infp-a | 4w5

Message to Readers

i watched this play this evening and had thoughts. this is so not structured at all but it's what i'm wrestling with.

also, clarification: this isn’t a religious piece. a God figure is mentioned, but in this context, it just applies to the character in the play.

and Love says that you have no control, so what do you have now? (explanation in footnotes)

December 16, 2020


you could humiliate yourself a little more.
after everything you've been through, you still haven't brought yourself down enough. you're still convinced that you will find refuge in things, in people, in feelings. you won't. the end isn't supposed to be comfortable, and trying to make it go easily is like repeatedly pricking a dull needle into the same spot on your skin. let go. stop being selfish enough to take others down with you, and only take what you need. stop thinking. just be.
take off your clothes.
take away the last bit of dignity that you have, and leave this behind. clothing won't save you in the afterlife. seeing God isn't about presenting your best version of yourself, but instead about presenting you. 
that's good enough.
you're now pliant and vulnerable enough to be in your true state. nothing can matter to you anymore, and nothing should matter to you anymore, as there's not much of you left in the first place. your body isn't worthy of being clothed, anyway -- you may as well face it just as it is.
now say "i've been very disappointing."
believe that you're not worthy. believe that you aren't good enough for this, believe that you are a failure. you haven't gotten to where you wanted to be. you haven't done what you set out to do. you're doing it all wrong, you've wasted your life away, and now you have nothing.
you've been very disappointing. believe it.
now run around while you say it.
go, while you can. use up this body. you've been disappointing, but you cannot let yourself be a disappointment now.
say "my anger at the world is due to the fact that my body is a mystery to myself."
you're not angry at those people. you're not angry at yourself. you're angry at the entire world, what it has brought upon you, and what you need to do. your body is giving out, yes, and it's no longer solvable to you or to others. it's failed you. completely and utterly failed you.
"i don't love how my body keeps changing."
it's changing rapidly, and you don't have much time. realize that. you don't love this, and this is why you are angry and broken.
"i hate change."
no, it's not just the change in your body that you hate; it's how your entire world has been flipped upside down in such a short amount of time, how you have to leave everyone and everything you love, how you never will get to see any of these things again because Death comes so suddenly and coping with this is major and it's a huge change and you need to sum all of this up in one little sentence and it all boils down to this.
"i hate that i have no control over change."
is it really the change you hate, or that you didn't get to do it on your own terms? it's slipped past your fingertips and you can no longer grip onto it and hope to reign it in, as is the natural human instinct. if you got to choose for all of this to happen, maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but no, you're not even going to be able to wake up once Death comes out of their changing room. 
"this body is just meat for worms."
at the end of the day, we are all made of dirt. not stardust, as the poets so frequently like to say, but simply dust that gets trod on when one walks into the grimy old school building. there's nothing beautiful, nothing flamboyant about it. we're nothing more than another step in the food chain, another thing for the worms to feast upon. it means nothing to you now. let it go. let it go. Let It Go.
"i have no control."
accept this. 
"i surrender."
it's not worth trying to fight this any longer. you can't cheat Death, and you can't prepare for it. lay down everything you know, everything you've done, everything you dreamed of doing at the side of the bed. forget about it. live in Now, because that is the only way you will move forward. 
"i surrender."
i surrender.

i surrender.
i surrender.

    death is not something we can escape, nor is it uncertain. why, then, do we never talk about it? why do we only think of all the things we will miss, all the things we never got to do, all the people we never got to see, in our last moments when it's already too late? "if only there was more time," we all say. more time to do what? waste life away, watch it all pass by like it's some kind of movie? why can't we, as humans, accept that death exists and that we all must meet it one day?
    because we can't control it.
    it's something that's out of our reach, something that could happen tomorrow or in 50 years. it's more comfortable to pretend it doesn't exist, forget about it until it's slammed in our faces and we're forced to face the facts. we humans have an unfortunate habit of doing that. we put off work we dislike, events we would rather not go to, tasks we hate. it rests in the back of our minds, silently nagging and nagging until it's completed. is death not the same way?
    the difference is that we can get the tasks done. we can forget about it eventually, putting it out of our lives.
    death is always there.
    in the end, all you'll have is what you make for yourself.
    so why don't we welcome it?

based on the play Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. 

the play is based on another play, Everyman, that was performed in the 1500s. Everybody follows the character Everybody as they get told that they're dying. they get a short amount of time to find someone to go with them as they present their life to God, hoping to escape an unspecified judgement. they ask many different characters, including Kinship, Cousin, Friendship, and Stuff, but none of them will go with Everybody into the afterlife, as it means leaving behind all that they have and dying alongside Everybody. in this scene, Everybody has just stopped Love from leaving them, and Love goes harsh on Everybody, having them strip themself of everything they know and run back and forth, slowly breaking them down until they end up crying into Love's lap. Everybody dies a moment after, and Love accompanies them into the afterlife.

this is my interpretation of this scene, and what it meant to me personally. the bold lines are what Love tells Everybody as they have them run around and scream at the world.


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  • December 16, 2020 - 10:04am (Now Viewing)

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  • Wisp

    " you have to leave everyone and everything you love, how you never will get to see any of these things again because Death comes so suddenly and coping with this is major and it's a huge change and you need to sum all of this up in one little sentence and it all boils down to this."
    "is it really the change you hate, or that you didn't get to do it on your own terms?"
    "not stardust, as the poets so frequently like to say, but simply dust that gets trod on when one walks into the grimy old school building."
    There's something so momentously powerfully brilliant here--as if you unearthed a human secret that we were all just unaware of seeing in the first place. And that message transcends space and time, it transcends the depths of our existence and the realities of our reality. It's true what mirkat and rwong are saying, this is haunting. But it's haunting because we know it to be true. It's haunting because we know what is expected at the end of the road. If we're all walking a single road, each one with different twists and turns, it's bound to come to a stop one day. And I wonder myself if I'm ready for that day my road comes to a stop. And you encapture a feeling that is unnameable, for it's not grief or regret or solemnity or anything else for that matter, it's that feeling in the pit of your gut when you learn that death exists and when a loved one of yours passes away.
    There's an intensity here, and there's passion and there's so much more than the usual feelings encompassed in writing. You show us a feeling that most ignore, a fate that we'll all meet one day, you show us the end of the road. And the way you transform that into something with a message like carpe diem, or facing death head on so that you will no longer say "if only there was more time" is so provocative. And gosh the emotion is spot on, you've always had a way with words, and this one takes it all.

    5 months ago
  • mirkat

    woah. woah. the emotion! and it's... haunting, like rwong said. always haunting, always there. wow. wow. i need a moment (scratch that, several) to digest this, this beauty of a poem.

    5 months ago
  • rwong

    ok ummm yea i'm definitely not gaping at this with my mouth wide open...this is sooo good like literally the emotion and the haunting just sends a shiver down my spine...yea i don't even know what to say right now <3 <3

    5 months ago
  • lochnessie

    woah. this was an actual poetry punch and i adore it as savagely as it's written.

    5 months ago

    This was scary good. The bolded parts were haunting, absolutely haunting, and you captured emotion so well. This kinda made me sick to my stomach, just because the writing was so good it made me identify with the character and ughgnsdahdfgsbfj Imma gonna ramble XD good job!

    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Dang... this is... everything. There is no one thing that it is. It just is. It vaguely reminds me of a play I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival called UniSon. But only in feeling.

    5 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: :) im glad it'll work out. it usually does :) <333 love you! thanks again for all of your support <333 :)

    5 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    re: aww thank you for your support! :) i came out to my mom that i was bi about a year and a half ago (? i think?) and that went well too. I haven't told my dad anything, but i want to... at some point :)
    oh no! "chaos ensuing" doesn't sound good! :() well i hope it works out for you as well; it's hard, isn't it. wishing you the best with that <333 if you ever need to rant, i'm always around to listen ;)
    also, i'm so glad you liked my poem :) you're so kind, dear! thank you <333 (as for names, you can honestly call me whatever you want. i'm cool with paisley or ella or ell.... yeah!) hope your day is going well! <333 all my love!

    5 months ago
  • sci-Fi

    Wow. This was so raw and intense. When I read the passage under "'i surrender'" a chill went up my spine.... But it's true though. People know they're going to die their whole lives, and yet they're so terrified when it actually comes.
    btw, we read Everyman is Drama in fifth grade (I was Goods) and reading this interpretation of it was so interesting. I didn't make the connection until I read the footnotes, and suddenly the piece made perfect sense.

    5 months ago
  • Paisley Blue

    woah this is so intense and brilliant and i really want to see that play now. the formatting in this adds to it as well. the imagery of running around and screaming at the world before they die is also like, so different? than what i would have expected? but also so perfect. Wow, this is beautiful. i'm completely in awe.

    5 months ago
  • Just_A_Memory

    This is insane..! It’s written so beautifully it kinda makes me want to cry lol

    5 months ago
  • Rohan’s Defender (Semi-Active)

    Wow..... I’m speechless. I agree with sunny. v that this is very intense. Wow. Death is not something we can control, but it is still in the control of God. And whatever He decides should happen, happens for a reason. But death can be scary to think about, because as you said, we can’t control it. The part about “it’s more comfortable to pretend it doesn’t exist” really hit me hard, and it’s so true. But Wow. This is a very well written and unique piece. Thank you for notifying me!

    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    aaah ive never seen the play but this. it’s just so intense? the way you’ve interpreted just seems ever so thoughtful, and i particularly liked “ "this body is just meat for worms."
    at the end of the day, we are all made of dirt. not stardust, as the poets so frequently like to say”. the exchange between the bolded and the italicized lines is just! ever so introspective, and the way the inevitability of death is approached and the nihilistic vibe of this is introduced. mwah. love it, tuff!

    5 months ago
  • Carilynn Pine

    i absolutely adore how scenes are open to interpretation like this. and this interpretation is true. the fact that death is something we can’t control scares us. we must be in control at all times, and that will eventually be our downfall.

    5 months ago