It’s Good to Be Back

(Disclaimer: If this post causes emotional discomfort, please confront your demons by heeding wise advice.)

I was spontaneous yesterday.

Now, for those of you who know me — it really does depend which era of me you know, now, doesn’t it?

Let’s try this again. For those of you who have known me in the past couple of years, maybe three, you’ll probably gasp when I, of all people, say “spontaneity”. And I know exactly why; I know the reasons for your surprise probably better than I let on, as I do with most things in life, to be honest.

So why was being spontaneous a big deal for me?

Because, mates, it’s good to be back.

You look at me and think, “but you didn’t go anywhere”. Physically no, but in the past two years I did go down a path I once promised myself to never venture. I promised myself I wouldn’t because of how many people I lost to it — the cancer of the mind, eating away at the soul, leaving behind a mere shell of a human body to remind us that yes, this living, breathing, entity is our responsibility.

So I left. I couldn’t leave physically — I had too many commitments out here in the city, a life I’ve spent a decade trying to build and am still dissatisfied with my efforts, knowing how far I’ve fallen when I look at how much I achieved once upon a time.

I couldn’t leave mentally — no, my brain is generally over stimulated due to intelligence, which, unfortunately for a lot of people, means I have no off-switch. I notice things. Then I understand concepts because I’ve seen it somewhere before, so I associate that and make a connection. That link tends to be more logical than emotional because I like being objective, studying the facts, understanding the patterns.

Logic is my comfort zone.

But I left, emotionally. It was one of the longest journeys I’ve ever taken — to be completely void of emotions and shut down, tuned out from the world around, still hearing details but feeling like everything is meaningless. Sometimes, this can be a good feeling, like if that emptiness is actually contentment and peace. If that emptiness is actually silence and solitude. What I felt though, was far from that.

At first.

It was a lonely emptiness, where not only did I feel like no one could relate to me, but that I hadn’t found a way to relate to myself. I was so far gone, so different, so…unfamiliar to myself. Most people think I had it done to me, that I was a victim of victimless crimes; that I was subject to whatever abuse had led me down that path. But it was my morbid curiosity, because I chose those situations knowing that I am entertained by aggression.

Aggressors find my amusement annoying. It adds fuel to the fire, pushes their limits; unable to laugh at themselves, the angry flip from aggression to full on abuse.

Of course it’s fun, it’s like that predictable explosion, a controlled avalanche.

And it’s what I do, I laugh in the face of rage. I laugh, because I understand anger, I know rage, I terrorized them a long time ago, and they are now subservient to my control. I don’t avoid it, but I generally don’t project it either. So yes, watching each and every single one of you flip out in vengeance does entertain me, because I remember what it was like to be immature.

I remember what it was like to be insecure.

But I also remember…what it’s like to be fearless in the face of insecurity.

My darlings, like I said, it’s good to be back. Oh, how I’ve missed you…

G.

Write Until…

Write until all that remains is love; Love always remains.

Write until the clouds shift, until the sun comes out to play. Write until there is no more anger, no more pain, no more fear, no more anxiety, no more excuses, no more boundaries. Write, and write, and write, until all that remains…is Love.

It’s explosive. Love is beautiful.

It’s all the good, the bad, the scary, the sad, wrapped up and bundled into a giant confusing package.

But amidst all the confusion and turmoil, there is that steadfast, security that sometimes feels like a literal rock. A rock that, no matter how hard it is pushed, the one pushing only ricochets because it is so much stronger than any human.

That rock, is Love.

Love itself is strong,  much stronger than humans are sometimes capable. Humans fall short of Love itself — if Love were to stand alone, it could be much like the Himalayas with ambivalent directions pointing left, right, centre, when all you had to do was keep going up; or deep as the Grand Canyon with a bunch of trampolines in case one does “accidentally fall in Love”.

But the journey to Love is sometimes treacherous; ask any adventurer or explorer. Getting stuck in potholes, sinking in quicksand; frost bite, rope burn, to name a few. It’s the journey that is the adventure. Love is free of cost, but not free of journey. It is not a state in which one can teleport; it is a “destination” that one reaches.

To a writer, writing is that journey. It is that path one writes, scribbling lines paving the way to the heart of a writer. It is the concoction of words concatenating the thoughts, the feels, the warm embraces. It is the bridges we cross and walk around in circles trying to find our ways around the place, trying to write out the steps to the destination.

Love heals.

To write, is to love.
To love, is to heal.
To write, is to heal to love.

Write until all that remains is love.

All. That. Remains.

Is love.

MG

The Change

This story is inspired by Huxley’s Brave New World and Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World. 

He swung his rucksack over his shoulder and pulled the door shut behind him as he left the house, once again ready to fly solo into the battlefield. It was an average sunny morning with nothing new except his thoughts and theories which consumed him faster than the speed of light. All geared up with his knives and a crossbow, he skipped down the stairs, realising that the agonising discipline he had endured for the past decade was finally coming into play. He’d never understood why he’d been put through combat training, until about a year ago…

It was late July, halfway into the summer, that he was navigating around various city-states in his surrounding area. In this age of technology, though, his exploration was mostly conducted by travelling through cyberspace. He would navigate from state to state, find the most feasible settling point, and experiment by scouting around the boarders. For months, he had established Influence over certain city-states and civilisations, but it wasn’t until November that he had stumbled upon a civilisation that fully encompassed the types of battles for which he was trained.

In months, he had created a weapon that could ultimately destroy a civilisation of Megalopolises; a weapon that would break through the defense of Superficiality and thus expose and attack flaccidity of the archenemy both as an entity and as individuals. The downside, however, was that his weapon also unmasked his own weaknesses, and he needed to reconstruct a certain set of defenses accordingly. However, as he had allied with a small but strong Civilisation, he ended up investing most of his energy into fueling the weapon and hadn’t quite strengthened his defenses, so just over half a year later, when the Megalopolis decided to unite and declare war against this Civilisation, it was hardly a secret that his stronghold came crashing down, leaving fragments of debris on everything he touched.

With each battle, he felt weakened and defeated. But what his enemies didn’t know is that each scar they inflicted only fueled the fire and passion it took to take down this flawed and corrupt system. Two months after the initial battle, he decided to coalesce with the Army General to enhance the pre-existing weapon and defend it with double the aegis. They devised a strategy that was everything he had hoped, months ago, to enforce, but given the fact that the weapon was still in its phase of refurbishment, he decided that it was still too early in the game to bring out the big guns and fire the ultimatum. Instead, the Army decided it best to ultilise the information uncovered by their diplomats to administer alternate methods.

Finally, after three and a half months of provocation and warfare, he felt ready to save the society from falling down a swirling abyss of soon-to-be Betas of the Brave New World. The Civilisation had devised a strategy to conquer the boundaries of a backward society and catapult these Megalopolises into progressing in a universally sanctioned direction. Fueled with a passion that went both ways, he was fully equipped to train certain Melee units to defend their assets and enhance the skills they had already developed, but also to take on the antagonistic opposition from Greater Civilisations.

Each Melee Unit he was handed to train was equipped with their own set of weapons, and it was his job to cultivate these units into armies that could handle the Great Battle which was yet to come. These little battles that were coming his way at a rapidly unexpected pace were merely his next level of training, which is why he understood the importance of training his Melee Units as rigorously as possible.

The Great Battle was one he knew he was definitely not ready to face yet: What happens when his Melee Units reach their Age of Enlightenment and besiege the Megalopolis? How hard will the Megalopolis fight back then? Somehow though, his reassurance lay in the fact that they knew how to strategise around these impediments, which is why he allowed himself to sustain a few broken bones and scratches here and there: he knew they would grow back stronger, and that he would be able to take on the Ultimate Battle when it stares him in the face. For now, he just has to go on training his Units, and defend their Freedom without the Megalopolis trying to eradicate it. Being one of the few Civilisations in the Information Era, he knew he would have to wait a long time until his Melee Units moved out of the Industrial Era. That, or he needed to find a new method of combat training.

With every demonstration during the training sessions, his Melee Units felt threatened and weakened, but they didn’t yet understand that this was his way of strengthening them. They didn’t understand that the only way to grow was to conquer the existing Challenges before they could be upgraded to a stronger Unit. After three months of battling and Melee Training, he had finally come to discover that although his armies were equipped with tons of state-of-the-art weaponry, none of them had been trained to actually use any of it, so in the first few sessions when he asked them to try to use it, they all ended up shooting themselves in the foot or poking an eye out one way or another.

In his mind palace, he realised that these armies would take much more training that he had anticipated, which was surprising considering how modern their military technology and weaponry supplies were. He knew what had to be done, and knew what the ultimate goal was, but as for how to win the battle, well first, he had to decided which ones were worth the fight. But he knew. He knew that the Ultimate Battle, or the Great Battle, would only be fought when he had enough Flight Units to intercept the opposition. And for now, he would continue with his various forms of research that would provide substance and options for stronger weapons and more fine-tuned training tools to cater to the unpredicted needs of units that have been bred but not trained. He was tired of seeing his government funding the nation’s military but not actually training the army to use the tools, and considering the fact that this Megalopolis was considered to be one of the most advanced Civilisations in the whole world, his jaw dropped when he discovered that one of his Units whom he had trained for a sheer 9-month period had more common sense than the entire government. They were living proof that his expectations for the Units were not irrational or impractical, and though he may be somewhat idealistic at times, each losing battle only drove his cynicism, which in turn nourished his Strength.

And although he was very well trained and equipped to attack and dominate, the Civilisation didn’t feel that he was ready to be put on the frontlines yet. Instead, they were training his defenses and setting up the battlefield, so that when they did unleash his Ultimatum, it would act like an abstract Apache AH-64 trained to only shoot down Enemy Thoughts but keep the civilians and their Freedom safe. Tough and heart-wrenching as the process sometimes was, he promised himself that he would live to see the day when the Change took place. When the Change he had spent a decade trying to implement happens, he would be on the frontlines with a PHASR rifle to blind and suspend Enemy Thoughts, and an MAARS to launch grenades of Liberated Knowledge which his Melee Units will use to defend their Liberated Minds. So for now, no matter how much damage he undergoes, as long as he has his moments to fortify and heal, he will live to be there when The Change happens, and he would sacrifice his reputation to achieve the ultimate goal of breaking through the Stereotypes and Traditionalism of a conservative, unenlightened and ignorant Megalopolis.

Until then, he wasn’t fighting alone, and besides his immediate allies, he had, within his mind palace, the defenses of Machiavelli, Huxley, Kafka, Sartre, Hobbes, Rousseau, Thoreau and Kant. For now, he told himself 8 words:

頂天立地
永不放棄

Spectrum

Wearing your heart like a stolen dream
Opening skies with your broken keys.
~Zedd~

And as the realisation that a reality may soon fade into a memory, I find myself animating words and scenarios in hopes that I can forever cherish the memory with a decor so relevant to the image.

Sounds and music an instantaneous trigger; portraits of each yesterday flood my consciousness with a hunger for just a little longer, a thirst for inspiration. There it was, within reach: but so was a fear that a firm grip on this dream would only push it away. I wanted so badly to embrace every essence of richness and cognition.

“A kindred know-it-all” was the chosen phrase, quoted directly and without paraphrasing. Perhaps the acknowledgement of an association too blatant, yet amidst a silence which is yet to be bestowed, a captivating endearment echos within the empty walls.

Thoughts, images, memories, ideas seep into my cognisance as I dwell on every word once spoken. Analysing the reasons behind each word, contrasting intent and expression.

Paradoxical as it all may be, the fact is that it’s quite possible my expectations were somewhat subjective. Daring to venture into the realms of the unknown has always been my forte – it just so happens that the forte I have stumbled upon at this moment has very obvious unknowns.

True beauty masked by a chassis of diction, academics and knowledge. Wisdom hidden in the crevices of each broken crack. Magnetism radiating from behind every locked door.

A forte not abandoned, but holding secrets waiting to be discovered. It’s shadows and strange sounds driving out unwanted visitors, pushing away strange characters.

A forte, challenging any bold adventurer to explore, apprehensive about a new traveler disrupting a peace and quiet one has become accustomed to. A forte, waiting to be discovered, waiting for its secrets to be revealed – waiting for the right hands to appreciate its fragility.

A forte, robust and beautiful, but mounted in the distance, far away from all. Hidden by the purlieus of every distance and gap between the forte and human interaction. Not inaccessible to those within proximity, but only the brave and perceptive dare to go the distance to enter this forte.

Perhaps one may have been granted a slight glimpse at the treasures inside, and yet extenuating circumstances prevented the traveler from entering the forte per se.

Whether it be a change in weather, a slip of a foothold; whether it be an obstacle or hindrance, a trap or a trigger.

Whatever the reason, when an adventurer is prepared to go forth into an unknown realm, he has always accounted for variable change.

And thus, this variable change may even result in being chained to the walls in the dungeon, far, far away from audibility (but not too far that he is impervious). Chained, while his screams are silenced by a burning desire that cooperation may be the only way out.

So he considers surrendering  because he made it in. Despite the forte’s attempts at scaring him off, his stubborn yet futile attempts at digging for treasure satisfy his rebellion against common sense. He chooses to stay rather than bolt, unless four walls close in on him and the foundations of the forte shatter.

Though that is entirely unlikely.

But then again, the forte has not been fully explored. Any movement, absolutely any movement, could result in chaos and disruption.

To risk, or not to risk.

Braveheart.