The Heart of a Crowd

There are moments when you yearn to be just one amid many.  

You pine for the blur of faces whooshing around you, the accidental brush of a hand on yours. To breathe in the air that has been cast-off by the surrounding throng; the intimacy, you crave it.

There is comfort to be taken in isolation, yes, but the loss of individuality holds a certain charm as well.

You want to forget- just for a while- to simply live and breathe, to step out and endure. 

And so, you stand here pulsing in the heart of this crowd, and tell yourself that your bubble does not exist.

It is a relief then, this lie.

To let yourself be swept away by the ocean, by the mass of obscure grey shapes, your only duty to contribute to the beauty of the ensemble.

Within this crowd, you can tell yourself: perhaps for all your worries about a distinctive existence, you are nothing more than a single artery of a heart, pumping and throbbing on impulses from your milieu.

Here, your own decisions will reflect off the millions of facets of this glass sphere. Your behaviour can be formulaic, without blame and without pressure. 

Here, you are merely a fish among a shoal, and the ocean does not move merely because your fins have grazed it.

Trapped within the jostle of elbows and shoulders, you are truly free. 

Within this crowd, you are no one, and your insignificance has never been sweeter. 

 

Photo by Carl Findahl on Unsplash

 

Hat Tip to Mike from From the Front Porch for his input on the piece

 

 

Advertisements

66 thoughts on “The Heart of a Crowd

  1. omg nat, this is fucking me right the fuck now and I am fucking raging I am so fucking done.
    I need to get the fuck on with my fucking life. like fucking seriously
    i’ll read this again later. but ive got like 15 minutes now to shower and do the fucking housework while everyone sits on their fucking asses because they don’t do shit without me telling them what to do.
    I just wanted to have fun and connect to people and talk to like minded folks. but nope. don’t even get to do that either.

    heh, your title and the keys words right now made me want… no, NEED to reply and let you know.
    i’ll get back to this blog post later, when I can. if I fucking can. thanks for being here.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Well done, as usual, but I hope you’re not selling yourself short. You, as am I, are one small part of a sea of humanity, but I don’t believe one’s role in the human drama is predetermined. You, especially, are far too talented and creative not to engage life fully.

    On occasion, frankly I like to get lost in the crowd. It helps me take a breath and refocus when life has been a little too demanding. Then, refreshed, I can get back to my own journey, replete with highs, lows, and decisions to be made.

    Your work has been a joy to read. Thank you. God bless– Mike

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Mike,
      I have to apologize; what you just read was not meant to be published, it was just a first draft. I scheduled the post thinking I would update it later, and I guess it just slipped my mind. The minute I saw it online, I panicked, but thankfully, it wasn’t the worst of my drafts (I hope).
      I have updated the post now, and I’d also like to thank you for your input… I have a feeling it influenced my final post a lot more than I meant it to. I have linked to you in my piece as an acknowledgment, and I hope that’s alright. Do let me know if you are not comfortable with it.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! Your presence, as always, has been a pleasure ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your writing is unfailingly excellent, even if I can’t particularly identify with what you’ve said here. I do appreciate the idea of losing oneself into something greater, of being overwhelmed – particularly by art and the divine. I’ve just been thinking a lot about the importance of individuality recently, given the prevalence of collective identities in my surroundings. But perhaps there is something ultimately individualistic about choosing to surrender one’s individuality from time to time, according to one’s own desires. Just a thought. Thanks for sharing your work with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mmm I do get what you are trying to say, and I would never claim that a ~complete~ loss of individuality is desirable. However, as you’ve mentioned, I feel like it is a relief to be able to let go, or rather, forget about your distinctive purpose, just once in a while. There’s something about not being held responsible for your individual actions that is (not too) oddly tempting. Or perhaps, it’s just another case of the grass being greener on the other side. Either way, to me, it is a treat best indulged in moderation. I, for one, would never survive in ‘the heart of a crowd’ for more than a few hours- and that’s stretching it- at a time.
      Grateful, as always, for your presence here! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well said. And for the record, I never thought that you were describing a complete loss of individuality, since your previous posts have emphasized individual experience quite nicely. I just happen to be averse to crowds, and prefer to lose myself in other circumstances. I’d rather drift away in an ambient music album than in a public place. Although, I suppose it is possible to do both at once – an activity in which I have a bit of experience.

      And here’s another idea: You may be losing yourself amid the crowd, but your purpose for being there may be markedly different than anybody else’s. You could be there for the mere pleasure of it, while others go about their business.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Well, that’s one thing we have in common… the physical jostling of a throng has never held much charm to me, however idyllic it sounds on paper. But the way I see it, the ‘crowd’ doesn’t have to be a material, tangible mass. To me, it’s just that sense of passivity, and I do happen to appreciate the appeal of stepping away from the driver’s seat once in a while (emphasis on the ‘once’ there).

      And there it is: even within a crowd, you are, most times, completely and indisputably alone. However, I find that in reality, I do prefer the isolation. Individual purpose is what drives us forward, and however comfortable it is to resign yourself as insignificant, getting stuck within a crowd without a way of escape is just another way of condemning yourself to a lifetime of stagnation.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As I recall one of my gurus Adyashanti stating (paraphrasing):
    I look inside and see I am nothing, I look outside and see I am everything.
    That’s what I feel you’re expressing here, Really beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sometimes it can be easier to blend in. Especially when you’re sad and force yourself to be with people enjoying themselves instead of wallowing in self pity. Being around positive vibes helps you to reignite your own happiness and get through tough times.

    This understanding might be a bit out there, but I’m going through some hard times atm and can relate in this way 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s good to read something from you again! I’ve never liked crowds. I like my own space. I want people to have an individual identity. So, as you can imagine, I never stopped to think about how being lost in a crowd can be therapeutic, for lack of a better word.

    This is what I love about reading. The world is subjective. Everyone brings their own perspective, writing things as they see it through their own fractured lenses. You gave me food for thought today. Your lyrical prose is really interesting to experience. A different flavour than what I’m used to, and all the more pleasant for it. I really liked this piece.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Really like this piece, so many good lines, love the last line! We strive so often to be noticed and appreciated and validated individually, but sharing a collective experience as part of “the ensemble” can leave a much more powerful impression that having the experience alone, and without any concern for being noticed. Nicely written.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. As someone for whom crowds are the bane of my existence, reading this really broadened my horizon. I love the perspective of getting lost in a crowd making decisions/mistakes/responsibilities feel not quite as important. For the most part, people take the feeling of not being important and turn it into a negative, thank you for your unique perspective in which you made it relieving

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mmm I’ve gotten the same response from so many readers here… seems like WordPress on the whole isn’t particularly fond of crowds. If I’m being honest, I would probably agree, but to me, the crowd doesn’t have to be a physical, tangible mass. It could be just about anything that gives you a sense of community.
      I’m glad you liked it the piece! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  9. amazing. This captured how I feel in a mosh. I am 47 and I can’t enjoy a mosh anymore. The young kids are just too strong and crazy for this old broad. My son calls it the pit, or the wheel of death. I miss it; to have that feeling, of being slightly drunk, dancing and swaying to the music, no longer in my bubble but part of something bigger.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for the recent follow, Natalie. I really enjoyed ready this piece; you’re a very skilled writer.

    > And so, you stand here pulsing in the heart of this crowd, and tell yourself that your bubble does not exist. It is a relief then, this lie.

    I especially enjoyed this line. It is well crafted and simultaneously paints a picture and conveys emotion. Very clever.

    I do wonder though, what if there is more truth in the line than you give yourself credit for. A Dutch Theologian called J. H. Bavinck wrote about something he called “The Experience of the Totality”. It is the feeling of being both an individual looking out at something infinitely greater than yourself, and, at the same time, being a tiny piece of an infinitely large whole. Its the feeling people get when they look up a realise that the red star on the horizon is actuality Mars, or when they witness a beautiful sunset, or a when single person surrounds themselves with a bustling crowd of innumerable faces, for example.

    The paradox of human existence is we are both significant individual actors and also tiny parts of something much bigger all at the same time. I think you’ve cleverly captured that tension here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm, that’s such an interesting take on it, Liam. I simply love how you put it: “we are both significant individual actors and tiny parts of something much bigger all at the same time”
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share it here! I’m so glad you enjoyed the piece! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the nomination! It means so much to me than you thought I deserved it ❤
      However, I'm afraid I won't be able to put up a post accepting the award as I'm trying to keep the site an award free zone.
      Nevertheless, I truly appreciate the gesture.
      Congrats on your nomination! You deserve it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. That is actually one of my tenets for safe control! Losing oneself in the sea of souls that litter this world of ours. My only difference is that I do not do so to be ‘one’ with the crowd, I maintain distinction despite conformity. I may be one of many arteries pumping to the heart but I also have a specific function that the others cannot carry out and without which the body will fail. I might be just another fish in the shoal, but for my predatory enemies my flesh could be the difference between life and death via slow starvation. I take comfort

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was so beautifully put! There is a very thin line you tread between individuality and conformity, and you’ve expressed that so accurately. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As an introvert, you wouldn’t think that I can relate but I do. There’s something about being a nobody in a sea of faces that’s oddly comforting. I guess insignificance is enjoyable after all.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s