A Musical Composition in Digital Zeroes and Ones
14 October 2007
The elevator doors close. You're alone.
Okay, so you're not that claustrophobic.
I mean, you can ride an elevator:
A few minutes alone in a closed space
staring at a door you know will open.
The problem is that the world is flaky,
and just when you think you understand it
all hell breaks loose, the walls start to crumble,
and someone punches holes in the Ozone.
And face it, do you really know,
when the doors slide open, whose face
will face you on the opposite threshold:
Friend or foe or just another benign
set of eyes, quickly averted, elbows
tucked away to avoid making contact?
Or will the doors open to nothingness?
The distance between something and nothing
is like the opening elevator door.
Like the song says: is that all there is, my friends?
You go forth into the world of shadows,
moving from one elevator to another,
giving in to the illusion of choice,
but sometimes looking into the computer screen,
you get this weird feeling of being there
on the other side of the screen,
as if you are just digital zeroes and ones,
as if everything is just digital zeroes and ones:
doors, faces, human touch, even music.
And you know as well as I do
the effect of shrinking distances.
Everybody is being redefined
multiple times in the same day,
redefined and reprogrammed every day.
Just think about the Internet:
the world of digital zeroes and ones.
The Internet is a font for chaos
and perpetual redefinition.
I even read about you on Facebook.
Under what are you interested in,
you wrote men, which appears a bit shallow.
Is that a proper summary of who you are?
I do not mean to be reductionist.
I realize we don't know who we are.
The person who walks quickly through the doors,
then stops to remember where you're going.
I guess that is what it is all about:
Not knowing where we are going.
Not a single human on the planet knows.
I mean, we give our destinations names:
home, work, school, weddings, funerals and wakes.
Naming things makes us feel better.
We like to pretend that we understand,
just like we pretend that we know
the person seen in the morning mirror,
as if that person is the same person
we saw in yesterday's mirror.
The person we struggle to reinvent
in those rare self-conscious moments
is a person who never existed.
Only non-existence is a constant.
It is the primordial boogey-man.
Asleep or awake, the primordial
always lingers in the background.
Why are we worried about death
when death comes in every moment?
I guess it is the survival
of the oft chance of being born again.
You are the resurrection and the light.
Okay, so you're resurrected. Now what?
Do you do the things you dreamed of doing?
Do you stand at the precipice and celebrate
the boundlessness and beauty of it all?
You wonder: what am I talking about?
You're probably thinking about your job,
about how there's no time for taking trips,
or standing at the precipice and looking down.
You have to ask: what's up with that?
You decide I must be high on mushrooms,
read Kingdom of Fear one time too many,
or have just become addled from old age.
Like I said, the problem is flakiness,
the constant birth and death of our skin selves,
the illusion of being here,
the miracle of being here,
the rising and waning of miracles,
the miracle of morning and of night,
and the illusion of materiality
in a universe of musical notes,
where each of us is a song being sung.
© 2007, Satya J. Gabriel