The obstinacy with which I once wrote, escapes me lately. It was an obstinacy borne from the absence of expectation. Self-awareness is easily distracted by familiarity that we may share with others. In a moment of inclusion after a lifetime of isolation, the self is quickly lost.
Re-finding that which was lost becomes an arduous task if it was never consciously claimed. A natural disposition that set me at odds with life has revealed secrets and lessons that continue to claim a heavy toll. I find myself in an increasingly awkward position of understanding with greater clarity many whom I encounter, while realising with greater intensity that I remain misunderstood, or more accurately, invisible.
To be misunderstood implies that there is an attempt at understanding, or at least, an attempt at acceptance. Life has been more about a comfortable and convenient presence, rather than any belonging to a whole greater than my solitude. Even that presence was most often uncomfortable and inconvenient for most.
The greatest ravaging that I’ve encountered was always after having felt appreciated. The betrayal of social contracts occur subtly, awkwardly, and most often silently. Occasionally, a slip of the tongue reveals the betrayal, but most often, it is the quiet withdrawal, the discreet exclusion, or the polite rejection of my efforts that proclaim boldly that any shift I assumed to have achieved in my belonging to that whole was a shift teased into reality by a desperate soul.
Looking at the stranger in the mirror, wondering about its peculiarities and its incompleteness, the detachment between it and I increases. Out of body experiences are rare occurrences for most, but feeling like I am one with my body has always felt strangely unfamiliar. It’s a dichotomy and an ambiguity that perplexes more than it comforts. I would have thought that after more than half a century, some familiarity would have evolved in this regard. I assumed incorrectly.
Sharing the long form posts that once was my grounding point in my search for sanity has long since been abandoned in favour of delivering a thought, or a string of thoughts, in small, hopefully coherent chunks appealing to the masses, while betraying my true desire for unbridled expression. That desire waxes and wanes, but it has waned more than it has waxed for the longest time now. The need to tell my story, or any story, diminishes with each hour.
I always subscribed to the philosophy that if we do what we love, we’ll never work a day in our life. What I didn’t realise is that when my sustenance for the bare essentials of life became dependent on that which I love, the compromise to remain relevant versus being true to what I love blurred the lines between spontaneous authenticity and deliberated expression.
It is the need for understanding that has been my fuel through life, but it is my expectation of understanding that has often been my undoing. There were many times when I felt a joyful liberation at what I thought was my soul unfurling, only to realise that it was unravelling instead. Life has indeed been one long soliloquy, but without an audience. If not for the fool in me, I would have abandoned this obstinacy of expression by now.
Much of me aches to recede and grow silent. If only I could kill that obstinacy within.