Musings at Old Town Hall

Art, philosophical

I wrote this in November of last year, hanging out around the Old Town Hall building. It helped the night pass by quicker, and gave me something to think about.  It applies to me even now, and rereading half a year later I think I’ve finally taken that first step to success.

I’ve been on the outside for as long as I can recall. Always on the edge, like a shadow, but one that sometimes overlaps on others.  Just enough that it’s noticed, one that you can place a game of hide and seek with and always trust to be there, but a shadow nonetheless.  Shadow is a very dreary word though, I don’t mean to be depressing about it.  I quite like being the shadow; it’s trustworthy, cheeky, never the centre of attention.  Though I’ve yet to find what I’m the shadow of.  So far I don’t match, haven’t found what I’m supposed to attach on to.

I though I had found it for a short while, but those days were all be incandescent light, not from the natural glow of the sun.  I do see something.  It’s off in the fog, walking away (or towards other points, depends on how close I feel to being attached again).  But then it becomes an unfamiliar face, once it’s close enough to distinguish the features.  And then it just keeps walking by, missing me completely, not noticing the wanted shade, a want to become something.  I guess I’ll have to go out searching for another.

I’ve cramped up, waiting.  It’s painful o be still and lie in wait.  I’m sick of it, but instead of diving head first into the fog I weigh my options.  I need to; there are so many paths to choose from that I can’t blindly dive into one (very blindly, man you should see this fog, sometimes I can’t even see the buildings beside me).  As with any fog, the things closest to you are the easiest to make out, the easiest to decipher and to find a sense of comfort in the familiarity.  But then the familiar just becomes that; I know what it is, I’ve learned how it works, studied it long enough to know everything about it.  Which is why the other paths are so much more appealing.

One way isn’t as murky and dense as the others.  I can see it leads upwards, and can imagine what’s along the way.  It seems safe, but I have no idea what’s over the hill; when it does drop (as they all do), what will await on the other side?  Will the fog be thicker, pooling in a valley and no way out is found, or clear up in the lower grounds, finally safe and out of the clouds.

Then there’s back the war I’ve come.  There’s cover there as well, but I’m very reluctant to backtrack on my own steps.  I walked out of it for a reason; do I really need to revisit something I already know pushed me out?  The stop lights stay red, but sometimes are an appeasing tint of green, like a beacon to return.  Again it’s the question of familiarity.  I don’t even need to question it though as the amber lights begin to flash, turning to red once again.  The past is just that, and will remain that way; I need to leave that comfort zone and face what’s ahead.  Or to the side, another option available.

To one side there is complete and utter whiteness, a fresh slate.  It looks well lit as I could continue on, but too dense, too foreign to even get a glimpse of what lies in waiting for me to stride into.  It could be glorious, uncharted territory where I could be more than a shadow; I could be the shape the shadow imitates, morphing my way into a solid object.  That way is the way of great risk, it could also be worst scenario what I’m sucked into the density, lost forever to the foreign land.  The question here is do I dare take the risk, plunge headfirst into the cold air and hope for the warmth to clear it from the earth?  Do I dare leave the solid weights around me, turn away from the traffic backed up and the semi-clear path set out ahead to challenge myself?  Because it will only be me for a while, I can’t say how long, but until I find my footing in the white, enchanting abyss I will be alone.  There may be some along the way to turn me from danger, into destruction or travel with until my destination is clear. It will stay there too until everything lifts.

Baby steps are the only way to begin.  Swerving into the bright white lights, or continue forward where the lights are a warm red, choices I need to make.  I could wait, but where’s the adrenalin, the feeling of being alive in that.  Why dip a toe to test the temperature when instead one can run and dive, the shock of a difference (much colder than though, or pleasantly warm and refreshing).

I can’t answer it now; my options aren’t completely weighed and measured. I take pride in my reasoning, and to change that feels like changing too much of my true self.  I proceed cautiously at least, I can;t stay stagnant any longer with my muscles too tense, coiled and ready to be worked and spring to their limits.  I don’t have the energy for it now, the night obstructs my view too much to make a conscious decision.  I need sleep rather than sprinting halfheartedly into something I could regret, or not able to continue until there is a clearing ahead.  I am weighed down by the impulsion I spent earlier on nothing.

So I’ll wait for the dawn, allowing my head to rest and the energy to build for the journey.  My muscles will need to relax for a bit, their anxious journey won’t begin just yet.

With time, the fog is worse, the coldness is setting in my comfort area, slowly closing in.  Instead of letting fear overtake me I breathe, stretch out my hand and adjust my whole body so I am more at ease.  I use my memory to recall what was around me, and it still is even if I can’t see it.  I breathe deeper, letting the cold, damp air burn in my lungs and leaves me invigorated from the change.  This is my chance.  I begin to move, and it clears as I near another wall.  Turning a bit I find the light and a clearing.  I relax and think, “let’s see where this will lead me,” and don’t regret a second.


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