I watched a show and went for a walk when it was thinking about raining outside. The show was a mystery, several unexplained suicides from a high building. The idea that looking down and seeing how huge the Earth is, you have a conflict between knowledge and experience, and you lose one completely. Daily life convinces you that the world is small, because we live in such tiny rooms with low ceilings, go to a select few places with a select few people doing very few things. When they were so conflicted, the victims fell from the building, but the way they died was compared to being hit by car when you're out shopping. They had wanted to fly, and the ground stopped them, but they went right on flying after that.
There were a lot of great points to that show. Your body was just a tool before it held your soul. The traces of people that don't immediately dissipate, the way smoke doesn't immediately stop billowing from an extinguished cigarette. Everything about it sounded familiar to me, an old friend on a distant part of the Earth, sharing my thoughts in isolation. From describing it, you might know the show I watched, but I don't want to name it now.
As I walked outside, I felt heaviness. I was connected to things, felt things easily, but my mind was too weak for it. I felt empty, hollow, and the world had filled me up too far, the blank vessel I had been before. I spent time thinking about the things I used to think about as a kid. Death used to be more of my life. I used to wonder more about what it was like, what would happen afterwards, what the point of living was. It never used to be depressing. Only different. As I walked along and saw more and more people, I realized none of them felt this right now, and none of them ever had. I contacted friends later, the few I thought might know this, and none of them felt anything strange today either. My spiritual advisor felt more connected to things on days like this, but she also felt happy. Energized. The other friends knew less.
The veil between life and death had grown thinner. Usually I just feel the trees, but today it was something in the sky. I really hate that my advisor didn't know the feeling. I had a lot of funny thoughts. Every day of my life seemed meaningless, pointless. No purpose I could ever have seemed worth it, and I have to wait infinitely to discover any such purpose. The time I've been alive felt like a singularity, my memories were vague phantoms, and the time I have left to live seemed like eternity. And I always felt that death answers all questions and solves all problems. (At least for the dead.) When I was at the peak of those thoughts, thinking how funny it'd be to die the same week I scheduled a therapist's appointment, a police procession came by, leading a bunch of men on bicycles. It was suitably ridiculous to curb all of those thoughts. (I later learned that they were biking for 9/11, and the spiritual advisor I keep mentioning had helped feed them at the Elk's Lodge last night.) I felt that this sight had come at this particular moment in front of my eyes for this very purpose, and I laughed at God's joke, but I was also a bit frustrated.
I imagined at some point having been raised by someone else, having less nurture to this side of my nature, and I don't think it'd have made a difference. I'd be worse off, even. I wouldn't trade this for anything, though. It's the most I ever feel, and the alternative is numbness and ignorance. See, my theory is that our illusion of our daily lives, the consensus reality, is a facade held up to protect us from the truths of the real world. Scientists have theorized that depression came about as a way to contemplate what keeps someone from integrating into society, conforming properly. I think that's a simplification, or even backwards. The withdrawal from society occurs because truth inevitably seeps through that facade, and we don't know how to deal with it. Either you learn some way to deny the truth, probably as part of a group, or you never conform to society because you've seen past the facade and you can't unsee it.
At the risk of diluting this, I'll mention one more thing. Before it became so intense, I wondered about the difference between the average American show and some of my favorite foreign or counter-cultural ones. I realized a lot of our television takes the extroverted society-centric view. We focus on people interacting with each other, and maybe on the problems that get in the way of that. It seems a little synthetic. My favorite things are more on the side of individual pathos, living in the world of a single person that always stands on the outside glaring at the masses.
Well, I felt a bit better after I came inside. Baked an apple until it burst open into sweet goo. Opened all the windows, left the oven on. Recorded the sound of rain and police sirens and loud birds. I called it white noise, but it isn't very soothing. More of an ill portent in reverse.