It's late afternoon on a Thursday and the sun is shining effortlessly behind a smattering of ominous grey clouds, forcing a sharp, silver lining to glisten, ironically, around each silhouette. My dog stretches out deliciously on the back porch, drinking in the warm interludes beating down on his soft, shiny coat. I inhale deeply, taking in the simplicity of the moment. Jealous of his ability to enjoy this fragment of time in its purest state.
Although I've never been shy about my struggle with depression, lately, it feels as if the familiar sinking gloom has forgone its typical manifestation- bubbling up from deep inside of me, seeping into my thoughts, mannerisms and habits as if product of a flu. Instead, however, this time, it seems to be external, contextual, percolating deep into my bones from a peripheral source that cannot be avoided.
Everywhere I go and everything I do I'm consumed by this relentless concrete funnel of shit barreling towards me at an unforgiving speed. It's on my phone, in the subway stations, on the screens that now lazily decorate large wooded panels in restaurants once tempting its confines to be filled with art or space. It litters my Twitter and Facebook feeds, scraping at my eyes, begging for my ears, for all of me to submit and intake this onslaught of tragedy our world quietly curates for us in the deafening silence of the internet.
I feel frozen and helpless, my head filled with the piercing words of others so quick to attack, barrelling through an argument with their angry fingers tap, tap, tapping, daring to be cutting from the comforts of their home, hidden behind the alluring glare of the computer screen and the ignorant ability to shut down when faced with opposition too strong to wriggle out from.
With every screaming voice is another, overlapping, overdoing, overcompensating, unable to truly articulate how to improve, how to love, how to solve. Just noise, loud, putrid, corrosive, painful noise without anything to show for itself but some shitty online petition. How can we believe we're indulging in freedom of speech if no one's truly listening to what anyone has to say?
And when did we forget how important it is to focus on the wonder and beauty we have in the world? When did that become so much less important? How can we knowingly continue to battle the wrong if we have no idea what's left that's right? At times, it feels indulgent to celebrate the splendor when tragedy is all-encompassing and increasingly profound. But if we let the dark and dank take over, weigh us down until all we have left are our mouldy little fingers, tap, tap, tapping, we'll forget that, that splendor is the reason that we're here.
That splendor is what we're fighting for, and if we don't know it, we'll never find it. And instead, we'll lay lifeless, battered and bruised by the never-ending calamities of the world too overwhelmed to even choose a cause to represent. Deaf from the screams, blind from the screens, silent from the stings.