“Swimming in circles.”
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I am a fish in warming water. Enjoying the perks of this free energy that surrounds my body, I don’t feel the need to ask questions. It would only serve to complicate things. Surely, if the waters were to warm further still, I would have the presence of mind to escape before I fell victim to the buoyancy of ignorant comfort. Maybe, I’m not so certain anymore.
It’s been too long since we’ve talked and it’s not because I didn’t want to, I just didn’t know what to say. I was so fixated on the music that eventually, I couldn’t hear the notes anymore. I mean that both figuratively and literally. I’ve poured so much of myself into this that it has practically consumed my every moment free. And here we are, these many months later, and I find myself in the strangest state of mind.
I feel like my life has been playing like a drive-in movie. Sitting behind my windows, I see all these beautiful images passing by, but can’t for the life of me, find the right frequency to hear anything; there is only static. A global hum of unguided televisions trying to find their way through the ringing in my ears. It’s as if the heart of the world has skipped a beat and now I’m out of place; Syncopated. Antiquated. Isolated.
The earth moves beneath me and outside my little bowl but here I am, just swimming in circles. Stopping occasionally to revisit these feelings of self-doubt and obsolescence, before continuing on despite them. I dream of the river and where it might take me but also wonder if what I’m doing is stupid. If anyone outside my bowl will care. I wonder why it matters to me. Were I resolved to watch the world pass and not wish to join it, would I wonder where it’s going?
Maybe I’m afraid. Afraid that I’m not who I think I am or that this identity is not as potent as I thought. Maybe it never was. Maybe these years underwater have dulled my senses; diluted my reality. What if these feelings are just symptoms masquerading as thoughts? One can never know for sure. Maybe I’m afraid that beneath these scales, lies a destiny unfit for a fish. Maybe this is temporary; an aftershock. Maybe everyone feels like this from time to time.
All of them, swimming in their little bowls, fully grown and hungry for a cause. Do their voices deserve to be heard over the symphony resonating through the glass from the outside. Does mine? Countless voices mining time for opportunity and a part of me feels like I am just singing into the static. Trying to break free from a causal loop of perpetual auditory feedback, have I forgotten why I started in the first place? If time is common currency, how do you convince someone to invest in you? How do you know if you’re worth investing in?
These questions keep me company as I loop around my bowl, hoping that one day the frequency of my broadcast will match the dial of the world. Maybe it never will, but I have to try. For some reason, I have to try, and maybe that’s the point. Maybe the destination that drives us is just a catalyst to start the journey; a spark to start the fire, and once the road’s beneath us, only then can we find our way. Only then can we find ourselves.
I don’t know what lies beyond the glass. For now, I am just a fish in a bowl, singing into the static. Swimming along with all my hopes and dreams and the belief that one day, my voice will grow so loud as to shatter the glass around me and drain me with the water. If I could make my way to the river from there, what might I find? Or who? Who am I, if not a fish?