My Symphony: Give A Man A Home by Ben Harper
And Hansel said to Gretel, “Let us drop these breadcrumbs so that together we find our way home because losing our way would be the most cruel of things.”
As I am sitting here in front of my laptop computer, I find myself bewildered by the fact that I haven’t written in this online journal for almost a month now despite the fact that I’ve come to terms with the reality that I am at the most important stage of my life so far. I used to think that this is just another common irony of life. I mean, I used to think that maybe I haven’t been writing that much anymore because I am too busy with what’s going on in “the real life” that I don’t have time to encapsulate my stories through journalism. But now, I think I finally understand what’s really going on…
The truth of the matter is, I am lost. I have been lost.
Nobody can ever know how much courage it took me to admit that to myself. I never really looked at myself as a lost soul nor have I thought that feeling empty as a human being was ever possible. But the things that have been taking place in my life lately change everything I knew about the world I live in and of who I am. Before I came to Canada, I had everything I ever needed: a comfortable house with a roof top, family and relatives I could rely on at any time, groups of friends I could call my “crew”, a city in which I knew every corner and every turn and an 18-year old life that was founded with meaningful stories and unforgettable experiences. I was like a cute little baby plant showered with fresh water and comforted with warm sun rays and with occasional dose of pesticides on a daily basis. But most importantly, back then, I had an identity.
This isn’t another lash-out session about how cold and boring I find this country to be. In fact, this isn’t about anything or anyone else at all. This is about me– I lost my way. And I lost it in a really scary way: I lost it upon an intimately melodramatic encounter with another lost soul. But I will not talk about this person here because again, this is about me. There’s no one else to point fingers to. I am at war with myself, and that leaves me to see how I’ve changed so drastically over the course of a year. And I’m scared. I’m scared that I may have lost my faith, my light, my passion… the very core of my being. I’m scared that I may have lost my belief in love, art, beauty and The Afterlife. I’m scared that I may have lost every single thing that I both had and didn’t. But the scariest thing of all is I may never find those things ever again; that I might have to continue living the rest of my life feeling like I’ve never really been able to breathe at all, that I’ve never really been alive to begin with. The lost soul I have encountered simply added to the intensity of the wind that blew off my light. It isn’t his fault. Because really, my light had already started to flicker and lose luminance way before I met him. It’s just when I started investing time, effort and compassion in him that I realized I didn’t really have anything to offer. I was empty all along.
The kind of connection I lost cannot be considered minor. I look at it as something which is as tragic as a man losing his home, and who consequently has to spend the remaining slumbers of his life in the dusty streets of downtown. He wakes up every morning and the first thing he does is hold up a sign that says “Hungry”. On the flip side, it says “Thirsty”. On mid-day, he walks around the city begging for alms, and people look at him like he’s some kind of a disease. I do not know what it’s really like to be that man, but I certainly know how it feels like to not have a home, emotionally (which I honestly think is just as bad as being literally homeless). Somehow I feel like I am not attached to anything anymore. Not my family, not my friends, not the world, not even myself. I feel so detached to everything and everyone that I’m starting to figuratively live inside my head. All of this is just as blurry to me as it is to the people who have noticed my lack of touch with reality. I wake up every morning, live the day, go back home and do what I’ve been doing best lately: sleep. I mean, the way things are unfolding in my life lately, it makes me love sleep even more. This will sound odd and incredibly weird to “normal people”, but I feel like it is in my sleep that I get to know myself more, and the world even better. It is in my dreams that my heart and my mind force me to embrace all the lies that realize the truth.
I can sleep forever. And I can listen to melodramatic music all day long, or read as many novels as I can in a week. But there’s one thing that I cannot do, and that is to neglect the visible world. Yes, I am generally a dreamer– a romanticist-idealist who spends most of his time in what’s not really there. But I do know. I know that at some point, I would have to leave the books at home, pull off my earphones, take a pause from writing… and just live.