There’s A Pleasure In The Off Switch, Enjoy Your Own Company.
Sometimes you find yourself drifted up on dry land after capsizing somewhere out there, far out at sea. You threw yourself out into the unknown and it was exciting.
He had magic in his eyes and spoke words of warmth and safety; his smell felt like home.
But the storm was too dark and strong, and the boat cracked, and somewhere along the way he drifted further out; so you used the small amount of power you had left to swim, to save yourself, to sip air into your collapsed lungs.
The waves led you up on land and you ignored the days coming and going, until one morning, you finally opened your eyes. The still lightness from the sun rising out there, the waves making their way to wash away the dirt from your bones, and not much feels wrong, or right, or anything at all.
Your body found a beautiful rest by the water’s edge. The wreck of the love you once knew is gone, and so you stand up and simply keep soldiering on.
There are times when you use every cell of your heart to love someone or something or anything at all, and when that strength is used up, or ignored, nothing much bothers you.
Nothing much bothered you for a while, and you kept walking like a silhouette through this town, saying His and Goodbyes, acting polite at all times. But there is no fire in your heart; you are not very concerned.
There are times when you find yourself drenched and dehydrated, undernourished in all kinds of ways, and you become a house which the wind blows straight through, because no one bothers about the crack in the window or lock on the door, and you’re the house where people come and go as they please, because you’re simply too unimpressed to care.
You let people in whom you really shouldn’t let in, and you let them walk around for a while, use your bed and use your books, and await the day when they simply get bored and leave. You’re still not bothered, though you knew they shouldn’t have been let in in the first place, but still you just sit there, apathetic like a beggar in the desert.
There are also beautiful people passing through, who actually knock on the door, even though it’s wide open, and they walk in carefully, asking things like Can I help? and Are you okay? and it’s nice. It feels warm, and there are seconds when you think you feel your heart beat again.
But you’re still tired, and even though you want to make the good ones stay, scream Help! and Can you stay?, you’re just too drenched. Tired. Tired. Tired. Just a wreck from the love, the ship that went wrong, the house with its door still open and which the wind blows straight through and it’s getting colder, so they leave.
They leave you alone, and you sit there for a long time with new people coming in and walking away, and for a while you just get by and you’re not concerned.
There are times when we’re just simply too tired to be happy, to get back up on our feet. You have been there, or will be there, or maybe are there, watching clouds from the ground right now, and I am here to tell you: you are still doing okay.
Those times are not to be feared, nothing to avoid, and watching the clouds drift and come and go for a while is called healing, and that is what our bodies were made for.
There is a pleasure in the Off switch. There is a pleasure in the passive living, and one day you will wake up from actually having slept for once, and you will notice the sun again. You will find yourself laughing and smiling and thinking things like How wonderful!
You will go out on the streets by yourself, and enjoy the simple pleasure of your own company, and you will go on well. It is okay to turn away from the world from time to time, just to find a new place in it where you can build a new home, new comforts, new beginnings, and there is a pleasure in the Off switch.
No matter where you are — on your feet, in the sky, or on the ground watching clouds drift off and come and go — you’re in the right time. At the right place.
You’re doing just fine.
Charlotte Eriksson is a songwriter, author, wanderer and publisher from Sweden, but is currently living somewhere in Europe, wherever the inspiration is for the moment. When she was only 18 years old, she packed a bag and her guitar, and moved to London to dedicate her whole life to her music and art. Since then, she’s started her own publishing and distribution company ‘Broken Glass Records’, released five critically acclaimed records, and toured all over Europe and the UK. She’s the author of two books, most recently her new book of travel essays and artist journals: Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin stories on Leaving and Arriving. “I wanted to turn my life into my art. My very existence into a poem. I believe in writing your own story, and that’s what I’m doing here. Do you wait for things to happen, or do you make them happen yourself?” You could contact Charlotte via her website, Twitter, Tumblr or email.