Prolonged exposure to the world can sometimes be an emotionally draining experience. Observing the totality of it all, sometimes the abyss gazes back, and it can be too much to take…
A mad fascist clown on the rise in the most powerful country on Earth, his nearest rivals just as dangerous, maybe more so; the spectre of cataclysmic climate change looming over us all, threatening most those who will be least equipped to weather it; continual postcolonial ‘wars’ of aggression being fought in our name on battlefields that its victims had no part in choosing; the unimaginable fear and pain that the refugees of those wars go through, and the persecution they are subjected to when they attempt to seek a better life; the seemingly glacial, and sometimes almost reversed, social progress in our ‘enlightened’ societies that still visits suffering upon millions of those who don’t conform to a violently enforced template; a global economic system that encourages us to live lives swaddled mind and body in consumer comfort at the expense of colossal swathes of humanity to whom our lives would seem almost alien if they could but see them for a minute…
I guess what I’m saying is that sometimes — often in the horrible beige doldrums of Tuesdays — things can seem a bit overwhelming; and even the privileged existence that allows me to be sat here, sipping a coffee and writing this without fear of a foreign bomb exploding over my head or a black-clad secret police force breaking down my door, zip ties at the ready; even that can by itself seem oppressive — ‘How fortunate am I? How indulgent to even contemplate a heavy heart when billions of people around the globe have barely even the moment for contemplation; who will never know a life anywhere near as comfortable as this?’
I guess what I’m saying is that the burden of conscious thought, with its infinite spirals of self-reflexive prismatic hallways and vast echoing chambers, can sometimes make me yearn for a fall and a blow to the head; for blinkers to be involuntarily installed while I sleep.
Luckily, that thought lasts but a second, and I soon realise that all I’m really asking for is a moment — a realignment of perception. Something that can deliver a swift psychological kick to head. It always seems daunting, but as it happens I consider myself fortunate enough to know of a thing that can induce just such a moment.
And, this mystical panacea? Yep, of course it’s on YouTube. Throughout the years, whenever it’s been called for it has never failed me. Who knows, maybe you need it today too:
Petr Knava plays music