Creative Writing: Ongoing Loss, and Other Things

By Aya Nefzi

Loss: noun

the fact that you no longer have something or have less of something.

I typed the word loss on Google and it showed me tons of results that revolved around grieving.

Yet, that’s the last thing I anticipated to find, I wanted to write about the feeling of ongoing loss, the unhinged damp presence of it. Even you yourself, while reading from the screen of your phone or your laptop, you probably lost a bunch of items along the way too: money, people, values, faith, and bonds you never thought you’d survive without.

Yet here we are. Letting go is possible, isn’t it? or are we just persuading ourselves with it, so maybe, just maybe, it could help us sleep at night?

Like a ball of snow, rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger with times and storms; that’s how it feels to me, the weight of the empty corners and the faded ghosts caused by loss itself, almost imbalanced by it.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m not here to throw at you another sad paragraph you’d relate to but wouldn’t dare share for its unwelcomed impact.

I’m here, through words written, trying to create something, whatever it could be.

It’s an “attempt”, an ongoing process that I’m both eager and scared to reach its ends.

In the past few years–that I’ve been pretty much very conscious of lately–I realized how much I let myself get tormented by my idealistic ideas of the bonds I make, by the frightening, scary, unwanted and ugly possibility of them breaking apart.

Yet it’s not so easy to talk logic to myself when a bond’s cord splits and I’m in mid-air;  I’d swing in desperate need of balance, so I’ve been digging up the sense of  shared history, hoping it would remind me of how it’s worth repairing. Yet the sad thing is that it felt like i’m developing  a polaroid in reverse, eventually clouded by unclarity, torn between hoping it’ll be all the same again–for it’s just one big bump in our path, a once shared path–and the looming sense of an ongoing loss.

The onerous weight of these thoughts and their constant annoying presence in our most-chased peaceful moments of our daily, isn’t exactly a light burden to get rid of.

We say we’re able to let go, we’re strong enough to let go! Pressured by social media posts and peer pressure to do so, to “focus on ourselves only”, whatever that means, to say goodbye to toxic traits and friends and god-forbid if we don’t!

We’re now ashamed of vocalizing our thoughts, so we bottle them up inside for later use; “later” as in our last thoughts before we go to sleep. Somehow it feels like our words get disposed of automatically, the instant they leave our mouths.

Most of us are trying to find that power in them, that poetic stand where we say to the hellish versions of ourselves, that we let go of our claim on them, but won’t, or at least I believe I won’t. i’m trying to broach the concept of loss without falling into the trap of darkened meanings and exaggerated expressions, so bear with me.

Thomas Harris said “It’s hard to have anything isn’t it? Rare to get it, hard to keep it. This is a damn slippery planet.” 

Now do we agree with it? we probably do.

In our darkest hours, we definitely do. It scratches layers of relevancy and offers us some sort of finality -one we probably lack on these matters- and lucky are those who labeled their losses as now finite and certain.

By the force of habit, be it good or bad, i’m questioning the validity of what I just wrote, but that’ll mean that i question the validity of what i feel,  i can’t help but wonder where would that get me?  A part of me is fully convinced that in the grand scheme of life, this is all trivial, but it obviously has a toll on me, distance and time are always driving us in one wave towards an inevitable outcome. (That sentence sounded very literature-ish of me.)

Gradually, we all seek comfort, so we go on a quest to find that perfect relevant quote in songs’ lyrics or in indie movies.A sentence that makes us go ”I shouldn’t feel this shitty.” and for all that matters, right then and there, while we’re being ashamed of our vulnerability, maybe we do needed that reassurance. Probably, the phrase we all knew in physics class while growing up “Nothing is lost, all is transformed” might come in handy here too, maybe, while clutching on to that string of hope, the loss blinds us, blurres and darkens the corners of our vision, but as soon as the shadow of it fades –I won’t claim that I know how though– we see growth, that’s a start now isn’t it? we grow with peaks and valleys, that’s how it is supposed to be.

I always believed that we don’t really let go because  we tend to be hoarders of our belongings.

We sometimes even hoard things that weren’t ours in the first place; and if they were, there’s always that new vacancy.

With the right mindset, maybe it instigates the urge to find more, live more, take more risks and not just kill time.

I know. I know we want to be brave, that is my motive for writing this, being brave for embracing and accepting what happens to us, whether we had a hand in it or not, whether we’re guilty or not, if that doesn’t fix the silent mess we might’ve made, at least we did not stand there watching.

Fragmenting pieces of our lives into specific moments and cherishing them when they were once happening, helps when your conception of things has altered, you see how far you’ve come, how many losses you already have been through and the many unexpected joyful moments you had after that, we walk the line and we take lessons in suavity just so we don’t get hurt when we have  going-with-the-flow or living-in-the-moment kind of whims, it all comes down to our fears of losing what we were once invested in creating, and that’s human, and it’s heartwarming to me because it’s human.

Yet the greatest thing about being human, is the fact that this fear, fear of loss, that stops us from moving forward and keeps slowing us down, it all crumbles apart, faced with the feelings, the tension and the anticipation of possibilities coming to life, those are the feelings i want to bottle up for a later use.

Music listened to while writing : 

Daniel Caesar – Freudian, a Visual

4lfa, U changed

fma brotherhood soundtrack playlist: 

Frank Ocean – Godspeed