Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Late Night Introspection

Why are late nights so conducive to introspection? In the relentless restlessness of our Western society, where time is packaged into neat little squares, perfect little rounded numbers cordoning off our existence and named hours, minutes, seconds; in this merciless atmosphere where our lives are ruled by the digital clock, early in the AMs is the only time when North America finally fucks off, and it's the perfect opportunity to sit alone with your thoughts. When the last generation, the one that keeps telling us our lives should be measured and parceled off in neat little squares and carefully planned out in our daytimers until the day we die, is too old and too tired to stay awake is the same period, the sacred late/early hours when we can reclaim our youth. Do like we did when we were young and naive to the concept of clocks and just... live.

What's the opposite of introspection? If introspection is when you peer deep into the dark yawning caverns of your own soul and try to fish out meaningness to your existence and your identity, what's the word for when you dance into the darkness of experience hoping it'll sear itself across your skin and brand you forever like a scar in the shape of a lesson, of your purpose? Students of the universe throw themselves before their teacher, prostrating themselves, begging for him to bestow some wisdom upon them, bless them with meaning, help them understand his unknowable mind in attempts that can only ever be shallow and subjective...

I'm sure there's a word for it. I'll call it "outrospection", because I like mine better.

So much of my outrospection took place in the great empty hours of the late night and early morning. I remember how the lights of the city trembled under the might of the big black night sky, a tender ocean of light and promise shimmering and spread out before me, pregnant with potential. I hungered, I thirsted, I lusted for adventure. I still do. To throw wide my arms and know the unknowable, to peer into the mind of god, my greatest challenge in this life is to stare into the darkness without blinking.

There are those who would shelter me from it. And there are those who have taken me by the hand and by the heart and led me into it blindfolded, eyes wide open. These are the people I will love forever, in the only way that anything is forever, in that time is an illusion, and love dies only under its power. Meanwhile, I've sewn my experiences with them into a patchwork blanket that I can wrap around me from time to time when I feel cold or lonely.

You know who you are.

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