Madness / by Shaun Ventulan

The trees were layered with sheets of ice. The field, which once held life, was draped in fresh snow. Heat was coming off my warm red camper mug that was lying on a layer of ice. The smell of stale packet coffee swathed the chilled air. My breath radiated heat as if my soul left my body each time I exhaled. My sighs felt truer. I sat on a cold iron chair, laid my feet on the fence adjacent to the patio, and began contemplating about follies of being human. The serenity allowed me unadulterated thoughts that echoed throughout the day.

I wrote on my beige Shinola journal, and saw a trend in my recent writing. My cold fingers flipped through the pages prior to my latest entry, and had a startling realization. I sighed deeply. Condensation encompassed the pages. Stress has embraced me. It’s touched my lips, and corrupted my mind. I no longer write about the joys of life, but the dissatisfaction of my current affairs. The thought gave me so much anxiety, that my mind dove deep into despair.

The folly of humanity is the fact that we, as a race, endure pain and suffering expecting different results over and over again. Is that not madness? We endure jobs that mentally exhaust our minds for the hope of a promotion. Some stay in unstable relationships for companionship to soothe their loneliness. Others put a façade of radiating joy in denial of how they truly feel. When endurance manifests itself in inevitable circumstances, one can blossom. When one endures self-destruction, withering becomes the inevitable. Sanity is discerning what will make us thrive. Sanity is self-love.

I stood up. Sighed one last time. I brushed specks of ice off my brown moccasin shoes, and went back inside the warm cabin. I fell silent that day, because this thought pertains to many. I see it in everyone.

I am hopeful, though. You should too.