Sunday, July 22, 2012

Feels Like Home to Me

“I felt dumb and subdued. Every time I tried to concentrate, my mind glided off, like a skater, into a large empty space, and pirouetted there, absently.” (Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar) Sometimes when I've had a rough day, I wonder if I will ever regain my "old bawdy vigor". In those moments, when my mind glides off, like a skater, into a large empty space, even the simple pleasure of reading is impossible. Thus, after struggling awhile in vain, I admit defeat, and shed a few tears. Later on, as I dry my eyes, I turn to Sylvia Plath. Odd choice? Nah, I don't think it is. When you're rather crazy, its easy to drown in isolation. That's why I love Plath. She assures me someone understands. I am not alone.

Now, listen, being crazy is nothing to brag about, my Friends.  If you happen to be sane than thank the heavens above, and don't lay claim to Plath. Read the following statement: "With me, the present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting. This second is life. And when it is gone it is dead. But you can't start over with each new second. You have to judge by what is dead. It's like quicksand... hopeless from the start.” (Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals) Now, be brutally honest with yourself. Do you really understand it? Do you feel that "present is forever, and forever is always shifting, flowing, melting"? Now, try this one on for size: “In a rabbit-fear I may hurl myself under the wheels of the car because the lights terrify me, and under the dark blind death of wheels I will be safe. I am very tired, very banal, very confused. I do not know who I am tonight. I wanted to walk until I dropped and not complete the inevitable circle of coming home.” (Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals) Again, you know the drill, we are looking for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God. Have ever experienced "a rabbit-fear", then hurled yourself "under the wheels of the car because the lights terrify" you? And when THAT horror has subsided you realize how very tired, banal, and confused you are? Now you see what I mean, don't you? You can't tell people you're caught in "rabbit-fear". Such an admission only earns you looks of pity and incredible awkwardness.

“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of 'parties' with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long." (Sylvia Plath). In my experience, when you've been very alone for a very long time, you know just how special finding "someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul" really is. Personally, I think that the word "home" really means: reveal your fears, inhibitions, and playfulness with fear of loss or retribution for the confession. You're finally safe and the loneliness is gone. In honor of that here's "Feels Like Home to Me" sung by Chantal Kreviazuk:

 *As a side note, recently someone I often pour my soul out to suggested a book I found quite helpful.  Thus, my Darlings, if you ever find yourself taken over by rabbit fear than check out: Coping With Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear, and Worry.

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