Writing as catharsis

The voice of a dead man

Posted in Uncategorized by Lachlan R. Dale on October 4, 2015

Somewhere in Nepal

I select a song on the stereo and slip into its movements.

The pace is slow and deliberate. An ethereal voice, suspended in reverb, hovers above slow, grinding of the drums. Guitars strike occasional, unhurried chords, rising only to decay once more.

Then the realisation strikes me: I am listening to the voice of a dead man. A shiver runs down my spine as the track continues to unfold, burrowing deep into the earth amongst peat of pain and grief. The full realisation of it’s futility grips me completely.

This man practiced his art as catharsis. The tragedy is that, for him, it wasn’t quite enough. I am honoured to be able share and absorb the music he left behind.

Despite what many existentialists have said, the greatest threat to humankind lies not in the void and vacuum of nihilism; it is of death by a thousand cuts. Too easily are we consumed by pettiness. Too often we build barriers up not only against strangers, but also those we love.

We all struggle alike, fumbling for meaning and purpose, or merely struggling for survival. We crave brief moments of solitude where the roar of the world and noise of our minds are silenced for an instant. To this end we pray, drink, fuck, smoke, and retreat.

We seal ourselves off inside psychological cages of our own creation. This is what we truly need to overcome, for if we could only drop the illusion of separateness created out of fear and ego, we would finally be able to recognise each other for what we truly are: brothers and sisters who struggle the same.

The veil has dropped for me in this brief moment. Even now my psyche scrambles to reassemble it’s defences: the insidious delusion that the preservation of the self necessarily excludes all others.

The finest moment of our species will come when we rid ourselves of this delusion for good; to recognise and love not only each other, but the entire universe in all it’s unfathomable mystery.

For now we can but try not to be consumed by our own pettiness.

May we all get better together.



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