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Pallid formations of a wandering mind
Lydia Bullock


Apathy has felttohave become my whole self, and with it, a slightundergrowth of anger for its presence. Why, made of carbon-myself andmy pencil-that our purposes are not to be the same? My pencil, sliced from the fresh findings of an unknown forest, and processed withsomehappenstance of a strange material making, became plucked eventually bymy own hand. Our beginnings diverge; yet were we not the same dwindlingof something before us? If this pencil breaks,I wouldhope to not cry. If Iwere to break my leg, the bone present and shearing into my psyche-likethat broken graphite which I held so dearly in my thoughts-the bone wouldmove me weeping through agony, and curiously peruse me through myuselessness.Not one hand could grab me, and drudge me across paper tocreatesomething other than myself. There is a fear in my pervasive idolization ofthe pencil, how it is much more than I in its fibre, poetically aligned with itscreation to be greater than its nature, and far less appreciated than the treewould see fit.

My bones are not graphite, and they have far less potential. Themarrow inside, seeping an everlasting regeneration, an unfurling uponunfurling of cells seeking a never-ending goal of unknown cause-is muchakin to the cyclical processes of my id. I amat the will of my organic nature,the habits of my cells unknown to me in every regard.And yet within a pencil, its cells have died. Permanently subdued, itsmateriality transitions to spiritual purpose. And such is why I envy it. Itencapsulates its final moments of life, and yet lives beyond it in sublimity.Not as such will be me. A terror to not be as useful to the world beyond myown flesh, and to only feel my singular soul; what of the tree and itsbranches?If I had only been a sapling, instead ofsomething now other, stillreaching deeper into soil and bedrock, able to know far greater things insimplicity-untouched by pride, ego, or the subjugation of will and purpose.Lessened would the hand feel, to measure and make meinto what I ammeant tobe. Would God not do so with my humanity? On the particulars ofsubstance,my insides could not illustrate in multitudes, my soul could not linger or seep into paper, but remain, vapid and depleted, sequestered in itsinkwell.


If but once a transformation could take place within me-so that lifegrasped me wholly, and flung me intocreation, to be so delightfully attunedto my purpose and skill, to be singular and without peculiarity in humanness,which has so far stifled me. Itwould become my own gospel, and thus Icould truly begin.A recklessness of thought (a pervasive, poisoned infestation) hascommitted itself to me, if not since the start of my inquisition, then longbefore in trinklings of symptoms: enumeration of specific feelings, theirplacement within my body, naming, unnaming, categorizing, recategorizing,until all that was left of my vessel was the remnants of a collapsed spirit,disregarded out of growing frustration and languor.I had always been thoroughly engrossed in the subject ofconsciousness, from the moment I “woke up” at my very smallness, in theback of a car and wonderingwhat it all was.An insurmountable stillness,awareness of my being, my inside to my skin to the wrapping of somethingelse unknownjust above, what I would come to understand as my energyand intuition. It feltutterlyinane, and somehow shameful. There was anappetite founded on thehowandwhyof being, a pursuit in the answersundoubtedly contrived from feeling plucked and flung out of truly nothing.And when I learned of my cells, and the atoms within, and again thatI was morenot methan me, it throttled me and left me gasping for air, allthe while crying out for an explanation. I slowly left the questioning alone,realizing more in age the search was in vain. How could I come to an answer,find the obscure knowledge of just being?How simple and mundane it is topermit myself the obsession, to be so radicalized in ego and futility?From adolescence, I wished for only quietness. A release of theseinwardly ambitions, which had poisoned my blood, made my heartbeat sorapidly and lefta feeling of weariness in my limbs, had grown in feverishmalice; mania anchored in my chest, bubbled in my throat, and dispersedlike wicked ivy upon my thoughts. So cruel were the moments left withoutdistraction, moments alone in my bed at night strangled me as I feared thecoming world. The ultimate Catechism, leering and assembling judgment, penetrating mycore,and observing me whole, prescribed further cynicismon my perceptions. Why must I see things such as they are? Are the arrays of cones androds, fluid and fibrous bits that make up my sight-so wonderful as it is-trulyunique to myself? How would one ever know theveritasof the world, in itsmagnificence, is not but an exaggerated illusion, or even so a deficiency ofthe body in perception? And then the journey of such perception as skewedby my conscious overture, in that my blue is notyourblue and does not havethe same impression among us, not the same bias of observance for itselement.My whole being shall now also be examined, thoroughlydisintegrated,and reviewed, and in judging my own integrity make myselfredundant.If I should know the ways of the earth, and the naturality of the worldin all explanation and category, then perhaps I could truly make myself whoI am to be. How couldpurpose come before insight? When the light of myeyes as a child swiftly moved from side to side, a temporary moment ofneurological anomaly, I felt it as a spiritual possession. There wassomething unknown, with which my simple humaneness failed inrecognizing; when I became untethered, a single moment in which my eyesbecame glazed over, unable to become refocused, and the hair on my neckraised, a departure from my mind as my own became known to me, and Ifelt as if God himself were strangling me. I amagain questioning theintegrity of my parts, feeling as if there was an unreliable narrator guidingme through my existence, and in doing so letting slip their awful, wicked disguise.

Time comes, overbearing, constantly. How must I move from momentto moment, without the tiredness of my soul feeling like sludge from frameto frame? It feels almost mocking, that my spirit yields to thenever-endingcycle, that time shall not stop, and Ishall know no true rest until my finalmoment. And how so can it be when a moment is longer than it ought to be-when fragile wings move in air, and almost as if life were finally halting,that they move in sync with the pumping of my blood-a divine alignmentoccurs between my eyes and the grace of existence, so bothersome as tojump my heart into my throat.

How so then, with all these questions and reflections shall I sequestermyself to purpose, initiate the genesis of my function, which has pitted meagainst the pencil? In the beauty of making, in whichI haveseen others findpeace, delight and adoration,the processhas imbued me with doubt andapprehension. No truths have yet to reveal themselves to me, so how shouldI reveal unto the world my distorted sense of truth? I once sought to replicatethe world around me, and the world as I imagined, and now only feel pityin the attempt to mimic the grandiosity which surrounds me. How would theheavens paint the Earth, if not but scoff and place the cosmos in my handsinstead?And the heavens shall be found in the soil, as well as in oilslickedacross street puddles. The monuments of people raise stone and glass inspires of seduction, castles resting on riverbanks whose mass becomes aburden on the earth, the structure weighing your sins in approach. People gothere to worship theirGod, and I worship the river. In the mass of every finething in the world, I have the temptation to sift through it all, to organizeand place into piles every different particle of life in altars, great lands ofonly sand, and only seaweed, rusty nails, loose feathers, polka dots, algae,curtain rods, lightning bugs, muslin cloths, pine needles, limestone, receipts,bloody cloths, ink, films, poppy seeds, lost bones, mountain snow,unreturned books, andallthat there is.Which pieces of the world willbewhere I spread my hopes and aspirations,and chain my carnality,lunacy,sin, andpotential?No, I should not belong there.Even with the greatness and beauty of the earth in these piles, thewhole of humanity with kindness, grief, failure and mercy, andtimeundeterred-none is so deserving to hold my ashes as my lover.Heavenwould then ask me the truth of my purpose, and I will be happy to ignore the question.

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