People always ask me if I have a favorite Radiohead song, and I usually say “Yes, all of them.” While that’s mostly true (I can’t pick one favorite, don’t be insane) I have a very serious, special soft spot for Weird Fishes/Arpeggi. This song. This song is everything. When I am sad or lonely or hopeless or depressed or despondent and shattered over something, someone, some loss or broken fantasy or dashed hope, this. When I’ve followed another phantom to the end of the Earth, when I fall off, this is what I listen to. This is how I get home. This song brings me back to myself.
In the deepest ocean
The bottom of the sea
They turn me
Why should I stay here
Why should I stay
I’d be crazy not to follow
Follow where you lead
They turn me
Turn me on to phantoms
I follow to the end of the Earth
And fall off
I’m struggling lately with things being thrilling and fast and exciting and happy and terrifying and overwhelming simultaneously. I suppose that’s the nature of change and growth. When the things you fear come to pass, then the fear is smaller and behind you and suddenly, eventually, it’s powerless and everything is different. Everything is okay, and it’s good. Somehow, after everything, I made it to the place I want to go, or I can see it, and I’m inside the gates. Life is manifesting the things and people I need and want, and I am anxious and nervous about what happens then? What do you do when the struggle is over and you win?
You keep going.
It’s never over. You fight to stay alert and hungry and positive and open. Your new battle is with apathy and complacency and the idea that somehow you don’t deserve to have the things you need. You find the people who deserve to be inside your sphere and you bypass those who don’t. You go inside and trust yourself the most. There is already nothing missing. Nothing has ever been missing, because you are whole and complete as you are. Right now. In this world, where you are real.
I am discovering that the things I thought were true about my understanding of love and romance and needs and desires are not the same as what they used to be, or what I expected they should be. Everything changes instantly and I can only say yes. I am done fighting for a perfection that doesn’t exist. I am not afraid of the dark. I am fully in control of my choices and faculties and life, and when I go off the rails, it’s on purpose because I chose to go. The dark is where my power lies. I know what happens next, so what will I choose? How do we navigate in the dark? How do we let go of guilt and fear and shame and trust that we always get what we need? How do we always love ourselves the most and never submit that? Not for anyone.
We let go. We give up the ghost. We move forward.
I can feel my brain adapting and changing and learning every day. We are evolving at a rate that is palpable. The plasticity is tangible, these microfuzz dopamine buzzes coming in over and over and over. We are electric. Notifications make us little rabbits, running from app to app to app to site to site, refresh, renew, push the button and get the pellet. Someone new has new electricity, different danger, unknown secrets.
More. Again. Show me.
We hide and then overexpose because it’s taboo and indulgent and that love drug our brains make is really good. We elaborate and invent and pose and fabricate. Isolation and connection, trust and betrayal, attention and disappearance. Games and theory. We are all ghosts, chasing a perfection we will never have or be. We are desperate for connection and safety and controlled demolitions. The pendulum swings from addiction to obsession to clarity to gratitude. Around and around and around. Burn me down, blow me up, take me apart. Put me back together.
It’s never the worst though. Nothing will ever be so bad. Not the worst things. Not with these scars. This edge is familiar, because this is where I have always lived. Out here, walking the line but not going over. Wrapped in ropes in case I fall, and because that’s where I am safe to push the edge. The world can disappear, sideways, backwards, and I will survive and grow and be stronger, because that’s what I do. I am built to withstand nuclear fallout. The edge is wide and deep and underground leads to my secret room. There are so many secret rooms, but this one is mine. You’ve got one too. We all do. How far inside can you go?
Ghosts only haunt you if you let them. There is always someone else. Find another door. And bury your fucking phone in a hole and set it on fire, then run directly into the sea and feel alive.