Monday, March 4, 2013

An Old Post of Mine Called Prison


Sitting in a room, there's no window. Which would be better, to have the comforts of home, a chair, a bed, a sink to wash up, a bookshelf with the greats, or a stone cold floor, damp and moldy? I don't know. It's probably better to know the prison you're in. To see it, to know that's what it is. The other is insidious. It makes for illusions. It makes you think that, well, maybe you can get by, you can...survive. Or at least you'll be able to occupy your mind, relax in a confortable chair, get lazy if you want. It wouldn't be so hard.

It would be a hell of a lot worse though.

I'd rather be in a stone cold cell. Then because of the very bareness of the surroundings, it would fortify me. It would give me the anger that I would need to hold up against it. To be able to say no. To be able to clearly identify that which I was in. Can you open the door, and leave that room? Can someone else lock you in? Or are you...are you the guard outside the door, making sure you can't leave? But who knows what's out there? It could be worse. It could be dangerous. It's uncertain.
I mean, there's a way of looking at it that says that you're better off with the hell you know than with the hell you don't know. But if you do that then you've already guaranteed your fate. You've already written your fate. You've already written "the end" without the story ever having begun. And that's not a very nice story. It's not gonna make the charts, not in heaven or hell.
It's a scary thing to make a break, to break out, to go out there and to see what's on the other side of that door. Not knowing, but hoping that maybe it won't overwhelm you; that you'll somehow rise to the occasion. Alway, always the invisible fear... of failure, ridicule? And then that little, bad voice inside you saying, "Ha, see, never should have. I told you. I knew you'd make a fool of yourself."
Yeah, that...that's where the comfortable chair is. That's where he lives. All those great books of great intellectual expression.'s not an easy choice to make. The risks are great either way. The risk of staying in is the very fact that you know you've resigned, given up. Uh...that's...that's's like a dull thud. You see him lying there, then there's no hope. So that in itself is a risk.
The other risk is that you'll fail; that you'll be beaten; that you won't succeed in your aspirations and the goals that you've set for yourself. Whatever kind they are, they could be anything.
Walking out the door. Taking that step. Opening the door...even thinking about opening that door can be a goal. To have that thought; the idea of it. There's something there that you haven't seen, haven't heard, haven't smelled, tasted, touched, or... and yet, and yet you know it's there. Well, we've got to take that risk to make that goal come true. I...I have to take that risk. I have to open that door, not knowing what's on the other side. Hoping... This hope then giving me the strength to do, to at least try. The effort alone is worth the risk because of that, regardless of the outcome, you've already succeeded, already proven your... worth.
You're reconciled. Reconciled with what tough? The conflict? The dichotomy that exists within you? There's definitely two sides of people. There's always that fight; that battle. And there's a side of us that... that is the side of us that is the uncontrollable urge. That side will never give up. It's not gonna lie down and say, "Uh, OK, you won, I've been defeated and I'll crawl away now and never raise my head again." And you're safe. No, no, that's not likely. I mean at least I've never seen that happen yet.
The other side is what? Our self, our higher conscience, our desire to be more. To do right, to be consistent in our actions and thoughts. You know, I don't think this is just an attempt to conform to the social norms, because this motivation exists for people in all worlds, in all frames of reference. No matter what the social norm is, that impulse is there. I don't think it's just cultural pressure on us to try to be consistent; to be more than what we are, which in my view, accurate or not, is base. We're rather slimy creatures at heart. But I'd rather recognize the prison walls as being prison walls than to be lulled into a comfortable coma. That's really what can kill ya, can murder you, and still leave you breathing. That possibility tightens my gut. It twists my insides just enough to give me the impetus to try to do otherwise.
So for me, I sit on the floor. I open the door. I walk to the store. I work. I learn to be responsible. I learn diversity. I learn those all important social skills of interaction. I learn pain. And it's a better pain than the one inside of me. It's a pain that comes from experience which teaches you a lot better than those deep, personal pains; that when focused on exclusively, can only cause more pain instead of healing. Those pains of experience, from diverstiy, from interaction, from those all important social skills, and the haphazard way we tend to learn them give us the opportunity to try again and maybe this time it'll come out a little better. And in comparison to that void; that empty space that is inside of that room... that experience, that diverstiy is already infinitely better and can give you the freedom that your soul cries for.
I wrote this many years ago. Originally it was a recording that I transcribed from a tape recording I made. I wrote it out as I heard it. That's why it has that stream of consciousness feel to it. While it definitely reflected my place in my thinking at that time, I still believe it reflects where I'm at in my view of the human condition. Let me know what y'all think.

Irenicum (introspective me that I am)

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