Are our lives irreparably set in cosmic ink by the stars?
Is everything preordained even when we're determined to revolt and split from fate? Are phantom mutations of rebellion encoded within us all? Do we hamstring our untapped potential by trying to manipulate the unknown?
Taking my eyes off the undulating road, I sneak a glance at the bespectacled man in the passenger seat.
His shades, moondust-tinted Weslie Sun’s from Oliver Peoples, hide bright eyes etched with deep laugh lines. A hint of wrinkles crisscrosses the expanse of his high forehead.
The Poet worries at the hem of his dark blue Maison Margiela pullover while he thinks.
I steer my old Volvo towards the mountains filling our horizon.
Does picking away at a frayed stitch somehow change the true nature of my sweater?
If you unravel it then yeah, I’d say so.
That changes its composition, not its essence. It doesn’t negate the service rendered by its original purpose. I'm merely hastening its inevitable return to Source.
Let's say we wrestle the remote away from an intergalactic couch-surfer. What changes? The volume? A channel or two if you’re particularly persistent. The medium remains the same. The void, all still too unavoidable.
Granted but a whiff of freedom. That precious breath kept within us, stagnant for the rest of our lives. A weak proof of concept is better than nothing, right?
Hush. Be happy with the meager blessings offered to your unworthy self. Don’t stretch those grubby fingers out for more. Divest yourself of this foolish notion that you’re any sort of witness, let alone the Eternal Witness.
As I drive, the desert outside begrudgingly gives way to stubborn shoots of green.
Caution! Self-importance may be more inflated than it appears in the mirror. You can't see a damn thing. How could you? You’ve got spiritual astigmatism.
The Poet rummages through the glove box for a CD. He fumbles with its plastic wrapping. In block letters, a green sharpie has scrawled Babe, You Look So Cool. Its dedication reads '4 You'.
Hey man, play Freebird!
Settle down, hippie scum.
Hippie scum!? Where do you get off?
Once a month in the shower, twice on bank holidays. Not that it’s any of your business, thank you very much.
I grin as the opening chords of The Wombats’ “Walking Disasters” ring out from the tinny speakers.
You can’t even ride a bike and you're demanding the keys to a celestial vehicle. The nerve to shake your fist at the heavens and proclaim yourself free. No hayatim, we cannot trust you. But you gave it the old college try.
We’re all so...well, I don’t want to say proud because that’s too unbelievable. But we’ve humored you. We've indulged your esoteric fantasies of so-called detached awareness. Mate, in reality, you’d float off into the ether. A bloody bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork that’d be for everyone involved.
Imagine us as sort of the lifeguards of id.
Now and then, we look up from flirting with our cute coworker. Pausing just long enough to blow a whistle in your general direction. Don't entertain that dastardly gleam in your eye. We don't need you channeling Robin Williams.
Does that mean no more 'Nanu, Nanu'?
Well no, just don't go around yelling 'Carpe Diem' at precocious prep-school miscreants.
There's a natural lull in conversation as we strum along with Hozier’s “Like Real People Do”.
It's a delicate balance we must strike. Stand out too much and your vanity will kill you. Stand out too little and your apathy will see you expire.
We must gently poke, prod, and shepherd you within mediocrity's fuzzy velvet ropes. We can't let you be a seeker, a doer, a mover, a shaker, a somebody, a has-been, a nobody.
Don't you see? We’re saving you from yourself. You’ll never have to bemoan any bygone glory days as you go to seed. Oh, my milquetoast sweetie; a dollop of milk, a cube of sugar, you’ll be right as rain and forgettable anew.
There’s nowhere to go. Nothing to see. It’s all overrated, overpriced, overexposed. Still, you ache to drown in the fruitless waters of false contentment.
Why do we do that? Are we salmon, swimming upstream into the waiting maw of the grizzly?
Because it’s easier than grappling with the weight of life. Soak into the static and allow it to cloud your eyes. Dull your senses until they’re paralyzed by the echo of fear.
Relegate your intuition to vacuous white noise. Let the undercurrent of reactive distraction garble it into unintelligible gibberish. Reconcile every bit of stimuli that slips through the chatter or else you'll explode.
Soon, you'll feel that you’re not doing enough. Not making enough. Not traveling enough. Not screwing enough. Simply not good enough. You are lacking, found forever wanting.
I take us around hairpin bend after hairpin bend as we climb our way towards the tangerine-hued sky. Halfway through “Our Shangri-La” Mark Knopfler is crooning 'we may never love again' . A teardrop wells precariously in the corner of my eye.
Dry those tears. Let me assuage your fears. Everything will be fine if you daren't do a thing. When you’re at peace with the present moment, you’ll hear your intuition again.
You get out of sync when you clutter your mind with constant distractions. Your mind becomes overstimulated. Relax and allow your true self to impart awareness. The stimuli of the world finding no purchase in your heart worn smooth by meditation. Your incessant thoughts floating away upon the subconscious' serpentine stream.
Let your desires dissipate. Don’t grant them carte blanche to colonize egoic fiefdoms in the New World Empire of Self.
Babe, You Look So Cool's curtain call, "Robbers" by The 1975, begins to play. Wholly immersed, he belts the outro, matching Matty Healy note for note.
We share a contented sigh as the final tinges of sunset bathe my car in rays of gold and purple.
You know, I don’t feel like I’m lacking anymore.
Nor should you, my friend. How could the disappointment of a single day, week, month, year, dispute the truth? It’s difficult to surrender to your eternal self without knowing what lies on the other side. Thankfully, what awaits us is bliss inexhaustible, and infinite awareness.
It’s everyone's destiny.
We’ll see all souls as one.
We’ll bathe in love’s waterfall.
We’ll arrive at the mountaintop.
We’ll dance for eternity.
We’ll be home.