This blog post has a soundtrack! Listen to: https://youtu.be/EDdV_x513dc while you read.
I take a break from writing my first “5 things you should know” type of blog post and sprawl on my bed. I finished the morning English lessons earlier and have another hour before I need to get ready for the second batch.
My new technique for relaxing in the afternoon heat is to squish either ear plugs or headphones into my head and move as little as possible with the fan on high. I can still hear the Islamic prayers in the background but my conscious focuses on the familiar acoustic sounds of my former life, here in my head, just for me. A song called “Cold is the night” by the Oh Hellos comes on my Pandora offline station and I feel the urge to worship the God I know. To ask for his help. To cry and sing silent words.
For a whole week I forgot that I was searching for something, that I have wounds to heal and answers to find. Other hearts with passion and fear of their own have distracted me. Hands reach up, tears stream down and I know the truth of my condition will be with me in any corner of the world. I have often wondered if I am running away or toward something. The song ends and I smile with wet cheeks. Both, I think.
I’m not brave. Sure, I can hop on a plane and go somewhere new and this all sounds very daring, but if I’m not really scared how can I call this bravery? My true fear is always with me, inside my head and heart. I can’t book a ticket to courage. To face this fear would indeed be brave. My favorite avoidance tactic is to keep moving, keep running. I do it without even thinking. In the course of one week I have taken up the banner of another’s cause, and began a travel writing project of my own.
I am a master of self-preservation and Inner exploration is dangerous. There’s no telling the outcome. Will I become enlightened or deranged? Tropical rain thunders down outside in the dim evening light and I compare the similar symptoms. Where lies the line between genius and madness? Commitment and obsession? If the product of an unbalanced person’s work is positive they are called a genius or guru. If their efforts affect the world around them negatively they are a lunatic, unbalanced and dangerous.
I feel lighter now, more buoyant after a good cry. I sit up and prop my back against the wall. What if finding balance isn’t the solution? What if mania and depression are necessary for art, innovation and finding God?
I think about how we use the word crazy in American lingo. “That’s crazy! No way?!” This can mean either fantastic or ridiculous. Am I going crazy or crazy? Maybe… a little of both, I think.