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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Harvey

Where Do We Go From Here?

Where do we go from here? That was the first question that came to mind after our rooms were turned into cages, and our computers transformed into classrooms. Nature, both human and worldly, forbidden to be acted upon. We are all stuck in self-quarantine, hoping to escape from the steel bars that hold us in. There can be no more physical communication between us as we are all stuck in isolation like Napoleon after his self-declared wars. But our self-declared conflicts were the ones wherein we torched the sky with gas emissions and light, commiting total war on the wooded hills and jungle habitats, and massacring any animal who could be used as fuel for our bodies. It is all merely karma, a cause and effect. No punishment by God, rather a punishment by nature. A nature which always wins, which always guilt, which always seems to show the way forward.

And so the question begs: Where do we go from here?

For Mother Nature has locked us in cells, forcing us to be left with what we all despise: our own thoughts, our own mortality, our own failures, and our own heartbreak. They run around, crawling under the chairs, smashing into the walls, and breaking all the photos we hold dear. They terrorize us as we sit in the corners of our rooms, filled with hysteria, stuck in the Labyrinth of our mind.

So the question bears asking: Where do we go from here?

The answer, in the simplest way I could put it, is… nowhere.

We stay put to deal with what lives in our own heads: fighting our own demons, looking at our own flaws- and coming to terms with them. I have quite a few of them myself, and it’s all catching up to me, swarming my consciousness. Acting like rodents in a basement cellar, and coming upstairs to eat what is left of the rotten cheese from years before.

I think we all understand that our homes aren’t a place of vacation in this moment of time, they are a place of war. The lives we lived, the things we thought we knew, have all been disrupted, and will continue to be for a long time. The world is on pause, and all we can do is watch as it spins. We are all stuck in place, like statues with a brain. A brain that remembers, that reflects, and that thinks deeply in the silence of the reality surrounding it. Because that is what we are in- a silence. The roads are quiet, as people stay in their homes and are forbidden to go out to see one another. What was a combusting place filled with activity, is now nothing more than a broken down machine, incapable of productivity, for its chains are rusted, its wires a tangled consciousness. But we must untangle them. We must, for no other reason than to preserve our sanity-- fight the darkness that exists in our heads.

So shut the door on the news feeds. Put a bullet into the head of the beast that roams your room. Look for the answers within the words that lie between your walls, and take a good look outside at the brevity of this world, not our world, but the world’s world. The grass amongst the trees with the leaves that touch the apricot sky, and the terrains within the stars, within the night sky that we see when we look above.

Simultaneously, we are all our own and each other's, enlightenment. The flaming fire amongst the dying... the dying of the light. The endarkening rage of our conscience towards the actions of our mind.

It is when I lay down to sleep that I am most afraid . For this is when the silence is at its loudest moment. This is when the rage, the pain, the hysteria, the world- berates the silence that would usually comfort me. But this is where the war began. The first night of quarantine- carving into my bedside table: Where do we go from here?

Then I remember an old poem, an old stanza, that comes around now and again-

“Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I smile, picking up my knife, and thrashing it into the flesh of the beast that holds me. Only one of many quarrels to come. Some to lose, some to win. Either way, I look outside, to see the world, and write of what it has done to me, and what we have done to it- so that someday we may go gentle into that good night.

So that then, and only then, I can put down the knife, and rise up into the apricot sky- to finally sleep unfazed by the dying of a light.

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