I think I've thought myself to death
I was born without this fear
Now only this seems clear
I need to move I need to fight
I need to lose myself tonight.
- Kongos, Come With Me Now
* * *
Independence is the only worthy goal in life. Autonomy, self-reliance, the indescribable wow of running your own life free of crippling fears, free of any expectations other than you own is the only goal. This then is the unfucked life: engaged, responsible to itself and freely shared with others. Independence does not mean isolation or aloof detachment - those are just other forms of dependence (I need you in order to measure myself and stand apart from you.) Smug bullshit, too. No, independence of thought does not equal a life separated from one's time, but rather fully connected to it by choice - not a default interaction of "norms" but a self-chosen path of discovery, of a desire to see what it is like to live your fucking life to its lees.
You waste your time and you waste your breath letting someone else do it for you.
* * *
You were born to find out what it means to live. The privilege of a lifetime is to live it. When fear (the loss of health, the loss of money, the loss of love) seeps into you your life is bounded by those fears, a keeper is placed on your soul: dream this far, but no further, terra incognita - there be dragons here. Color within the lines and someday you'll own a home as big as a house. It is sweet and it is seductive to let others who have come before you, who have built institutions to house their desires, to determine the course and flow of your days. You don't have to do any thinking.
Look around you. Look at the room you are in. Look at the people nearest to you. How much was chosen and how much given? How much is you and how much is an anonymous other? or your parents? or your beloved?
You were born to find out what it means to be you, what love means to you, what desire and spirit and God and No-God and strength and weakness and will and sacrifice and laughter and invention and fuck you and delight and murmurations and sex and work and children and family and community and art and music and black coffee and history and fire and drought and flood and the sun going down and death and great white whales and pools among the rushes that scarce could bathe a star and exactitude and famine and war and tribalism and touch and tomatoes from the backyard and the smell of ink and the smell of grass and prisons and violence and stupidity and intolerance and violas and pollution and cancer drugs and traffic laws and hot showers and not enough to pay the rent and fear fear fear and the dome of the sky and light years and dinosaurs and extinction means to you. For, my sweet friend, we are all heading towards extinction. So what will you do in the meantime?
It is not for nothing that we live. Our deaths do not nullify the effort it takes to live. In fact, it validates it, imbues it with meaning and value and import - not to us alone, but to those we interact with. If by our example, if by our independence we can help those closest to us, those known to us, those who might know our works to be kinder, gentler, more independent in their lives then it is a damn fine life we have lived regardless of how much money we die with.
Do not confuse independence with isolation. It is the opposite. It is a life freely given to its time.
* * *
You were born without fear. It is something you learned from the people closest to you. Their fears became your fears and you have lived in tension with those fears ever since. Let them go. You need to move on your own. You need to fight for your voice. You need to lose the self others expected and become the one you are.
And then you give it away.
* * *