Everything Was Slipping Away


Everything was slipping away, slipping away, slipping away. And I could do nothing but helplessly watch on…. “Stop everything slipping away!” I screamed. I then fell into a black despair – “Why does everything always have to slip away?” I raged. “Why? Why? Why”


But my screaming and raging was in vain. Poor dramatic over-excitable fool that I was. All that I got for my pains was a sore throat from shouting too much. And an even more intensified sense of my own utter impotence in the face of the outgoing tide…


I expect I know what you’re thinking at this stage. You’re thinking that I’ve read Poe’s A Dream within a Dream too many times and that I am overly influenced by it. That it’s gone to me head. Genius can of course have that effect on the mediocre mind, you’re probably saying to yourself. So I have read this poem of Poe’s many times – perhaps too many times – but what of it? Can anyone say that Poe was wrong? Has anyone ever disproved his thesis? Would anyone say that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about?


I have in any event seen the truth of his words myself, which is why I am in the unhappy state of mind that I am presently in. Not only have I seen it, I continue to see it. I see it right now – I cannot stop seeing it. What blind fools people are who think they can have a tight grasp of anything. Who think they can lay their hands on something and say “This is mine!” What utter unspeakable idiots they are. What pathetic self-deluding fools. How can there be such a thing as “Mine” when everything is forever slipping away? In the light of this revelation, what meaning can that appallingly crass little word have?


We can hold onto nothing, not even ourselves. We can’t hold onto even the slightest trace of anything we think we possess, just as we can’t hold onto the foolish notion of who we like to imagine ourselves to be. It’s all slipping away, slipping away, slipping away. There isn’t a moment in the day – not even one solitary moment – in which this isn’t happening. No moment throughout the whole of time in which everything is not slipping away, slipping away, slipping away. Like Poe’s ‘grains of golden sand’. Clutch onto them as much as you like – there’s nothing you can do that will stop them slipping out of your tightly clenched fist. No power on Earth that can stop this happening. Nothing you can ever do that will prevent them slipping away, slipping away, slipping away. Escaping from you back into the depths of the sea from which they came…


Of course we all know this only too well really. Don’t try to tell me that we don’t all know this. We know it as well as we can know anything – it’s the most basic incontrovertible fact there is. The thing is however that we just can’t face up to what we know. We can’t admit to it. Wretched cowardly worms that we are. Instead of facing up to the truth and having a bit of dignity about it we make a big song and dance to say that we can hold on to stuff, that we can make things our own. How could anyone deny that this is what we do? ‘Me’ and ‘mine’ are our favourite words – we repeat them so often it’s a wonder we don’t make ourselves sick. In fact we do make ourselves sick. Why else do you think we’re all so miserable? Why else do you think we go around looking so damn sour and grumpy the whole time? Because we’re lying to ourselves and we know it…


We’ve made up a whole way of life based on the cowardly self-deceiving lie that we can own this, own that, own the other. What else is our whole rotten filthy culture about other than ‘buying things’? Owning things. Buy, buy, buy. That’s all we ever hear. And why do we buy – so we can have it for ourselves, so we can own it, so that we can possess it. Because that’s going to make us feel good. It’s going to make us feel good because that way we get to believe the lie that it ISN’T going to slip away. That it ISN’T all slipping away from us (out of our desperately clutching sweaty little fists) even as we speak…







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