Are You With Me?

I was numb today, pushed into a corner by emotions that seeped in through a rough night’s sleep, and a few that were thrown across an ocean for me to catch. They glimmered at me like the sun plays on the waves, until finally I was able to figure them out.

I have been struggling with the concept of time and distance for a while now, consciously and not so consciously. Life has a quicker knack of throwing me curve balls now when I ignore deeper issues at hand, and I am learning to acknowledge them faster.

Throughout the years we are transported from one experience to another like a human-powered chain of buckets of water to put out a fire, until at last we quench it and find our peace. For some, this journey takes us across countries and oceans, while others remain forever in their place of birth, travelling without moving but still managing to fulfil their personal destinies.

We all have friends or family who moved away, or we were the ones to take that leap of faith and leave the comfort zone that we call home. Either way, we struggle to come to terms with our ‘losses’ and adapt to change. Suddenly, gone are those short-notice café rendezvous, the family get-togethers to celebrate another birthday, those group outings that feel so damn comfortable, or that familiarity with our friendly neighbourhood grocery store owner is replaced by service-oriented smiles from people we will never really warm to. These perks all disappear and are never fully replaced in our new environments, and yet we need to embrace the new ones for they will continue to enrich our lives.

Even though being farther apart certainly re-shapes the way we relate to one another, it is actually time that separates us more than distance. And yet most people hold onto distance as being that determining factor to cut off relations as an easy way out of facing deeper truths.

We tend to forget that life beckons us to focus our attention elsewhere, and this is not to say that we ignore one another or stop caring.

I could walk into a bar and meet a sparkly-eyed stranger in a new place who makes me feel as though certain things are understood without speaking. Or we could have been inseparable during our youth and now we are strangers tied together by a common surname. We live with the uncertainty of whether our experiences will make us grow closer or send us off on separate trains to different destinations, for a little while or forever.

What is certain, is that whilst conquering the world is not for everyone, conquering your own world is. It’s a tough responsibility but we have to honour it come what may, because growing up never ceases. Even after coming of legal age, getting married, waging wars, setting up our own business, or travelling around the world. Although some decide to pause at a certain point and expect things to just happen for them. It is alright to pause for breath, to look back at our achievements and review our intentions, but we can’t afford to lie flat for very long or let indecision dominate our ability to take action. Sometimes we shy away from making decisions for fear of how they will affect others, forgetting that those same people make their own choices that likewise affect us. Or we chew through every last detail until we tire ourselves out thinking of all the possible outcomes and end up lost in limbo.

Whatever we do, however we do it, as long as it is filled with honesty and some sense of conviction, it will take us where we need to go. Even if we’re not quite sure where that is yet.

And don’t let the thought of growing pains scare you, because whilst growth is essentially eternal, the pain just comes and goes. So turn your worries into your allies and grab another bucket.

Growing UpPeter Gabriel

folded in your fleshy purse
i am floating once again
while the muted sounds are pumping rhythm
all the walls close in on me
pressure’s building wave on wave
till the water breaks – and outside i go, oh

one dot, that’s on or off, defines what is and what is not, one dot
two dot, a pair of eyes, a voice, a touch, complete surprise, two dot
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live

my ghost likes to travel so far in the unknown
my ghost likes to travel so deep into your space

three dot, a trinity, a way to map the universe
three dot
four dot, is what will make a square, a bed to build on, it’s all there,
four dot

my ghost likes to travel so far in the unknown
my ghost likes to travel so deep into your space

all the slow clouds pass us by
make the Empire State look high
as you take me in your sea-stained sweetness
it spills, it tingles and it stings
all the pleasure that it brings
’til the door has let the outside inside here

well on the floor there’s a long wooden table
on the table there’s an open book
on the page there’s a detailed drawing
and on the drawing is the name i took

my ghost likes to travel so far in the unknown
my ghost likes to travel so deep into your space

growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live
growing up, growing up,
looking for a place to live

my ghost likes to travel
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside of your space
my ghost likes to travel
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside of your space
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside of your space
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside
my ghost likes to travel
moving inside of your space

the breathing stops, i don’t know when
in transition once again
such a struggle getting through these changes
and it all seems so absurd
to be flying like a bird
when i do not feel i’ve really landed here