The tick of time; something lost, something gained.

For everything gained, there seems always to be something lost.

In visible terms, I’ve gained an impossible amount in the past few years. I’ve learnt so much, travelled so far, lived more life than perhaps my entire life leading up to this time.

What could possibly be wrong, in the light of such growth?

What could there possibly be to lose?

The world has become so big and so small simultaneously. It’s become normal to be in London one day, and eating noodles in China only a few hours later, yet this only makes it crystal clear how much more there is to see and how little time there is to see it all. With every wondrous experience, the desire to not waste what is given to us overbears every thought, yet as each experience becomes normality, new experience itself becomes a drug.

Without the new, time ticks louder.

Whoever knew that a clock would have to be fed?

Time is hungry. Time well spent is hungrier.

That realisation of the value of time forces a view to what was valued in the past. You suddenly realise how much has passed, and how much is lost. Places called home fade, replaced by houses without the memories. Old dreams become nightmares, or at the very least turned away and forgotten. Close friends drift apart, and although they may well mean the world, the world has replaced them, and perhaps a mutual feeling of being forgotten exists, although the opposite is likely the reality.

In fearing the ticking clock, I’ve lost the trust of people who played a part in my being. I’ve lost any of the small sense of belonging I ever had. I’ve lost safety and security and let unpredictability in in its place.

Yet as there is something to gain for something lost, there is something lost for something gained. The fear of the tick of time has brought appreciation.

Appreciation for every tiny passing object, moment and thought.

It may be normal  to swap one country for another, but I see value in each place I go, which I never sensed before. Even when complaining about the frustration of Beijing life, looking up to a grey poisoned sky, I think about how perfect the blue days are.

When an old face goes by, whether I stop for a conversation or not, a feeling of thankfulness washes over like a flood. I might not see that face again for months, or years, or maybe even ever again; it becomes essential to revel in the moment while it’s still there. I’ve developed more love for friends than I’ve ever had before, despite having not seen many for a number of years.

In losing any feeling of security or stability, any moment of a relative return to such things is an incomparable bliss, even if there now exists a need to avoid staying within that stability.

Any negative feelings now quickly fade, driven away by their innate pointlessness. Time doesn’t stop for misery, but misery eats time. It doesn’t deserve a feast.

Through the experiences of the past few years I have gained and lost so much. In both gaining and losing in such boundless measures, one intense lesson has been learnt.

Appreciation seems to me now to be the balance between gain and loss; the importance of it only becoming clear due to a heightening of both extremes.

Appreciate everything. the new will appear and the old will pass, but there is infinite value in both. The tick of time won’t stop, so each moment must be loved. We only have so many ticks, each one appreciated is a victory to the experiences gained, and a defeat to the experiences lost.

post of criticising without any real direction

Before reading this, i warn you that it will have very little direction at all. It is instead going to be a random mix of thoughts and comments on recent personal events. I have a habit of forgetting things that could be potentially inspirational for my art, music and writing, so hopefully as well as being a (possibly) good read for you, it may even help me with later projects with a bit of luck.

First recent personal event. Whilst waiting outside of a class for the teacher to turn up, a younger student starts talking to me. One of her friends then asks her in complete amazement “Why are you talking to Him” as if i am some sort of strange creature that should be avoided at all cost, lest be doomed for an eternity. Shrugging off this passive insult, i walk into the class as the teacher arrives, but i catch one last ear of speech that gives the game away-“guess you were talking about haircuts and white make-up”. Stereotypes. It simply Amazes me it is so common that many people can be so close-minded as to group others just on appearance. In this example i guess i was labelled a goth. It is true that in appearance one could stereotype me as a goth (long hair, like wearing black, long coats and cool hats) but why should appearance automatically label a person’s personality? I personally love gothic culture and hence don’t mind being labelled a goth and although i certainly did not ‘choose’ to be part of it, i slowly gravitated towards it with personal taste in music, art, clothes and literature. But how does that relate to my underlying personality? bluntly put, it doesn’t. A person’s interests may influence their personality (or vice versa) but they certainly don’t dictate it. The point of all this? society seems to frown upon individuality and expression. If you don’t fit in you are ridiculed and stereotyped for your differences. I ask a simple question: why do we create negative groupings and stereotypes of people? I don’t have an answer. There is simply no reason, so we should not make petty stereotypes.

Viona Ielegems at Work at the Wave Gotik Treff...

Next event. I was in a pub celebrating a friend’s 18th birthday last week and there was a band playing covers of pink floyd and classic blues tracks. What i noticed about some of my fellow teenagers was that somehow, they couldn’t enjoy a good bit of prog rock and blues (what is there not to like?? :P) complaining about not being able to use the karaoke machine so they could listen to some ‘good’ music. The older guys in the pub were naturally loving the cover band. So i found my self thinking-what is it that makes a younger generation in general not like older music? In my eyes, good music is and always will be good music. Is there not still magic to be found in even gregorian chant music? I think there can only be one answer-there must be some stigma associated with not being trendy and liking the classics over the latest tunes. I understand that we all have different taste in music, but i don’t understand how so many seem to reject music based on age or being ‘out of fashion’. Lets all appreciate all music that is good, without regards to age or popularity!

Electric Guitar

And another semi-unlinked event, in which i criticise myself instead of others-its good to be balanced ;). When walking back home after the same party mentioned above, we heard a voice somewhere in the dark pleading for help and instead of finding out where the voice was coming from and seeing what was the problem, we walked on quicker, in fear of a person we couldn’t see but was there-and very possibly in need of our help. The question here is, why do we occasionally fear the needy? the same dilemna can be seen in the example of how the majority of us will walk past the homeless, avoiding eye contact and ignoring conversation as if the person never existed. It seems such a petty and weak thing to ignore the pleads of those who need help the most out of fear and greed-be it for money or safety.

Homeless man in Anchorage, Alaska

Image via Wikipedia

And heres another from today. In my 6th form (for any non-uk readers, the last few years of school before university) common room a piece of student art work had ended up with huge gaping hole in it after someone threw a ball at it. A fellow student, despite it not being his work, got rather annoyed – and rightly so – at the damages. The majority of students however sadly couldn’t care less. Here, the question is-why do so few appreciate the hard creative work of others? I would like to add that the artwork in question did get full marks and took alot of time to finish (not my piece-mine are never that good ;)) So for the kindness of this particular student loaning her work to the school, she got it severely damaged by the lack of care of others. The opinion of one student for example, was “Who cares? it was rubbish anyway.” Even if it were a poor piece of work-which it really wasn’t, it certainly should not have that sort of attitude towards it. Everyone should appreciate the hard work of others.

I’ll leave it at that for today, but i quite enjoyed writing this post so i may do a similar thing in the future. As i said at the beginning, this sort of writing helps me find inspiration for more creative pieces later on, so you may be seeing some poems on the same topics sometime soon.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comments. 🙂