” A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.” Endymion, John Keats
I finally have a day to unwind from the sudden stresses that have been whirling around me recently, and of course I have a cup of steaming coffee and Lana Del Rey’s new single ‘Love’ on repeat (constant repeat!). I’m at that stage in life where my mind is raging but my heart, body and spirit feel ravaged and over-exercised. There’s a quietness brewing inside me though…like I’m floating through the cosmos and there’s a gentle acceptance concerning life. I could try to explain it with my words, but this time around (for me) my words just won’t do what I’m feeling any justice. I think it’s something akin to what the Romantic poets must have felt. It’s this deep surge of intoxication for the sound of an ocean wave, the melody of a child’s laughter or the painful insight of a deep love that will never be reciprocated in this lifetime. It’s life. That raw, open feeling of being alive. And I love it. That I can feel so much. I spent a giant portion of my life numb (for reasons beyond my control that I won’t go into here) but I fought hard to regain my sense of wonder for the world, for the chance to breathe in it and be moved by the multitude of things in it.
Yesterday was one of those rainy days here in my hometown of Durban, and driving to university is always a stressful journey for me. While I am an incredibly cautious driver, I can’t say the same for the peeps in my city. Despite the complete invisibility due to torrents of rain, people have no issues with driving recklessly and endangering the lives of others. I hate it. I hate that people behind the wheel have the audacity and arrogance to put other people’s lives in precarious positions. It’s the height of stupidity to me. Anyway, long story short, me and my small car were almost demolished into infinity thanks to that guy who decided getting to his destination was more important than my life…but I suppose my guardian angels decided I still have some good left to sprinkle across the world, so I live to see another day. And I am grateful. Incredibly. I don’t care how old I am, or how old I get…I think as long as you feel wonder in your heart, as long as you can love deeply and genuinely with no restraints, then you’re doing a good job at this whole life thing. Do you love who you are? Do you look forward to the life you still have to live? If you’re not answering yes to these questions…it’s not enough. Complacency is not enough. It works for some people but not for me. My heart is too full, my imagination too thirsty…my curiosity for the profound that could exist out there too great.
I might be a nutjob of note. I might be crazy. But there’s freedom in that. Genuine, beautiful freedom. Like Keats and Lana, I choose to soak in the beauty. To let it seep through my skin, into the essence of who I am. To mix with the light and the dark that exists within me, and let it make me feel young with every year that goes by. So that when Death comes to visit, I can be coy with her but give her a wink and say ‘Let’s dance’. Because I never back down from an adventure that could reveal to me the secrets of the universe…of life…and of love. And neither should you.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough
For the future or the things to come
‘Cause I’m young and in love
I’m young and in love.”Love, Lana Del Rey
Video of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Love’ via LanaDelReyVEVO on YouTube.