What to write… What to write… There seems to be a strange mist covering my future work. For all intents and purposes, I am blind as to what may come. Whether the tangled words appearing on my screen right now, or the distant vision of what this collection of sentences might one day come to mean, or even the greatest and most pressing task which faces us of rectifying our forebears’ grievous errors, the wanton ignorances and societal somnambulism which have landed us where we are today, I can do nothing but sigh against the racing of my heart, nothing but stare out of the window at the flat landscape and wish for a clearer future, for me, for our human legacy, and for every potent soul on this anxious little planet whose purpose has been lost in the fog of uncertainty.
The blind may not often make great leaders, but throughout literature and history they have been harnessed instead as seers, remonstrators, prophets, visionaries and all kinds of unwelcome informers of the most perspicacious and bitterly unidealistic sort, their lack of Earthly sight giving way to a deeper understanding of the relationships between our actions and our destinies, both individual and collective. This quality of blindness is what interests me in my current predicament, since I suffer, as I suspect we all suffer, under a constant influx of ideas, of models, of fresh ideological perspectives and ever-newer linguistic games. We see, and hear, and feel all too much, but the more we feel, the less we seem to know about what it is we are feeling.
I’m sick of it! Nothing new, of course. We’re all sick of it – sick of dealing with problems which have already been solved, sick of repeating the same arguments, conflicts and pathologies which have plagued our species since time immemorial, utterly and completely sick of watching our shared progress, the legacy of conscious thought, our one and only timeless human masterpiece erode and decay under the watch of those who consider it nothing but trash to be recycled into the new and revolting forms which now surround us. The great mulcher never stops.
In a bog filled with the gleaming inventions, stereoscopic pleasures and fragrant lies of a self-serving world, we thrash and paddle but cannot seem to find an edge to which to cling – and never will. Since we cast ourselves off from the shore of shared experience, we have been doomed to the atomised inertia of empty space, but with all the clutter and strewn excrement of a noisy landfill. Truly, we enjoy the worst of all possible worlds.
But, please, do not lose hope, because in darkness – even somewhere deep in this glaring hyper-darkness of our modern age – lies the true birthplace of the fire of knowledge, the spring from which all light flows. Only by travelling back to the long-since-flooded caverns of our unknowing origins may we remind ourselves of the difference between what is real, what is important, and what is not, and thereby enable us to drag the swamp from the lake, to extricate the clean water of intellectual life from the murk and liquid smog of postmodernity, and in-so-doing rediscover our lost cause, our mammalian determination to succeed, and maybe, just maybe, our collective solidarity with all the other suffering organisms on this tempo-cyclic frontier.
This much-needed darkness, this panaceic silence, I believe has been forced to retreat into the only crevice which remains untouched by society’s brilliantine tendrils, the place to which we must journey in order to retrieve our purpose, the point that sits at the nadir of the infinite abyss behind our eyelids.
So why am I writing? What, for the love of God, am I trying to say with this meandering brook of descriptive mulligatawny? Well… I guess I’ll leave the details of my meaning, as I believe I must, to the flowering imaginations of those who may come to read it. I cannot tell you how to think. I cannot hand you the substance of my words on a platter, or a fast food tray as it may be. I can only cry out into the endless night and hope, like so many others, that those words ring true along the corridors of shared experience, and that they are heard through the cacophonic malaise by those that may be eased by hearing them, by knowing that there are those of us left in the world who, through misted-over eyes, do see what’s coming, and would give anything to negate it.
This is the spirit in which I write, the fervour with which I will attempt to confront you. Close your bloodshot, weary eyes, leave your certainties and conceit safely behind and join me on a voyage to cross the unbounded ocean within. I have no idea where this expedition will take us, no map, no star chart, no destination, no compass and no navigator but myself. I have only my own experience, my intuitions, a limitless source of hope to be discussed later, and a belief that by following the minute gravity of truth we may find in ourselves not only an answer to the great question of ‘what comes next?’, but perhaps, finally, the conviction to once again open our eyes and our mouths, free ourselves of our restraints, shout back with a single voice against the impending event horizon and bring forth the future for which we have all so desperately yearned.
I am your sightless captain. Welcome to my vessel, The Anxious Planet.
Written – Early 2017
Published – August 2017
Photo by Artak Petrosyan on Unsplash