Art by Milo Stibor, the homie*, follow him @milo.stibor13
I have been very desperate lately. I reach for a string to keep myself out of the all-consuming abyss of worry. The strings wear thin. I think soon I could fall in. Going overseas for an entire year is not a decision. It is a calling. Maybe even beyond a calling, more like a road from which I am irreversibly connected. The road leads into a murky cloud of uncertainty, a frightening but endlessly fascinating darkness. Now that I am departing in less than two weeks, I am closer to that dark cloud. I can begin to hear sounds radiating from its contents, laughs, cries, and everywhere in between. My consciousness fills in the lines in these waning hours in the States. I project memories onto that cloud, fantasizing about future moments for myself. However, my imagination and life experience are weak. I feel the gaps in my understanding and don’t know what will happen. Those gaps scare me as much as they excite. Gaps make room for questions. What will come of me when I am gone? Who will I lose in my life when I am overseas? Will I ever be the same again? Questions fly around my head like flies trapped in a jar, buzzing with incredible speed only to meet a glass wall. My thoughts, they too repeat this motion, hurling towards answers where there are none. The subsequent anxiety from the unknowables. It is strong. It is painful. But I am alright, remember, just breathe.
The cloud of uncertainty lies across the ocean in South Africa, specifically the port city of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). I know nothing of this place. I have never crossed an ocean for travel in my life. I am not familiar with other cultures on a personal level. I am not well versed in the schools of thought outside of America. In many ways, I am just another copy of the “Dumb American” archetype. However, where I see the difference within myself is my openness. I love people. They are fascinating and beautiful in their uniqueness. The discrepancy in people is what makes humanity the grotesque yet ethereal beauty that it is. I want to pursue this disparity, and I will go as far out on a limb as I must to get a piece of it. So I set my sights on South Africa, a place with a history and culture that mimics the enigma of us. From apartheid to the gracious heat of Nelson Mandela and all that is between. I want to come as an outsider and witness a life lived absent of the west’s supreme influence. I will record this journey here on this platform and within these words. To my loved ones, thank you for what you have done for me. To my friends, you inspire me every day to be better than I was the day before. God bless you all for putting me in the position to make a leap forward in the story of my life.
Something Small Right Now
Winds move across the desert, shifting the barren landscape side to side
Mountains rise tall, their peaks connecting this world to that of the divine
Rivers flow with crystal clear water, running and rumbling day and night, all the time
The ocean, vast and unmatched, housing the essence of life from where we came and from which we shall go, forever in a bind
There always was, and there will always be
For me, I am light amongst the endless cosmos, one single piece in the grand landscape of space and time
Yet I am changing
I am not going to be the same
I yearn for something, some assistance in this time of upheaval in my life, but there is none
I return to my breathe, I know my decision is the right one
I turn my head, looking up at the stairs, I am at peace
What I felt before I wrote: A different Age by Current Joys