Taken from Robert Crumb’s Plunge Into The Depths Of Despair (1983)
And if anyone wants these comic strips in a PDF form:
Miguel De Unamuno – An Eternal Elegy
Oh Time, Time,
Oh terrible mystery!
The past does not return,
it never comes back again,
Yes, ancient, but always the same,
. . . . . . . . . . . .
When consciousness is deprived
of the passage of time,
what is it that remains?
What happens to light if the mirror is broken?
. . . . . . . . . . . .
oh Time, Time!
Lord of the world,
executioner of your children,
supreme cause of our bondage!
Once again the complaint,
once again the eternal song
that never ends,
how all is lost and nothing remains,
that time is passing
Irreparably, irreparably, do you hear?
Yes, irreparably, and never forget it!
Life? Life is constantly dying,
it is like the river
in which the same water
never returns again
and yet is always the same.
In the crystal of the flowing liquids
the waving poplars on the river bank
and the trembling image is never reflected
by the same water.
What is the past? Nothing!
The future you dream is also nothing
and the passing moment
is a mysterious transition to emptiness;
to emptiness once again!
It is a torrent that flows
from nothingness to nothingness.
The moment you touch it
all tender hope,
as if by magic or enchantment,
becomes a memory,
a memory that grows fainter
and is finally lost;
is lost forever.
Oh Time, Time!
Repeat, oh my soul, yes repeat once again
the same old song,
the sad litany,
the never ending dirge,
the same old elegy
of how time passes
and is never the same again.
The ”Alas!” of the one who is suffering
this ancient grief
is always the same,
the same old lament;
repeating it gives consolation,
an unceasing rosary, like the rain
again and again, a hundred times…
Oh Time, Time,
Oh terrible mystery!
Rigid torture rack of the human spirit!
How limited words are…!
Language is never enough to describe
our thirst for eternity;
it is too limited…
A terrible thirst,
a thirst that constantly weakens the soul
that contemplates the ocean,
– the immense ocean! –
which never satisfies our thirst;
it only fills our vision,
an immense ocean of bitter waves!
Images? They disturb the profound
nakedness of our lament,
embellishments that drown out
the single note that is deep and strong…
But, yes, images, different chords
that calm the melodic theme…
. . . . . . . . . . . .
It is the elegy that silence intones,
silence, language of the eternal,
while eternity exists
as the slave of time…
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Did you destroy your watch? Not enough!
Lay down and go to sleep… that is best;
in a profound sleep
you will have conquered time,
your implacable enemy!
Yesterday, today and tomorrow!
A chain of grief
with links of anxiety…
You grip the horse’s mane
with tense hands
refusing to let go
and it runs faster and faster,
a runaway horse;
the tighter you hold on
the more maddening is its passage!
Don’t mutter out of one side of your mouth,
Enough now, that’s enough of your hours,
Stop this interminable drudgery
once and for all!
I want to escape from time;
exhausted, I want to finally
dissolve myself into the eternal
where yesterday, today and tomorrow
are only one moment
disconnected from the passage of time;
where a tender memory
is linked with hope
and merges with it;
where the never-quiescent waters
of the passing rivers
remain forever in a quiet lake;
where the soul can finally be
immersed in a bath of consolation
where Saturn dies;
where time is defeated.
(Fransisco Goya – Saturn Devouring His Son, 1819-1823)
* In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Saturn (or Cronus/Kronos) was a titan (the titans predated the Greek/Roman gods) who castrated and overthrown his own father (Caelus/Uranus) and then he was eating his own children, because of a prophecy that he would be overthrown by one of them. This mythological figure’s meaning was later examined and analyzed by many (including Freud and Jung).
Some information about Cronus/Saturn:
This poem is based on the ancient Greek epic poem Odyssey, which is attributed to the legendary author Homer. Quick summary of the Odyssey: there was a war between the ancient Greeks and the Trojans (Troy was – and still is – located at nowadays North-western Turkey), the Greeks laid siege on the city of Troy for 10 years and they destroyed it (there’s another ancient epic poem, Aeneid by the Roman author Virgil, that picks up the story after the destruction of Troy, but let’s stick to Homer’s Odyssey for now). After that, one of the Greek kings named Odysseus (in Latin: Ulysses) set out for Ithaka, his birthplace and kingdom. On his journey home (which lasted, according to the poem, 10 years) he had many adventures and misadventures.
And, for the film buffs, a good adaptation of the Odyssey is this one:
Anyway, I posted this poem because we can see it as a representation of life itself. And I can’t decide if it’s optimistic or pessimistic…
At first glance, it seems very optimistic: keep trying and fighting to reach your goals, whatever they are. Its meaning is similar to the phrase ”the chase is better than the catch”. But the final lyrics of the poem make me think of it as pessimistic and a little bit ironic:
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
These lyrics are implying that it was all for nothing, that every effort was fruitless and meaningless. And that’s why I can’t decide… I might say that the interpretation of Cavafy’s poem depends on someone’s views on life…
Wouldn’t it be better if everyone of us could live in his/her own unique madness?
Leave the madman in his madness
And don’t try to bring him to his senses
You don’t know what is hidden
Inside the mind of a madman
He might find in his madness
Everything he has desired
And wasn’t able
To see and to obtain
Leave the madman in his madness
Leave him in his dream
He’s been sick and tired of this world
And he created one of his own
I woke up this morning,went to the kitchen and made a coffee.I sat in front of my pc and I started watching videos on youtube,smoking and trying to kill time.Most of the time I wasn’t paying any attention to these videos.I was thinking.Thinking about my life and the world.
I spent most of my life in this empty house (I’ve been living here since I left my parents’ house when I was 20 years old).Alone.I haven’t got any purpose or any goals to reach.I’ve saved some money,so I don’t have to work for now.But I know that I’ll have to find a job.Working is a nightmare.I don’t see any point in any job.Most of the jobs I’ve worked didn’t mean anything to me.I couldn’t stand them and I couldn’t stand my co-workers.Usually I was silent,I never started a conversation with them.I knew (and I know) that I didn’t (and I don’t) fit in.I didn’t care about their interests or their problems.I quited most of these jobs.
I thought to call some friends and go out,but I didn’t.If I go out with them I’ll have to pretend that everything’s fine.I’ll have to force myself to be social and I can’t do that.If I tell them about my problems,they’ll tell me to go to a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist.I’ve talked to two of them about my situation and they gave me this exact advice: go to a therapist.The problem is that I don’t believe in psychology.It’s not because I’m a religious person,in fact I don’t believe in any god.I don’t believe in psychology or psychiatry because I think it’s a scum.They drug you and they brainwash you to be social,to be like you ”ought” to be.The try to make you construct a false reality,a lie,and to live inside it as ”normal” people do.
The problem,as I see it,isn’t the fact that I don’t have a good job,or that I don’t want to be social.The problem is that I live.Life itself is the problem.Life with its pain,its deceases,its misery and the upcoming death.This life which is never static and always changing.The moments pass with no purpose,with no value at all.Nothing matters.Happiness is just an idea,a myth.Happy are the people that don’t want to see the emptiness of life.Life itself is empty and we try in vain to fill it.Existence itself is tragic.
I know that these thoughts are the cause of my depression and the pain I feel.I have headaches and body pains.Sometimes I have panic attacks and a lot of times I cry.I am an extreme pessimist and I know it.That’s why I never did and I’ll never do anything in my life.But what can I do?That’s the way I think and I can’t change it.There were times that I tried to be like the others,to be social,to be friendly.But either I couldn’t do it or I failed completely.How can I be social when I can’t even be with myself?That’s why I tried to kill myself.Twice.And I failed.There’s nothing worse than the way you feel if you know that you can’t kill yourself.
When I get bored, I try to find something to do.I try to read a book,listen to music or watch a movie,but in the end I give up.I can’t find anything appealing.When I get extremely bored,I take my car and I go to remote places,standing there alone thinking about how worthless my life is.Once, I went up to a mountain near the town where I live and I came up to a stray dog.It came close to me,waving its tail.I started crying.I knew that this dog was happier than me.I knew that this dog had a better life than me.I envy it.I wish I was a stray dog,wandering around with no worries.
I know that there are people with bigger problems and they try hard to continue their lives.They have this strength,this will to live and,I have to admit it,I admire them.But I can’t be this way.I’m weak.I’ve always been weak.Only the strong survive.Strong not in a physical way,but in a mental one.The true survivors are those that can think in a way that keeps them living.I can’t do that.
Nothing will change for me,things will never get better.I’ll have to accept the fact that I’ll live in this kind of hell until the day I die.I’ll be struggling with my problems,hoping to find the strength to kill myself.I’ll have to accept the fact that I don’t belong anywhere and I can’t even stand myself.I’ll have to accept that I can’t escape this reality and I can’t escape myself.
So here I am now,still in front of my pc,with nowhere to go and nothing to do,just waiting to die…
When our bodies and minds have withered away, what will be left of us in this world?
I have no children, and it does not seem likely this will ever happen. I will not be leaving behind a biological legacy. I am okay with that I guess.
But I am not okay with the fact that I have no one. I have not a single person who truly cares about me, so when I am gone, I am gone. Good riddance to me. I am but a vague memory to some. And to others, a nuisance in my existence. My life has no impact on anyone. My life has no impact on society.
I am not an inventor. I have not created anything. When my body has finally withered away, I am but a blip, a piece of dirt that the wind has blown away. I suppose I am already a speck of dust, floating aimlessly, directionless. Lost.
I envy and admire those who have artistic talent- they can leave behind their artwork or their music- it will live forever in the Matrix. It is quite a feat to be able to compose the music for your own funeral. Sure, mordid, but kinda cool.
Who am I?
Does my existence have any impact on anyone? On society?
Will I be remembered?
Is there a point to me living?
So why can’t I just end it all?
>>bc you’ve struggled way too damn much and ending it before you’ve actually done anything seems like everything you’ve ever worked for was for a big fat colossal waste.
>>plus if you try and fail, life will suck so much worse.
Yet, slowly withering away, in body and mind, living every day in agony- is that not one’s greatest tragedy?
I’m nearly 30 years old. I’m in a long-term relationship with a live-in partner. We live in an apartment in a house. I work from home and because of this I basically work 24/7. My partner works as a delivery man but only works about 5 hours a day. His hand is broken from punching a wall when he was angry. He uses his broken hand as his newest excuse to be lazy.
There’s a lot of resentment. He spends most of his money on marijuana. This is a daily occurrence. Any attempt to discuss this issue is met with fighting, me being to blame as always. His dealer is his sister. She’s in her mid thirties, doesn’t work, smokes weed 24/7 and has her mother and the government pay her bills. She’s an awful person who only cares about herself and because of this she’s no longer welcome in my life.
He spent less on an engagement ring for me than he spends on marijuana in a month.
I try my best to keep up with everything. I work, I clean, I cook. I basically do everything. He works 5 hours a day and considers himself entitled to do whatever he wants which includes not cleaning or contributing to the household at all.
His car is falling apart. It’s currently the only way for him to earn any income so if it stops running, we will be worse off than we already are. He refuses to apply for work in his field. He seems to prefer earning very little money working with people who are barely out of their teenage years. I think because mentally he has yet to mature past his teenage years as well.
I want to have children. This will never happen. At least not until I no longer want to have them because I’ll be too old. He refuses to do anything to make the situation better, but I try to do all that I can. We couldn’t afford to do anything for our anniversary this year but yet he could still afford to spend $40 on marijuana the day afterward.
I’m not quite suicidal, but I’m beyond depressed. I feel helpless and taken for granted by a grown man who insists on acting like a baby. I’m not allowed to talk about my issues to anyone or he gets mad because he says I’m “embarrassing him” because apparently he’s embarrassed by the truth.
I can’t afford to leave but I don’t want to stay with him anymore because I truly feel like I’m wasting my life with him, and that he will never change, because he wants to spend his life acting like a child with his sister.
Since childhood I have had visions of a stark pale luminous form, floating amongst ravens in the aether. I slit my wrists (the right way) the daemons that have plagued me, pain, desire, fear, anxiety begin to evaporate, I hear the crows. Inhaling the mist off the hot water teeming upon me from the shower nozzle (ensuring my body is found clean) my skin has taken on an ivory palour, eyes bright blue in contrast, lips purple and tingling, I watch as the slow, heavy, crimson rivulets curl down my arms to the ceramic than quicken and lighten to a pale pink, diluted, disappearing down the drain, every second nearer to a numbed relief, the nothingness
Everyone makes painful, frustrating, aggravating experiences. But the question is – are there also some wonderful experiences to look forward to, that make it worth to put up with the bad ones? You can’t define the value of either experiences by logic (neither positive, nor negative). Perhaps, it’s even not possible to describe them in such a way, that people, who didn’t experience them, truly understand them. I believe, the most powerful positive experiences are built upon the feeling of affinity, belonging to this world. It’s not something that can be learned or forced upon oneself or another person.
If anything you touch feels distant, alien at best,
any place you try to bond with annoys or bores you more than soothe,
any person you meet means so little to you, that you’re just glad to not be tied to them (or regret if you are) –
what is the point to go on?
It’s like you draw cards from a seemingly endless deck: If you lose, something bad happens to you (randomly, mostly just small things). But if you win, nothing happens at all.
Once you played this game long enough with the same result, you don’t feel like drawing any more cards. At some point you’re wondering already – was it ever different? You don’t really remember anymore, or don’t even want to remember…
I can’t say, that this description matches my situation 100% yet, but sadly more and more as years go by…
And it’s not just the emptiness itself: In absence of love, deep sympathy, dreams, etc. – there’s nothing to mend old wounds, nothing to distract tiny critters living in the darkest corners of your heart from eating you alive.
Does it make sense to stay here just because “suicide is <bad>” (replace “bad” by any condemning or insulting word), while slowly losing sanity, turning more and more into a living dead, barely recognizing yourself anymore?
I have never attempted suicide before and probably will never do that in the future, although I am suicidal. The depressing thought cannot get out of my head. Only watching people who are also suicidal can make me feel much better, because I tend to dispassionately analyze their feelings and so I become an observer rather than a sufferer.
There’s no point to live, but there’s no point to die either, from my perspective. That’s why I’m still alive. There’s no point to do anything. Suicide is such a luxury, an aggregation of Â courage, ego, curiosity, perseverance, nonchalance about collective unconsciousness, motivation, liberation, freedom of self-expression, that I am not capable of. Everyone is beyond redemption, and some have the drive to do something, either to leave or to thrive. But some don’t.
It is not despair. It’s nothing, not even nihilism, but merely nothing.
When mind-elation comes, I become gratefully agnostic. But for the rest of the time, I feel nothing.
I don’t know whether it is pain or fear. Very hard to name it.
The only thing I would like to do is lie still on the bed for as long as I like. Maybe… I just need some rest. That’s it? Maybe after pouring out all of those words above, I’m feeling much better again.
Fucking mood swings.
I prefer not to dream. There is a peace in the dreamless oblivion that doesn’t compare to anything in the waking world. I don’t have to live, to breathe, to think, or even to be. I don’t have to do anything within the oblivion. It’s a pure nothingness. When I wake, that’s when the reasons for leaving become very clear.
To wake without prospect, without hope, where you have to struggle with even one reason to get out of bed and go about the day–it’s a living nightmare. To have nothing to look forward. To know that THIS day will be exactly the same as the NEXT day. It’s numbing, really.
Unfortunately, I don’t sleep that much, so the dreamlessness often eludes me.
I don’t know who I am any more. I don’t know where the little girl who always had an ice-cream cone in her hand went. I don’t know how somebody could possibly feel so isolated and empty inside. I don’t know how somebody can possibly hurt this bad. I don’t how I can smile and laugh all day and be hollow inside and then come home and cry my soul out. Nothing makes sense. I’m dying. I’m relapsing. I’m fading. Have you ever just sat at home with a cup of tea and sad music and slowly forgot how toÂ feel? This is madness, this is insanity, this is nothingness. This is my life. This can’t be happening.
Clash into dust into ash into lust
with another ways dream and another mans dean
without a word suffer with a counter cost cutter
with no aspiration inside this temptation
into but oblivion with bottles of insidium
quite opposite the transaction
of dying plaster reaction
into nothingness evolve with a starlit twice revolved
SORRY ABOUT ALL OF THE POEMS ITS HOW I EXPRESS MYSELF
This is the first time I’ve ever publically posted/said that I am in as much pain as I am. I’ve hidden it for years, even when I was a young teen. When I was little I thought everybody had bad days like mine: times when the world looked grey, when even speaking was difficult, when my soul felt sucked from me. I’m too afraid to truly come out and tell anyone around me how I really feel. They’ll all just say “Just put on a smile and look on the bright side” or “It’ll be okay, just buck up”. Can’t anyone see that I can’t see the bright side anymore?! I’ve been putting on smiles for years! I’ve gotten so good at it that I could be about to cry and still fool someone into thinking I’m fine!! Why can’t they understand?! Why can’t anyone SEE it?!
My only respite is sleep. Sleep is the closest I can get to death. That silent, gentle oblivion just as you drift off… when there isn’t sound or light or thought. Nothing. That’s all I want. The nothingness. God, how many times I’ve prayed to sleep forever, to never wake up again. And yet each morning finds me alive… barely. I’m too afraid to take my own life and so I search for things to do it for me. I pray constantly for my heart to simply stop. I beg to just drop and never rise again.
Even when I was little I would imagine death. I never thought it was actually contemplating suicide until recently, but it was. I would fantasize about how everyone would feel if I suddenly wasn’t around anymore. I would dream of what my parents would think if they walked into my room and found their son in a pool of blood. It would make me feel better. Over the years, though, it’s gotten worse. I feel more capable than ever. My heart races when I imagine suicide now. “I could do it! I could do it right now and everything would be ok! I could end it right now and it would all be over!” Oh what a rush that is, the excitement that the end is so near! And then it never comes and I’m lower than before… sometimes I even feel like God is against me in this. When I try to relieve the pain, obstacles appear that only He could put there and I think, “Why? Do you want me feel this way? Is it pleasing to see your son suffer every day of his life?”
Loneliness is a big part of it. I so desperately long for a woman to hold and cherish, someone who could look me in the eyes when I’m smiling my hardest and say, “What’s wrong?” I’ve waited and watched but none have appeared. I beg so dearly for that woman that I weep myself to sleep many nights and the pain drives deeper, that white-hot blade slicing deeper.
Please… someone out there help me… I can’t live with this pain much longer, I just can’t. Maybe one day soon my prayers will be answered at last and I’ll finally find the oblivion I want so much… or maybe God will be even crueler and let me go to my grave with my sorrows.
I hate Life. I hate living. I have lived for so ling and i have yet to find someone that wasn’t “Living the life of kings” Or worshiping the devil with fucing YCMB or whatever those fucking dumbasses call it. Secretly i hunger to find someone like me. Not into those kinds of shit. Anti social, easy to talk to.. Someone i can hug when we both feel sad and want to kill ourselves. Im not sure if this person even exists.. Every girl goes for the alpha these day and not beta fucks like me.. Just today i went to the super marked and i saw exactly what i Was the opposite to.. I cried. I have tried a million times to tell my self tat id never find someone Â but Â i cant stop trying… Â Ive tried a million times to kill myself, drugs, putting a bag over my head. Hanging… Nothing worked… Im on my last legs now.. I know that someone is going to read this and say “Typical Bastard” then just go ahead.. Â I feel like my soul is just a dark vortex of nothingness. Im dead on the inside now..
I’m out on the beach, and it’s really crowded. There’s at least 3 feet of space between myself and other beach bums. It’s really hot and sticky out there. There’s not a single cloud in the sky, besides a few swipes and swirls of cloud matter here and there. My hair is a knotty and matted mess from the sea water and all of the wind, and I’m trying my best to relax and let go of all the tension in my head. It’s hard to though, because not only am I uncomfortable in my black bathing suit, but I have a sort of paranoia about the ones around me. It’s hard to explain, and I have no energy to even try.
Blackout. I stare into the far distance of the vast abyss of salty water, and it’s like everything and everyone around me disappears. The ocean calls my name. I get up off the sandy towel, and walk slowly to the coming and going water. I submerge myself and struggle against the strong force of the waves as I try to go out further into this thing called the ocean. As each wave approaches, I take my thumb and forefinger to close my nostrils, and I dive under. It makes me feel like a super cool surfer person sometimes, or either a penguin, for some reason.
Each time I dive under, I can feel the waves above brush my skin. It feels so good and cool, I almost want to stay under longer than I’m able. I’m too scared to do such a thing, so I continue to float, dive, and struggle in this huge pool of nothingness. Life is harsh in the ocean, I’m sure. No doubt it’s survival of the fittest, but at least it’s simple. Survive or die, period. The human world is shit compared to that, and I would much rather be part of the animal kingdom. I wish I could travel into the depths of the ocean somehow. I bet it’s so beautiful down there, like a heaven. I wish I could see it someday.
I’m just floating, diving, struggling in this huge pool of the unknown. I wish there was such a thing as a savior, but then again, he/she would end up abusing their power, like always. There’s never going to be such a thing as a fairytale, heaven, or perfect ending. Something will always get in the way, and I’ll continue to float, dive, and struggle.
Like I never thought I’d be the one to be suicidal but I can’t stand my reality and the thoughts I have. It’s really really agonizing and frustrating. Like I think of things that shouldn’t even matter. Like why am I human and why do I have to be human and see other humans all the time. Like humans are stupid and weird. I like weird but its unexplainable. I just feel very very repulsed as a human. I can’t stand it, makes me wanna kill myself everyday but I don’t cause I gotta live for my family and boyfriend. I also can’t take it that the world is completely pointless and everything we do is pointless. I just wanna drink and smoke myself to death. I’m tired of living. I just wanna rot and decay into nothingness. Like no one else has a problem with having doing things and never asking why. Maybe this is all stupid but I’m just very very very repulsed and aggravated ughhhhhhhhhhhh.
Please don’t be offended guys. It’s just how I feel.