom, even in its most debilitating states. This is the only long-term way to move forward.

Actually listening, playing out subconscious movements in the dark, holding the deep wounds and acknowledging them tends to work for me. It lets me rest, it fades into the background. It might never go away, but the more I can deal with it and accept it, the more confident I become that I will never again fall into a total abyss.

Adapting to cope or thrive in this society is not a way to be healthy and true – I have seen how brutalizing it is to those around me. It is an illusion and a sad one. We must fight to transform the world we live in, allow people to live out their pain and be dormant whenever they need to be. Wounded adults will never bring about a peaceful, enlightened society. Ignorant, power-hungry fools know not even themselves – how can they know anything of the world around them.

What would it mean to transcend your own self and be able to function despite the screams of your soul? It would be to live inauthentically, something capitalism demands of us. The destructiveness of our society results from such detachment. It is all around us, and it is all because we are afraid of nature in its truest and nearest manifestation: in ourselves.

When you next lay awake at 3am, unable to sleep, tossing and turning, rather than try to wipe yourself out with pills ask: what is this deepest impulse trying to tell me? Why is my body on strike, what is trying to come to the surface…

 

Depression – breaking it all down (Part I)

I am not one of those people who believes that depression is all about thought processes, behaviour and ‘life style’. It is something far more deep reaching and fundamental than that. You cannot think your way out of depression, just as you cannot think your way into it.

However, I still see the important role of thinking in keeping you there once you are there and the dreaded making a bad situation seem worse!

Depression for me makes all the bad things seem inevitable and the source of the bad things far more powerful than it truly is. It is like a wall of despair, a vast amorphous barrier, so tall you cannot possibly see over, or around it. But when we focus in on this behemoth, we see that it is made up of individual components, and our perspective is that of someone hunched, low and defeated.

Stand up to your full height and the wall, whilst still imposing, is not so large. Focus in, and though you will see the strength of your enemy, the weak points also reveal themselves.

Breaking it all down –

My new direction is to break it all down in my mind; to dispel this mythic image of an undefeatable, invincible, inevitable foe. I know that the hostility of capitalist society is a very real thing, not just an imagined enemy. But lets use our imagination too break it down into realistic components.

Nature is being destroyed by the machine, but cracks in the pavement are full of life, chopped down trees unexpectedly sprout a thousand branches, certain species thrive even in this era of mass extinction. In ten years time an abandoned neighbourhood will become a wild garden, in a hundred it will become a grove, in a thousand there will be nothing left of it, strangled and hidden by thriving life. Nature is going no-where, and it is never far from regeneration. This ancient thing is more resilient than us, and we will always live in its beautiful shadow.

The officials who keep the machine running, do they truly believe in what they are doing? Would they not rather be pursuing some goal more true to themselves, spending time with their children, resolving emotions they have repressed, exploring and finding themselves? The amount of coercion and brainwashing needed to keep people in their place to blunt their true dreams and ambitions is proof positive that most people, even those in positions of power, are themselves led along and trapped by the madness of civilization. The lack of self-knowledge and true ambition, this is a reason to pity the machine-servants, hypnotized by digital screens, life void of meaning but for the targets from above and the will of invisible figures more powerful than themselves.

Advertising is everywhere, shallow, crass, idiotic pleas for conformity. But there is nothing democratic about advertising; it is there, but who wants it there but the sad corporations trying to control our choices? No one is really taken in on a conscious-level; eyes are rolled on the tube, people take the piss out of the sell-out celebrities, a bad pun elicits a long groan. Deep down, a subconscious lever may have been triggered, a greater sense of dissatisfaction and desire to go on holiday to ‘discover life in Greece’ (or whatever). But this is again an affliction – how many of us would vote to give powerful corporations thousands upon thousands of square metres of space to try and influence our decisions? The ubiquity of advertising only demonstrates how fucked up property and power is in our society, not the democratic will of the people. Some of the more idiotic populace might find advertising interesting or be consciously duped by its bullshittery, what can be done for such a hopeless minority?

It can be a loveless existence suffering from mental illness. You are vulnerable and need to be loved more than most people, but that same vulnerability makes trusting others difficult, and that same hurt makes you less desirable. The lack of strength and stability is a massive turn off. Month after month of failure and rejection makes the chances of finding a woman who is interested seem less and less likely, a feedback loop of frustration and disappointment. But all this doesn’t make things impossible, only more difficult. The spiral down into despair is one that is hard to avoid here; it is informed by the deep subconscious wounds and triggers of childhood, but it is not inevitable. Am I totally helpless and disadvantaged by this depression and anxiety? Everything to do with this mental illness and the abuse of the past makes the whole sphere of love much harder for me. Still, the act of breaking down how mental illness is contributing to isolation and lack of love dispels the mist, promotes understanding. It is the gargantuan wall which leads to despair, not the individual bricks. Maybe through understanding things will change and improve, though I cannot promise this to myself or anyone else. At least they cannot get any worse. Going from things are hopeless to who knows what can happen, I will have no judgements is a massive luxury for me at the moment. Neutrality – feeling neither loved or unloved, does not feel so bad.

End of Part I

It all falls apart…

I have always known of the entropic nature of things. Things naturally decay, wear away and fall apart.

From the earliest age it is possible to be sentient, I was. I was quickly made aware that the world is full of violence and danger, and immediately had to adapt to survive in that world.

I never had a good ‘take off’ into this world. From day one, I had to endure and survive violent, demeaning abuse at the hands of a non-father figure. His vile words were just as powerful in destroying my sense of good, justice and worth as his chaotic beatings.

So I have been under no pretentions about this world, and the sheer scale of evil and injustice in it. I never fell from grace or lost my faith, because it was never there to begin with. I know chaos and violence, for I have felt it with my own senses.

The nature of the world, if you put it in flowery euphemistic language, is change. But if you are brutally honest with yourself, it is entropy. Things fall apart, break down, collapse and die. They do not flourish forever, they fade and lose their colour. Even good things collapse, the best King imaginable will die, his castle crumble, his benevolent Empire subverted.

I am actually at terms with this reality, and I do not lament it. There is still space for some good to occur in life, to meet some good people, and achieve some moments of happiness. It is worth making the whole of your ‘journey’ before you naturally perish, life is not all sadness and misery.

What I am sad about is the sheer pace of entropy in my own life. Things fall apart quickly, they unravel before they are complete. Looking back at this year, it is unravelling and collapsing at a high rate. Much of what I achieved is dissipating. I have left a growing community I was part of, suddenly feeling the need to leave and cut myself off it. None of the relationships with women I pursued came to anything; those rose-lined paths led to dead-ends every time, walls of coldness which did not answer to my humanity. The band I helped to hold together was too much of a burden for my lacking energy, so I must let everyone down before we have really had a chance. Maybe some of those strands can be picked up again along the line, maybe not.

It seems that my lacking, brutalized core makes any sort of stable foundation impossible. Solid, lasting achievement, long-term relationships, these things seem intuitively difficult for to get to. Lack of confidence or openly feeling worthless is pointing towards a life of alienation and celibacy. It repulses others and denies trust, as well as crippling me and forcing me to let go of what I hold onto. It isn’t the only part of me, there is much that is loyal and good and strong, but the darkness is a strong one which emerges like a demon at the most inopportune times.

I know everything falls apart eventually, nothing is forever. But if only it did not collapse into entropy so fast.

What hasn’t dissipated or decayed is a deeply felt sense of injustice, of being wronged and violated. All of my songcraft and wordcraft is about it, all of my creativity channelled into understanding and expressing these sentiments.  This could possibly be the strongest thing I ever feel in my life, greater than any love or achievement or anything. I only need to imagine where I could have been if not for this deformity and disability, a past of violence and shame, to feel that this sense of being wronged is justified. And to imagine a society which was not so demeaning to people of colour, and so callous toward its ‘poor’. Imagine if I had enablement and privilege, the kind of which I see in the closest people around me, what I could have done with it with all this creativity and resourcefulness.

In Winter 2016 it all fell apart and I had to start again. It was a painful process, and on balance has led me nowhere better – just somewhere different. Now again, not two years on, I have to repeat something similar.

I am getting old enough to realize my patterns now, to know what I can and cannot depend on. The eventual decay of all-things is still there, hanging over us all like a spectre. Perhaps the one consolation is that I can always be ready for it, and laugh in its face as it laughs in mine when it comes to our final meeting.