A man built a temple to worship an idol quite unknown. In the middle of the desert is where he called it home. People came from near and far to witness the construction. The gold roof. The horses hooves. And the acres of eruption. For it was the man and him alone who laid brick by brick. The strangers asked, “Who do you worship in such a beautiful temple?” “The Jewish God? Allah? Buddha perhaps?” “Which god do you prefer?” As the wanders wondered posing questions to the man with blisters on his back, they never tried quiet, and simply just relaxed. The man never spoke. He simply laid his brick. Until the final brick was laid… He was happy and almost sick. Looking at his creation in the heated blistering sun. His eyes went soft and his hands went numb when a ragged boy tugged. The beggar asked calm and sweet, “Who’d you build it for?” The man blinked and smirked for once and said, “I built this for a whore.”
It’s not about you! Don’t you see that you fucking scatological insignificant rube?! You think you’re the only one who’s dealt with heart break?! You think your tiny, insignificant speck of experience is a modicum more important from anyone else’s who’s ever felt sad or mad or crappy in a relationship. Your life is a tepid, dreary, place to live my friend; if it’s under the delusion you’ll never be happy again. “Well you don’t know. You don’t understand. This is different.” No. You’re simply and utterly wrong. Situations – Circumstances are different but emotion is the same. I felt love. I’ve felt pain and anger and betrayal a hundred times over. But every time I felt sadness, every single time, after I felt sad, I felt happy after. And I’m not just talking about finding a person or people to love. Find something to love. ANYTHING! A book, a pet, a cloud, something that gives you purpose. Love is a purpose, sadness is an excuse. The again…I might be over thinking this.
A hotdog without a bun. A fish who failed school. A blonde named Mensa. Love without madness is life without flavor, a shoe without a scent, a boat with wheels. Worry only if you’ve never worried. Regrets, heartbreak, insecurities; they’re all good things. Without regret we’ve never acted, without heartbreak we’ve never loved, without insecurities we’ve never discovered. Bad things are good things wrapped in a lesson. A waffle without syrup, a metaphor without purpose, an empty existence in an overflowing world. Fear not, you’ve not gone mad, you’re simply learning without knowing it.
There’s a peephole into people that often goes unseen; Their thoughts, their looks, their internal books, regression toward the mean. As a passerby says goodbye and a greeting goes unsaid; We think, we look, we close our book and pretend we’re in our head. There’s a way to say it’s all okay without seeming curt; You stand up proud and announce it loud and say you’re feeling hurt. A misfired smile is a smile awhile when a frown is still a frown; We laugh, we cry, one day we die and our peephole goes to town. A town where people wave and cheer and no one ever wanders; We connect, we share, we overly care and finally only sonder.
A word is limiting and expansive simultaneously. We are constricted by words yet they set us free. Through poetry, through drama, through dramatic texts or poetic conversation; words are what make us as a species unique. Written language. Spoken thought. But what is the word unique? Think of what it means to be unique. If everyone is unique how can unique be unique? Uniquely so. You see, these are words. You’re listening to words right now. Realize that. Conceptualize that. This is self-aware terminology now. Listen to them. Hear the words. It’s like being reminded you’re breathing, once you have the thought in your head, you control it, it no longer is done manually and it takes twice the power. A word sticks in your brain as long as you need it to. You’re thinking and listening in words right now. Words are in a word thought to be considered fact, unless that word is a lie, or the thinker is drunk. A word, in whatever language, means exactly what that word means. Think of that. A fish is a fish is a fish and so on. The world around us gives perspective to the world inside ourselves; our minds, our imaginations, who we are, who we want to be…but words are dangerous because they claim fact out of subjectivity, bliss out of ignorance, filling variables with past experiences like how a person was raised, what a person was told, taught, or titillated by. Each of these unique experiences a person beholds teaches or rather, instills, a certain italicized meaning, a definition with an annotation, meaning words are inbred with the ability to change their meaning from person to person. Faggot is a word. Nigger is a word. Heaven, hell, tits, dick. Everything is words. Words start wars, words cause hatred, align allegiances to segregate the antonyms. Before words actions did it, after words, words did the talking and now words hurt worse. My final word: choose your own more wisely. Then again I might be over thinking this.
They say the first line is one of the most important parts of a book*. Get it right and the readers’ eyes are all yours, get it wrong and they’ll start looking around, distracted by the feet of strangers or two birds fighting over a sandwich.
Over on our Instagram account (here, follow it here) we’ve been asking people for the first lines that have grabbed them. So, along with a few of our own personal favourites, and a pleasingly alliterative title, here are fourteen fantastic first lines.
Sympathy is the greatest weapon man suffers. Not bullets or cans of gasoline, no, pity is the quantum bomb. A genocide of the soul. To understand who I am…You must understand who I could never be. A saint. A God. A person who has the time to care. I’m the itch in the back of your furthest thought. The fear at the bottom of your stomach. The unmistakable, unavoidable, unmaintainable truth. I am you down to the marrow. I think your thoughts. I say your words. I am you, flesh and blood. I am you, here and now. My right is right, isn’t right. My right might be wrong, makes it right. To understand me, you must understand who I could never be. I could never be anyone other than me.
Looking back I’ve realized we find really random things to hate people for. Like their skin color or their sexual orientation, which are like two of the furthest things apart for such cutting hatred. I mean one takes place outside your body, it’s your skin, the other is inside your heart. Based off that our society should start hating the people who wear hats all the time and anyone with AB negative blood types because they’re evil. Personally it’s my belief we should hate people for a reason. Hate people because they’re better than you. Hate because you mean it, not because you’re scared.
You have the mind of a scientist and the heart of a soldier. You have an unparalleled memory. You can recite every color of every shoe you’ve ever walked in. Your weakness is that you believe walking in someone else’s shoes is a weakness. You’re not afraid of death, you’re afraid of living an unfulfilled life. You dream of being remembered because you feel you have something to prove. The best advice you ever got was on the sidewalk from a stranger who held a sign that told you to do good. So do good. Be the best. Be a leader and a follower. Be a scientist and a soldier. Be a poet and friend. Because all anyone is trying to do is to do good, so why not try?
Facts on a microscopic level are little lies connected by trust. Believe whatever you want, as long as you look at it as a whole and not as what things make it up. Perspective is everything. Two sides to every story. For someone to claim they know what they know, it’s up to them to support that claim. Mermaids don’t exist. But who’s to say in 1000 years we reach the bottoms of the oceans and see floors in perfect clarity…And sitting there on a rock is a pretty little mermaid. Now won’t we feel ridiculous. The again…I might be over thinking this.