• Devin Ott

Mortal If Not For Us.

All these things have come and gone. So much emotion. So much existence; alive then and now, all at once in a microcosm of my life played out in mere months. I feel sore now on the other side of it. Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t make some sort of effort to reach out to the void at least once this year. Pawing into the dark, synaptic dendrites like fingers, stretch into the ever expanding space between the chapters of my life and the stories contained there-in. I feel it impossible to reconcile all that has happened but for some reason, I feel compelled to try.

This whole time I’ve been writing without words. Thoughts echo the heart of my bones but never quite reach the surface; never quite escape. The search continues for some sort of permanence; an etching of all that I felt in these moments so special to me. A way to keep these memories with me so as to never forget what they were like; what I was like in them. These things have a tendency to fade with time and I never want to lose them. Neither the happy or sad. I wish them to life as bookmarks in the timeline of my life; waypoints ever-marking the path home, should I ever lose myself along the way.

It is a treasury of sadness and joy, combined in chaos, bearing a value of which I have no means to properly measure. If I were to exist at all, I want it to be there, where I was close to who I am. The powerful and raw honesty in those moments gave me glimpses of my unfiltered humanity and I miss their parts in me. An existence in quarantine from my expected pattern of behaviour, robbed of the thin veil of censorship we blanket ourselves in, I felt alive within them. I was there and now I’m gone, just like them, but not forgotten for now I suppose. Is this cost of doing business here? Maybe that is what I fear the most; forgetting.

A part of me is still stuck in that room with you, begging time to turn around, trying to undo permanence itself and shift time backward in it’s stead; To replay the last few years and hold you again. Were it at all possible to manifest will, we would have made ours there; Steadfast against the eager forward-thinking of time. I cry now because your fading; because I know there is nothing I can do to stop it. I forget you in pieces, almost too slow to notice if not for your pictures & videos comparing notes with my memories of you. It lays bare my defect; our defects. The inherent decay, reminding me that time is binding but doesn’t really heal all wounds. It just sort of buries them for a while.

The months since have passed like years and the reality of this new understanding feels like a bad dream. My body hums and my heart runs harder now to make up the quota set by my racing mind. 2019 has branded me with both my happiest and saddest days, the likes of which, I feel have fundamentally changed me. Though I haven’t yet deciphered what it all means (or if I even want to know for that matter), I suppose the only way forward is through. Maybe there is no sense in dwelling on the pain or happiness but it just feels right for some reason. As if pausing for a breath, does these memories some small form of justice. The temporary nature of their existence (and ours for that matter), might stand in bleak contrast to the happiness overshadowed there-in, if not for what this year has taught me.

Part of what makes life and love so special is the fact that it is temporary and that we know it is. We choose to give each other pieces of our lives and ourselves in little bits of time; Moments together. Entirely aware that our resources are finite; our days are numbered. It is the highest order of all affection and the quiet strength that fuels the world. It’s what keeps us going when we lose sight of what makes us happy and what picks us up when we fall. This togetherness is what defines us but the memories are what binds us. They are decentralized by design to ensure safe passage to those who come after. Each of us have a part to play; a story to remember. Immortality has always existed; carried on the wind.

I’ve been writing this for months, adding little bits here and there, but it just never felt finished until now. Maybe it’s because you’re gone now too and the pain of seeing you go lost me the words or maybe there just aren’t any left to find. But in their absence I have found a strange sort of peace. Experiences like these it seems, elude effective communication anyway. I think the outer edges of the emotional spectrum are the type of thing you have to experience to really know, the type of thing that would be lonely if not for you; mortal if not for us.

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