Now that the world is shutting down
My own world feels unhinged
‘Your’ world has constringed the world within me
Like I never dreamt it would or could
I’ve lived distracted
By what ‘your’ world pervaded my world with
Always had something to do
Some place to go; something to worry over
I called myself busy
Some called me driven; motivated
I took pride in having no time for anything but time to be distracted
We called it the rat race
My worth defined by the ability to run the race of rodents well
Never dawned till now
It was a soft form of neurosis – well almost!
The psychotic frenzy of 21st century living
Till an invisible enemy pounced
And declared its own voiceless war, atop all else
Gaining nebulous grip on a world already on its brink
Pride on its knees
Now you tell me to cease from my accustomed insanity
It feels existentially threatening
To put the pause on my typical frenzy
Or to embrace the sanity of my quiescence
This choke-hold on my freedom
Freedom to live mad, distracted and harried
Craving the freedom to run the rat race of lunacy I was programmed to run
Defined as the way to success
A world order disdaining tranquillity
For so long I thrived orgasmically on noise and its chatter
The hustle and bustle
But now forced to scuttle away into my uncharted thoughts
Burrowing deep into them
Without the distraction of rat race pursuits; so-called
Lured into an alternative reality
The eeriness of an enforced solitude
I fidget with restless energy
My cold turkey symptoms
This living with myself in a new way
A form of phobia
Nowhere to go?
No mad dash somewhere?
Someone pinch me!
What do I do with this silence?
That speaks to my fears, my phobias, my vulnerabilities?
Who will save me from this globe-wide siege?
I can’t leave on a jet plane – anywhere
There’s nowhere to go; not even Utopia
There’s no song for this experience
Do I love myself enough to live with me?
I’ve lived like an addict for so long
Addicted to frivolous escapisms of modern indulgence
Now I feel assaulted by the abundance of superfluous time
Time to do nothing but think everything
Can I really hack it?
Can my thoughts cope with me?
Can I hide myself from me?
Like I‘ve done many times before
But where? But how?
What do I say to me?
What do I do with me?
It’s my inner tumult now
My thoughts perturb me
They take me deeper than I care to go
I’ve thrived on the habit of distractions
Denying my thoughts the power to overwhelm
Who determines this new path of self-introspection?
Where are my rat race pursuits when I need them?
I lived like I couldn’t live without them
But all they were, were but a crutch
Stroking the ego of my petulant Self’
Now ‘Self’ is left confined to discover her truth
The humbled and denuded Self – that’s me! Aha!!!
In this new reality, nothing really matters
Except for what really matters
And those who must matter!
This is the satiric ‘victory’
The enemy of my existence has won for me
A common virus?
Forcing me to embrace my primeval self?
Challenged by primordial truths, long obscured
Nurturing within me a new internal soul order
So when life reverts to ‘normal’ mad
I may have learnt better to shun the madness of an extrinsic world order
To savour better, the joys of quietude and soul serenity
In this mad world
I didn’t have to be mad with it
I wasn’t created to. Now I know!
That’s their world, not mine
Success is not defined by running the world’s race
But by the wait; the inner blueprint of deeper truths
Awaiting to be unravelled
By those deep enough to seek depth
And wise enough to shun the facade
As I am soul-stripped and sequestered unto ‘Self’
In the quietness of solitude and my repose
I whisper a prayerful thank you; not for Corona’s pandemic
But for what it kindled within me and beyond.
by Kobi Emmanuella-King