Day 264 of 365: life is a carousel

Life is a carousel.

With limited options of animals to ride. In time, all the creatures look the same. Eyes, mouths, legs, tails, up and down in predisposed rhythmic motions. Animal instincts ripped away, obsolete.

I take a defibrillator to my perspective to jumpstart gratitude. Focus on details. Appreciate minutia. Spots. Stripes. Hues of fur. Folds in skin.

Ignore the blank stare in eyes. Ignore the transgressions of freezing these beasts, dampening inner fire… Eradicating wild nature.

Ignore problems! See only opportunities!

Focusing on good does not remove bad.

I’ll say it again.

Focusing on good does not remove bad.

Some animals wear blinders. Bridles. Saddles. Domestication and monotony are bubble rap, padding from reality’s sharp edges.

Ask them of truth. Talk to them of pain. Watch as cotton candy falls from their jowls… Processed and bleached, injected with sugars and pastel dyes. Melts in mouths, mixes with saliva, leaving a taste both sweet and false. Blood sugar spikes, initiating a time bomb of what’s perceived as joy.

Tick. Tock. The saddled carvings ebb and flow. Tick. Tock.

Focusing on the sweet doesn’t remove the false.

I’ll say it again.

Focusing on the sweet doesn’t remove the false.

It hones focus and trains senses to seek only pleasure. To exist in consistent contentment and acceptance… A mere rotation away from complacency and apathy.

We are told to seek the consistency of the carousel. The calm predictability, the 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s on the regularly referenced 1-10 scale.

I have tried this ride. At first I fall in line with the soft gaze of other riders. I mold into one of the masses, body hardening. I do as I’m told.

Soon, boredom tickles me. Curiosity tags along, poking my tummy. My back aches from stillness.

My tail bone craves the softness and warmth of a real horse’s back.

My legs ask why the animal is so still. Why can’t we feel its breath? Is it dead?

No, I respond. It is merely frozen.

Frozen in time. Stuck in space. Hardened by expectations.

Forced to comply with what this ride deems acceptable and appropriate. Safe.

My heart yawns. Wake me when you need me, it says.

I summon strength to turn my head out of line, looking any way but forward.

It’s tough to decipher through the dizzying spin, but isn’t there more beyond this ride?

I see eyebrows of disapproval.

I scream as I break my arms free of the mold. I flap them like the wings they are. I caw!

What is she doing? Their peripherals whisper. That’s not how this ride works.

I turn backwards on the animal. I pat its flanks, making my own beat.

Was that a nicker I heard?

My calves sense a vibration. I turn around and wrap my arms around the horse’s neck.

You can do it, I whisper.

An ear flickers.

Yes. Keep going!

The horse’s head shakes. He, too, moves his head out of line. He turns around and nibbles my foot… His eyes awake, alive, filled with a humble gratitude which can only accompany an awakening.

Let’s go, I say.

Together, we move forward. Slowly at first. Legs wobbly. Breathing labored. Vision distorted.

He rears, kicking his hooves and letting out a whinny which spans across all dimensions of time and space.

I hold on tight, laughing maniacally.

We turn and face the other animals and riders, and we trot.

Come with me, Friends! Those who know there is more, who hope there is more… There must be! It feels like a distant memory,  but I remember something of fresh air, of wind blowing curls in my eyes. I recall something of rain! Oh, the blissful cleanliness of a good storm!

Some drop their gaze.

Others wiggle fingers and lick lips. Tiny movements of awareness.

Come with me. Let us explore. Let us live! 

The redhead atop the tiger opens her mouth: “What if there’s nothing out there? What if this is all there is?”

“What if we fail?” The hippo asks.

There’s only one way to find out.

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Some days, I paint. Other days, I write. And rap. And tell stories. And do comedy. And doodle. And [attempt to] bake. And, one week out of every month, I merge with my sofa and sob about mortality and things like the existence of air and how we can't live without it and how utterly claustrophobic that is to consider. I'm relatively particular. And this is a place for me to share ALL the quirks.

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