“I would rather have responsibilities between the gaps, rather than gaps between the responsibilities. The proverbial glass is half empty for me not because I don’t see it as half full, but simply because I know I’ve drunk more than most from it. I don’t want my glass to be half full. In fact, I don’t want a glass. I don’t want convention. Nor do I want routine or safe choices. I want to know that I am living and not just going through the motions pretending that doing something better today than I did it yesterday, which was better than I did it the day before, is sufficient fulfilment for my life. I need more than that. I need to look in someone’s eyes and see it confused and restless because I challenged them to think. Because I challenged them to work those gaps and move beyond the routine.

Those gaps. They’re so damn elusive because when I get them, I’m usually taking a breather to recover from the demands of the routine. I must break the cycle. This cycle of seeming sanity has robbed me of the essence of what it pretends to be. Sanity is not the prevalence of order, nor is it the prevalence of function. It’s simply, by society’s standards, the presence of conformance. Conformance has killed many a creative soul, and destroyed many a great idea. More than this, conformance has destroyed the me I used to smile at. It’s time to break the cycle of sanity. For verily, as has been said already, a sane man, when compared to an insane society, must appear insane. But I think JG Ballard said it best when he said, “In a totally sane society, madness is the only freedom.”

Zaid Ismail

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