Patterns

Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered one of my favourite pastimes is finding patterns, something I’m so fond of I can find little time to do anything else. Every experience, thought and feeling I have undergoes rigorous testing and interrogation, in the hope of answering the question: “Why has this happened, to me, right now, and how should I react?”

This enquiry is so inherent in my thought processes, it’s taken me ages to realise that it exists, and also that such analysis is not carried out by every member of our species. Recently, measuring how my future spirituality, career, friendships and relationships should pan, and trying to draw them into a coherent entity has taken up almost all my energy. As this has been mostly internal, it’s been extremely difficult to communicate this externally. How can you tell someone that you’re assessing the fundamental values of everything you hold dear, when even your preferred methods of communication are being thrown into doubt?

The other evening, I asked myself for the first time, “What if there isn’t a pattern?” It’s true, many things that happen to us are meaningless, at least in the sense that they had no positive or negative intent. I don’t believe in a supernatural, micromanaging deity, or people are always trying to exert influence over any other person or situation. The majority of the countless actions and gestures that are enacted each and every moment of every day, are no more than random occurrences.

But such a train of thought can only lead to apathy. However trivial day-to-day life may appear, I want to capture every possible moment of beauty available. The mundane can be constantly surprising. Even though I walk the same route into town every time, I am consistently surprised and overwhelmed by small details: facial expressions, the curves of roads, building aesthetics, and the sun shining through trees.

Conversely, I have also found times of artistic immersion, such as trips to the cinema, and album listening sessions, to be not only enjoyable, but essential. Such periods allow me to realign myself to what is most important. In the same way it’s important not to live in a fairy tail, I don’t want to stop hoping for the perfect ideal.

The world is not corrupt

I’ve spent the last few days visiting home and relatives, trying to fathom if a satisfying existence is possible with intermittent internet connectivity. Still undecided, but heading back to the 4G soup of the north, so shouldn’t suffer any long-term damage.

Visiting my Grandma is always an experience, as she’s now staying in an old people’s home, and suffers from some of the classic issues associated with that stage of life. Don’t worry, this isn’t an emotional splurge of confusion, but rather a heartless examination of the human lifecycle. 

My main struggle with these trips is not having the patience to converse with someone with a few less marbles than average, but dealing with the complete lack of priority the physical realm has in these environments. In these pockets, it’s perfectly regular to sit in a chair all day and do nothing. Apart from contradicting society’s busyness, it also forces me to ask: “Is what I base my life pursuing, beauty, nature and form, worthless?”


Examining the human life cycle, I’ve found it quite symbolic. Starting in purity and simplicity, we grow older, and start overcomplicating and losing touch with the real. But before this gets too out of hand, we regress, forgetting all but a few of these details, and becoming more simplified.

At life’s beginning and end, being over doing is not so much a conscious ordering of priority, but a dictum of nature. Close to the milestones of birth and death, attachment to the physical, individuality and defining character traits seem weak, superceded instead by and intuitive understanding of the spiritual.

The traditional approach to the real-world is therefore to label it as corrupt, inherently evil in some way, as if it distracts from any kind of purity. But I’m convinced that art, nature and music all provide handholds on to intangible truths. It must be possible to process life, and assimilate what happens, in a way that enlightens instead of pollutes. 


Brahms said, “It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.”

Having attained revelation by watching Naruto, listening to Lady Gaga, and starting endlessly at the sea, I can vouch for the fact that these art and physical forms are jot impure, but refer to something eternal. But it’s easy to reject something thoughtlessly because it offends what we think is right; a swear word, or alien concept.

Instead of drowning in an overindulgence of experience, we can assess each one, and hold onto anything they carry that can edify us.