The World Didn't Stop by Michael Nichols

Three years ago, I experienced something I really wished I didn't. Its echoes to this day deafen me sometimes. If you have read older posts of mine, you will eventually notice a sizable gap, or at least an extensive loss of frequency. Now, what in the world could have hurt so deeply to cause me -- someone brought to life by writing like nothing else does -- to stop writing isn't really the important part, believe it or not. It doesn't matter how I came to that place. I was there, and that was all that mattered... but I didn't look at that aspect of it.

What I wanted was a way out, and escape from everything. Do you find that understandable? Do you find it pathetic? Do you find it sensible? Because none of those was the case.

It wasn't understandable because life goes on. For the same reason, it is neither pathetic nor reasonable. No, these adjectives are useless for this experience.

What I failed to understand is that I wasn't as backed into a corner as I felt. The prerequisite I assumed for my life having meaning was the one thing I had lost, but once it was gone, what was I to think? I had nothing else to go on beside my faith in Jesus, and it wasn't like I forgot or truly abandoned that faith, but my desire for things to be different, especially the way I felt at the time, drowned out everything else. It hit me harder than I was willing to admit, so by the time I had stopped living out my dreams, I hadn't admitted to myself that I had done so.

I don't think that I was ready at that time to accept the consequences of my own actions, nor was I willing to accept the immutability of the actions of others. Without this level of discernment, I was complacent, wandering, wondering, cold, hungry, but unwilling to come home (so to speak) because I no longer believed in the concept, be it literal, be it metaphysical. Nevertheless, the presence of darkness doesn't imply that light is not close.

"Sometimes it's easy to let dreams fade into a nightmare --" that is a line from a song I wrote, called "Dreams." In my life, I had already experienced darkness, but not in the way this darkness fell. It felt like everything I had been working for in my life suddenly seemed vain. My dreams returned to the dust from whence they were built, and I had woken into a world of agony, meaning I had already been there, but I was unconscious. I wasn't aware of how truly dark, dangerous, and devastating the world can be. After this undesired moment, though, finally, I was.

I was awake, but I was confused, disoriented. I didn't have time to ask questions. I was merely concerned with getting out alive... but that isn't really living. That is paralysis of the heart, the death of the soul, and the withering of the mind.

I've missed opportunities to love, to live, to shatter the safety glass between the waking world and the world of dreams. I've been out of high school for two years and a half, back in college for one and a half. I thought I would be somewhere else by now, bachelor's degree in music education, but that isn't the way it went, and I have partially myself to blame. No, I'm not beating myself up over my mistakes, and I'm definitely not going to say I regret nothing. I'm just being fair. I could have resumed education sooner, made better life choices, but I'm here now, and I've learned something...

The world didn't stop for me. I was hurting going through things, and I wanted things to be different, but it went about is business. It won't fight for me. It won't make me walk through doors, take risks, fall in love, make me a better man -- it doesn't choose for me, and God doesn't force me to obey Him either, but He definitely is fighting ahead of me, making a path for me. It isn't going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it, and that is all I need.

Rationality -- Prologue by Michael Nichols

Your world just shattered like a glass floor beneath the weight of the world that you dropped because you could not carry it alone. The only way you could have carried it this far is if someone shared the load with you. You could not have forced them to help you because they had the weight of their own world to carry. The kindness of their heart is the only thing that could have possibly persuaded them to do this with you. Surely, if they were kind enough to do that for you, you would try to do the same for them. Somewhere along the way, however, you became separated. Maybe you know how. Maybe you know why. That part doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, how or why don't matter. How and why are questions of mechanics and motive. How and why don't change anything. At the end of the day, something else keeps you awake at night. It isn't your understanding of what happened, nor is it your understanding of the purpose behind the event, nor is it your understanding of what triggered the event, be it separation, be it collision, be it good, be it harm. It isn't the cirumstances surrounding the event that plunge their claw into the tissue of your mind and soul.

Rationality. That is weapon of the beast that haunts us. Is rationality bad? No, but it can only go so far, and this is where it begins.