When one exists slightly outside the mainstream, one can actually see the currents and eddies of the stream. People inside the stream itself can't see the bigger picture.

That's me. I've spent my entire life on the outside, watching the stream (river? thread? path? Metaphors break down here) of life. It's where I am comfortable. It's where I was "meant" to be.

From out here, one can see the meanderings of the stream, the currents, the eddies, the pools, the waterfalls. The stream makes sense from here, in a way that it doesn't when I go inside the stream. I can sense the zeitgeist from here. People who spend their entire life inside the stream never have the existential perspective shift that allows this awareness.

Sometimes, I turn my gaze outwards, away from the stream itself, to the darkness beyond. I can see other streams out there, threading around my stream, sometimes merging with it, sometimes diverging. It's as if all of existence was a tapestry, and each stream a thread, contributing to the pattern of the whole.

But I can only see the nearby streams, the closest threads. I can see the patterns near me.

I can't see the patterns farther out. They fade into the mists, the blackness.

And sometimes, I turn my gaze even farther away, into the blackness beyond the tapestry. The great void of eternity that contains nothing, no gods, no purpose, nothing but blackness.

When I was younger, gazing into the blackness caused me intense existential fear, angst, terror. Now, it just unsettles me sometimes, but I accept the fact that there appears to be no purpose, no patterns to see at the biggest scale, and just go on living. Watching the stream. Observing the whorls and knots and bends and branches and, yes, even ends.

Which brings me to my entire purpose of this essay: I'm sensing a major... something. A waterfall? A stitch? Something is about to happen to the stream.

Buckle your seat belt. This could get interesting.

And just remember: It will be OK. All is as it should be. There's a pattern we're part of.
I desperately need to do laundry. I don't have any clean socks left!

Unfortunately, I spent all my money on nicotine patches, so I don't have money for laundry. Grrrrr... But on the positive side, I haven't had a cigarette for 5 days now!

11 days until I get paid... I just have to make it 11 more days...
I've been taking advantage of my time off and my newfound energy to scan a bunch of old stuff. Here's a treasure I found: My K-State yearbook photo from 1998.

I still have that leather jacket, incidentally.
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