Set me adrift in the blackness,

Let me spin aimlessly like a homeless globe,

Traversing endless light-years without bearing.

Release me to the void.

To the black velvety comfort of a lightless horizon.

I see. I hear. 


A selfish bastard denying the world. One final cowardly display of spite.

I spit at thee and shut up my eyes and ears to all thy photons and surfaces and waves.

You – life animate and inanimate – force me to understand; you squeeze my head until it pops. 

And I say NO! NO MORE!

I do not understand. I do not see it. I do not hear it. I am dumb and selfish; dumb for not seeing, selfish for not wanting to see.

It makes no sense! And I know!

I am absurd and I can’t help it!

I feel the dark beckoning, offering infinitely more promise, more hope, more strength, than your cold, demanding, rational chaos. 

I am selfish. I see. I hear.


Now release me, let me drop, so that I may go spinning, aimlessly, optimistically, through the blackest void.

5 responses to “Optimism”

  1. I read this first thing in the morning and zoom! It took to the worst day of my life. I was attempting suicide for the 3rd time and I was ready with the paraphernalia. A blade , a scissor and I was standing on the ledge too. I wanted to succeed. For once. I had had enough of life. Your poem strangely titled Optimism made me look back at that horrible day but thanks to my fading memory I don’t remember the exact details of that day.

    BTW why is this dark poem called Optimism? I would like to know the story behind this if you don’t mind sharing.

    Also meaning to ask this for a while, why is your blog name The Abyss post?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, thanks so much for these comments. I am wanting so badly for people to leave thoughts and i appreciate it when they do. Second, i am sorry my poem brought back painful memories to you.
      The last line of the poem really hints at the reason for calling it optimism. By writing about the darkness and placing myself there i can finally feel optimistic. To me, often, optimism is a denial of the world. I find i need to deny the world to find peace.
      Let me say, though, i am not really pessimistic. What i am is frustrated. I am frustrated at this strange reality. I find it absurd, and my attempts to live with understanding, as absurd. That is why i wrote i am absurd.
      I do not believe optimism, nor pessimism, are threads of external reality. They are states in our heads. And yet the barrage of reality smashing my senses every second, with sights and sounds and touches, all creating in me various feelings and affecting my behaviour, demanding my attention, is very often overwhelming for me.
      That is why we humans create stories. We need to make sense of it all. My problem is i have seen through all my stories and i am finding it hard to create a new one for myself. That is the point of this blog as well.
      Nietzsche wrote that if you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. In german, the idea of the abyss is much more subtle, more philosophical, than it is commonly understood in English. If i understand it correctly, the abyss has to do with a state inside yourself, where you are naked and without stories to protect yourself, where your ego is stripped away and you are searching the darkness. The darkness becomes like a mirror, turning your gaze upon the concept of you, demanding you construct your own image.
      Well that’s how i like to understand it anyway.
      So most of posts now are dark. Because i stand everyday at the abyss. Not depressingly. Not optimistically. But frustrated. I think perhaps i am.still.not able to let go of the story of my ego. Who i think i am. Yet the abyss demands that, before i can begin the lifelong process of creating a more stable, more adaptive, more admirable story.
      And why am i here now, at the age of 35? I faced the first real crisis in my life 9 months ago. This crisis was partly of my making. And the role i played was that i was a broken, maladaptive story in need of a rewrite.
      Thanks for connecting with me. I would love to hear if you relate to anything i have said here.


      1. Well thanks for making it as real as you could ( err I wish I knew your name)

        I knew it had something to do with Nietzsche!

        I do relate a lot with you. I am 37 now and I am at that abyss too. My life as I knew it ended in 2016. 2 years on, I m still figuring out the why’s and what’s of this ‘stripped down of all things old’ version of me and this new life…if you ask me, I would say the say thing you said…I want to be able to create a story for myself that reads of Adventure and smells of Optimism too. Then the question remains..how long before we see the light? We can’t be looking at the abyss forever, can we?

        I identify with your frustration too. Of being so bloody different from everyone I know!
        Of being me.

        So there. We do have things in common! It is nice to know there are broken, confused, imperfect souls like me figuring out life at an age conventional wisdom would disagree with.

        Thank you for being you and I come back to read you coz you have a voice that is unique and macabre. It helps me understand that it is okay to not be understood.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Matthew is the name.

        I fear I was not clear enough (writing from my cell phone on the train can do that). I also realized I wanted to add a page explaining what the abyss means according to my understanding. As I see it, the abyss is us. You and me and every single person is a walking breathing abyss. It is a metaphor to describe the feeling of looking inward, searching, searching, and coming apart, coming completely and totally undone. Put another way, we look into the darkness searching for answers, and if we do it methodically enough, diligently enough, and ask the correct questions, we will find that we are, in fact, the darkness we are looking into. We are the abyss. And that can be scary and terrifying and create huge nihilism. But once we overcome all the negativity, we see it is still the truth and that we can go on living and creating our own meaning, our own stories. And that can be liberating, even though still scary at first (as I see you and I are basically still in that scary, yet exciting, phase). So we create our own light. This is my reading of Nietzsche, who helped shape the field of existentialism, which is, to my mind and reasoning, the truest understanding of morality and meaning and living a full human life.
        I am convinced that culture has ready-made narratives for each of us once we are born, and most of us go through life, if not completely internalizing and accepting those narratives, at least playing the game willingly within the broad framework. Seeing outside the illusion does make you different than most people most of the time. Plus, we are animals, and we are a tribal species, meaning we have deep instincts to follow the crowd, to not rock the boat, and if you do people around you will let you know, either with strange looks or disapproving body language (they are not consciously aware of this themselves). But, like any illusion, once the trick is revealed it is impossible to make yourself believe the illusion anymore (though you will no doubt still see it all around you). That is why I feel different so often. I am not willing and not able to play the game, yet the instinctual part of me is still tricked by the illusion and says ‘come on Matt, you need to play, it is super important’.

        Awesome to chat with you. I am working my way through many of your posts as well and hope to leave comments soon.


  2. Oh Matthew! Do you know you sound a lot like a very intellectual book I should be reading? 😄

    You abyss theory is very similar to the one written in Sanatana Dharma about the Atman, our True Self. I have been reading up on that a lot since I began practicing Yoga and Meditation and your statement that we are the abyss comes close to saying we are our True Selves. All that is required is for us to see IT! And there in lies the struggle! The ultimate one! Coz it could takes many lifetimes to get there!

    Thanks for reading up my posts too. They are not intellectual or macabre like yours but I write about my experiences and memories. I hope you like them coz it’s my life that I have written about. No filters!

    Liked by 1 person

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