You can live your life one of two ways, feeling it all, or being empty. If you find a time when you can make the choice, choose to feel it all. It’s the harder choice, no doubt. Feeling the pain of a heartbreak, letting the bad things in the world crawl into your head to rattle around, and taking every lyric, painting, and poem as a true testiment to what being human is about, well, it’s quite a ride.
When you take away those things, take away the enthusiasm for controlled chaos, drama, passion, turmoil, and a fictional element of what it is to be human, you have nothing. Even the prospect of death, the eventuality no one can avoid, has no meaning. If it did you would belong to the “feeling it all” crowd.
I think even cynics and people who claim to be jaded, hardened, rational, unemotional, have turned their emotions into a crusade to appear unemotional. They claim those unimportant emotions don’t solve any of humanity’s problems or keep the world spinning around. But all that is fueled by the need to connect to some stimulating spark in life, even if it’s a spark to be a grumpy bastard who claims there is nothing in this world worth enjoying.
There are empty hearts. I”ve seen the faces of a handful. There hasn’t been a spark in their eyes for a long time. No song lyric stirs a shared experience. No poem unveils a personal connection. No piece of art opens their mind to the possibilities. Even the thunder of a crowd at a concert or sporting event, the nostalgia of a parade, the taste of an old favorite food, or sound of a long lost voice is enough.
If I had to choose being empty instead of being hot headed, riled easily, irritated by most of what people do, crying at touching movies, laughing outloud, having my heart beat faster when I look at a painting, or my mind wander while I listen to a song, even if none of it makes the world turn faster or solves any of humanity’s problems, empty is a long way from where I would want to be.
(Inspired by listening to Wonderwall by Oasis, the first song my husband wanted me to listen to when we met over 10 years ago.)