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A Collapse is Inevitable

There is a silent room in the belly of the collapsing ship.

Here you make eye contact and fall into the dark center of it, you see that the pupils of those you do not fear to open to are vast.

Here you can hear a dim but insistent whisper, composed of the engines whirring madly below, the roar of the vessel pulling itself apart and the groaning bodies of those trying to build it faster than it collapses. Voices echo off the floorboards; promises and apologies uttered in a single breath.

But here, inevitably, we break the gaze. We cease to listen, we leave the trails, you can feel your body overgrown by cold, and you are wrenched from the room, the room casts you out, it no longer welcomes you. The room has five doors in it, and you do not recall the one through which you left. Green? Blue? Black? White? Gold?

You run from deck to deck, you hear the void above you screaming with all its terrifying indifference, and the ocean filling the bowels of the vessel is the only promise of silence you are guaranteed. No matter how many times you cry “where are we going?” and look for a captain (there is no captain), or the room that has the helm locked in a single direction (there is no helm! Forward! Forward!), and no matter how many people answer you with the results of their own desperate searching (these answers are moths, flagellating themselves against any lamp they find), the ship drives onward. Do you see the dark mountains rising from the water? There are trails in the water, but we see only murk.

In the maelstrom, we yearn for the silent room. We yearn so badly that the silence itself, and the memory of listening, becomes another tangle of thorns. It is hard to find our way back to that room. But out in the storm of the groaning ship, we find maps in each other, in the cabins we are welcomed into, we lose our selves in the fleeting contact of brushing by another who is also searching, also yearning, and we take a breath together, our chests rise and fall together, nest-worlds spin outward around us, and we are momentarily oblivious to our hunger. Always, hands are reaching out to us to lead us inward, down flights of stairs, past nameless rooms, into the heart of tranquility, towards a place where we all cease to sing our solitary verse.

Emerge. Collapse. Emerge. Collapse.

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album artork and website background chelsea granger