Destiny is something that has been plaguing my mind as of late. To my mind, many (what some may define as) incidental details I have noticed are linked to the one destiny I concern myself with. My romantic destiny. In truth, that is when I break out all of my philosophical arsenal, rarely any other time. I don’t worry about my destiny as a writer. For one thing, I am writer. Published or not, the fact that I am a writer exists. It has existed since I was fifteen, when I figured it all out and when I read in an interview with Matthew Reilly in the back of his book Area 7 – when asked what advice he had for aspiring writers – “Yes. There is no such thing as an aspiring writer. You are a writer. Period.”
No, it’s my romantic destiny that I spend restless nights concerning myself with. It’s the reason I sometimes have a Cylon running around my head, a manifestation of my subconscious, or at least the other, quieter part of my psyche, trying to help me reason out why this fire just won’t die.
I have a great reservoir of metaphors at my disposal, comprising a large part of my philosophical arsenal. I have this whole...elemental theory, if you will. It’s partly based in astrology, how the twelve signs of the zodiac each have a corresponding element. A few years back I spent a lot of time considering these elements and how certain people in my life embodied these elements. For my part, I am water. I am patient. I wash up and down, wear down a single rock over thousands of years if need be. But equally I can be relentless, reckless, tides stirred by external and internal forces. A force to be reckoned with. Water always finds a way. No matter the diversions, it will always find its way, follow its true course to the sea.
That’s one metaphor. A pretty good one, I think. Only it gets tricky in certain contexts, especially when I talk about feelings. So this is where my metaphors get a bit mixed. In comes fire. Fire is great for romance. Heat, passion. It’s fabulous and fitting. Love is akin to air, breathing life into the fire. Take away the oxygen, it starves. The flames subside, they die, burnt-out ashes, wisps of smoke drifting away. Now you would think that someone completely not replying to any of your messages would constitute starvation of the fire. In most circumstances you would be absolutely right. In most real, obeying-the-physical-laws-of-nature situations. When it comes to things as nebulous and existential as feelings...things get a bit trickier.
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I have someone on my mind. I mentioned her abstractly last time and will continue to talk about her abstractly out of respect for her life and privacy. There are those readers who will know who she is, my friends who I have spoken to at length on the topic because I can’t shake her out of my head. There are few who have met her, though.
I’m also determined to talk about the situation itself in an abstract fashion. Suffice it to say, I made a lot of mistakes and I’m paying the price for them. The icy suffocation of silence is something I brought upon myself. I may never know nor understand her reasons, but she has them and I respect them. I know many of my friends will disagree very loudly with me, but this is my belief – I am at fault and she has every good reason, even if they only make sense to her, to be this cold towards me. As Benedick said in Much Ado About Nothing, “It is the opinion fire cannot melt out of me.” I screwed it up. If there is a villain to this piece, it is I, no matter how unwitting or repentant I am.
Destiny. So, in the abstract, I have tried to paint a scene of hopeless desolation. I am walking alone in a desert, calling out her name, with no response. No water to sustain me, only the fires of the sun searing my skin down to the bone. One could hardly regard her as my destiny. In the incredibly, infinitesimally unlikely event that she should be reading this, it is no doubt killing that idea even further. Yet I cannot shake it.
This is where things get very awkwardly existential. It engenders a question. Am I merely seeing these incidental details as signs of a destiny because I cannot let my feelings lie, or are they truly emblematic of some grander scheme the ’Verse has in store for me? I have been contemplating what it all means for some time now. Doubtless I will continue to ponder these conundrums for days, possibly weeks to come. But now, thanks to the front cover of Battlestar Galactica season four*, I have a mantra.
Destiny is not what it seems.
Recently I have sworn to take some much needed “Me” time. My heart, for reasons that I can only surmise are its own, separate entirely from my conscious thoughts, is set on someone who is lost to me. A persistent ghost. So these incidental details, if they are pointing to this person being my destiny (a fact that diminishes every time I say it, even more so saying it here on my blog) fall nicely into my plan. As it stands, I have no chance with this person. Thus by retaining my feelings for her without taking action as there are no more actions to take, I am free to organise the other aspects of my life. Most importantly my writing. I am aware there are many people who will violently shake their heads at what they see as a self-destructive path. The thing is...to quote Loki, “Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.” He’s talking about accepting freedom as life’s great lie, a topic we can debate some other time. I’m talking about accepting your feelings. Even if they’re futile. Own them. Embrace them. Here we come back to Shakespeare, but Polonius and Hamlet – “And this above all, to thine own self be true.” Retaining feelings for someone who does not requite them can be incredibly destructive, yes, if you refuse to acknowledge and accept that you cannot change their minds. In my case, it came from reaching out, from exhausting all reasonable options. In doing so, in reaching out and being met with silence, I accepted I had lost her, I had lost her affection. I cannot change my heart’s desires. It’s a fickle thing, but it has to do it by itself. I cannot trick my heart into forgetting. It’ll do it all by itself, in its own time, when it’s ready.
In case nobody’s guessed it, I am a determinist. A determinist with a twist though. The twist is what I talked about last week. The garden of forking paths. Destiny, fate, whichever name you choose to bestow upon it, is not a single linear progression. It’s a web, a spiralling, chaotic web, intermingling, intertwining with all the other webs in the ’Verse. I subscribe to the idea that many, many paths in our lives are written out before us. When we choose to walk down a certain path in the garden, it follows that narrative and the others fall away, possible futures that never happened. Unless you subscribe to the Multiverse Theory. But nonetheless, our paths, our fates, are determined by our choices. Many endings have been written. It is how we navigate the enduring adventure of life that determines upon which chapter our story ends.
Ultimately, there’s one thought that keeps me sane in all of this, keeps me from trying to take action in a situation where all reasonable avenues have been pursued. No matter what, destiny is utterly unstoppable. If this woman is my destiny, there isn’t a damn thing I can do to stop it. It might be ten days, ten weeks, ten months, ten years, but destiny is like water. It’s patient. It can wait. And if this woman isn’t my destiny, if someone else is my romantic destiny, well frak, can’t do anything about that either. Even if I have sworn that I will not be worrying about affairs of the heart for a good long time.
*It is further fitting that this blog post, my seventy-fifth of this blog, was inspired by Battlestar Galactica, the eponymous star of the show bearing the hull code BS-75. Destiny at play once again.