Don’t dismiss the messages of old as ones meant for those in times gone by. Don’t ignore the warnings of the writers and poets who were trying to communicate something to the wide audience of humanity. Humanity has not changed all that much. And so, when I look at men such as T.S. Eliot and the men he created, such as J. Alfred Prufrock, all I can hear is the blaring scream of this is you, and you must fix this. One of my favourite poems, and, indeed, one I believe is potent to society, is the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
In the room women come and go, talking of Michelangelo.
In a world where we have access to almost every piece of canvas that has had paint touched to its skin, to every scrap of paper that has met the nib of a pen, how can we simply glance over someone’s life work and label it “nice”? The mentality of Instagram- to scroll past images that flash before our eyes only long enough for our brain to determine whether they are worth a like. Is it so that we cannot comprehend such beauty, as it is so overpowering, that we find ways in which we can condense it to a single image? We cannot absorb the landscapes that call sublimity, we cannot gather the focus to examine the detail of true beauty, and so we snap it, post it, like it, scroll. A never ending world of pictures is at our fingertips, and so we rely on that to tell us what is happening outside our very window. Anesthetise the senses, because it’s all too much to deal with.
There will be time, there will be time, to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
Social media- a medium where you can present only the face that you’ve, like a piece of fabric, applied the correct filter to. Cropped out what is not meant to be there, in order for your life to be perfect. Rubbed out any imperfections, spent hours on making up a mask to present to a community that will spend three seconds judging it before they continue on. How much time do we spent preparing our face? How much do we think people will judge us by it? Apparently it takes a tenth of a second to judge whether you trust someone, your entire relationship with them. So we must present our very best face. Not a hair out of place. And where do we take this time from? What else could we do with the hours we spend painstakingly crafting an eyebrow?
Do I dare Disturb the universe?
Do I dare disturb my friends and tell them I am not okay?
Do I dare disturb my teachers and tell them I am struggling?
Do I dare disturb the ebb and flow of my life to make a decision that may or may not go well?
After all, it mayn’t. Indeed, I shouldn’t. I should just continue living life the way it is. That is easier, after all. I shall continue wishing that someone asks me how I am, knowing full well if they did I’d say fine. I shall continue to play my role as a cog in life, hoping that I can continue knowing full well I am breaking into fragments slowly, and when I do crack, the life I know will come tumbling around me. Because I do not dare.
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter.
For, if we do turn to a greater power to offer us some solace, we are faced with a great Silence, whom we soon turn from. The effort of giving all to life is much belittled by the fear of giving all to a god. As humanity, are we not scared that, although it is clear we cannot do what we wish with our life, giving it over to someone else will be oh so much worse? Our life is ours to live, to choose and to screw up. Do not consider the alternatives, friend, for surely this is the best way? Surely, to fast, to pray, will lead to nothing. We cannot face our own spirituality because we are stemmed by the inherent rebellious belief that it will lead to nowhere and is therefore not worth the time or energy it would take, indeed if it saves us time or energy in the end. We are fine. Well, we are not fine. But we are finer than we would be if we left it to God.
And would it have been worth it after all…
Would it? Will I ever know? For I did not do. And now I wonder, would it have been worth it after all?
If one, settling a pillow by her head, should say “that is not what I meant at all; that is not it, at all.”
To be dismissed by those we trusted with the most potent gift we could offer- our thoughts. For, our thoughts determine the matter of our hearts, and our hearts are what we aim most to protect. Therefore, to give our thoughts- phwoar. To be dismissed by our peers should we offer a thought- to be tossed aside by our friends if we were to utter an opinion- oh, to be shunned by our parents lest we disappoint them with the thoughts clouding our minds? Why is it that public speaking scares so many so? Because you are being asked to look people in the eye and present your beliefs. And a roll of the eye, the crossing of arms, are blows to not only our ego, but everything we are, for if you dismiss my head, you dismiss my heart, and my being. And so, perhaps it’s better to stay quiet. Speak without saying in case one is to hear without listening.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
We deny ourselves the simplest pleasures for fear of looking foolish. Wear uncomfortable clothes because the others do not fit the criteria. Avoid desserts because they will make us fat. Refuse to laugh because we are acutely aware, perhaps due to a flippant comment, perhaps due to our preconceptions of the audience to which we constantly perform, of how we are perceived. We must exercise control. A certain smile is acceptable, certain jokes in certain companies. How do I look? How do you think I look? It does not matter if I wish to eat a peach, but rather, do I dare accept the consequences of what may occur if I indulge?
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think they will sing to me.
For, at the end of the day, is this not what we consider? That we are not worth it. We do not wish to express our feelings or thoughts because we do not think we are worth the time it takes to listen. We stay with people who put us down because that is all we deserve, and we reject compliments when they come because we cannot believe they were true. We are not worth the attention of even mermaids- they will stop singing when we go by, as our friends stop talking when we enter the room. How has our generation deteriorated so? Surely, with the consistent reassurance of people literally “liking” us, and taking the time to “comment” and “share” what we’ve said, we should be at the very least able to believe that, amongst the amount of friends we have, some of them must be legitimate? But we cannot allow ourselves to believe such things lest we be proven wrong. To hope and fall is worse than to not hope and, perhaps, one day, fly. Isn’t it?
Poem copied from : http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html