The Heart of a Crowd

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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

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88 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  1. Kalliope says:

    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 4 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 5 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

    2. The pleasure is mine :}

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike says:

    Very nicely written, have always felt like getting lost in a crowd was nice. You’re not alone, in one sense. But still entirely alone. The last part of this put that perfectly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mmm, exactly. Though I suppose it’s a treat that is best indulged in moderation. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, Mike! It really means a lot ❤

      Like

  4. librepaley8 says:

    A wonderful image, to feel part of something bigger, in a world that feels it has a lot of look-at-me jostling going on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha very true. Though I fear I’m part of that crowd as well sometimes. 😉

      Like

  5. Warden of the World says:

    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 4 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. Warden of the World says:

      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

  6. Sometimes we come across a piece of writing that we wish it has been writing by us, did you ever had this feeling? Yep, that’s what I am feeling today! 💞

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Tom Burton says:

    This is a fantastic read! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you liked it, Tom! Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jandvig says:

    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 4 people

    1. That was such a beauitful quote, Jandvig. Thank you so much for sharing it here.
      Glad you liked the piece! ❤

      Like

  9. ADEDEJI says:

    Wow! Great piece there. Please, can I ask if you do guest postings. Or best, can you help post my new book on your blog pls😫😫

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Adedeji!
      I’m afraid I don’t do guest posting at the moment. I will let you know if that ever changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. leelah saachi says:

    “your only duty to contribute to the beauty of the ensemble.” I believe that too – that’s our job 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Janzajma says:

    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 4 people

    1. That’s definitely a unique perspective, Janzajma! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share this here! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved it! It was masterfully writen!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Shagnik says:

    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 6 people

    1. I’m glad you thought so, Shagnik. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  14. 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 5 people

    1. True. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. shinare1995 says:

    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 5 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

  16. 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 4 people

    1. I can just imagine… though I’ve never been much for a dance myself, it sounds like such a beautiful experience. ❤

      Like

    2. it is. I miss it. even though I’ve been elbowed in the nose, had my feet trampled and felt u a few times hahaha. I do miss that feeling of abandon.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Liam says:

    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 3 people

    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

  18. Hi, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger award 🌞https://popsiclesociety.com/2018/11/22/sunshine-blogger-award/

    Liked by 2 people

    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

    2. You have a wonderful site! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  19. rhymingreason5 says:

    Love your style of writing! Thanks for
    “liking” my blog post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! My pleasure.
      Welcome to WordPress! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. aarohi09 says:

    Wow I think this was the best thing I read all day, in fact all year. The last part was literally the cherry on top and I think your writing connects with a lot of people, including myself 💕

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me ❤

      Like

  21. Wow! This post really blew my mind! The feeling is so relatable and accurately put on display. ♥ Thank you for this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much! ❤

      Like

  22. Alyssa says:

    Oh my god, that was beautiful!! Both the writing and how I felt it right in my soul.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! That means so much to me ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. thevoid121 says:

    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 3 people

    1. thevoid121 says:

      *Meant self control not safe control
      *——I take comfort and direction from the many but I will always distinctly be the one.
      Beautiful prose, marvelous poetry. I applaud you!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. 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

  24. Ryan Writes says:

    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 3 people

    1. As an introvert myself, I never thought I’d ever write anything like this… it wasn’t even until I finished it that I realised it was true. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ryan Writes says:

      I guess it’s true that writing reveals the deepest parts of our souls, even bits that we didn’t know existed.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. janamariaart says:

    I relate to what happens sometimes when you write, you end up in a different direction then you expected. It’s a wonderful thing I think. And it was a very moving post and portrayal of humans who, well, we all share this, we are with ourselves all the time so I can visualize being comforted by being just one among many and how simple that is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mmm almost like you’re not the one who is creating, but unearthing something that has already been buried.
      I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! ❤

      Like

  26. Anand Bose says:

    Dear Natalie, Your narrative in streams of consciousnesses is magniloquent, fantabulous, showing the veins thought in a rich tapestry of poetic prose. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, Anand. That truly means a lot ❤

      Like

    2. Anand Bose says:

      Feeling so elated by your words dear Natalie.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. JodiLea says:

    I LOVE your poetry, especially “The Heart of a Crowd”. I’m looking forward to reading more of your work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! That really means a lot ❤️

      Like

  28. Hi Natalie Swift, I must commend your creativity and the evergreen words you bring up each time you publish on your blog. You made my 2018 incredible and I always look forward to your next publications. In the same light, I have received a good number of likes from you on my blogs as well. It really gladdens my heart each time I notice your likes and comments.
    More importantly, I have a forthcoming publication titled ‘Voices’ and I am in need of contributing poets on this one. I am hoping you will be interested in contributing to this effort. ‘Voices’ as titled is meant to discuss about the different visage of love – sweet love and sour love. In this publication, each contributing poets will come up with two poems; one perfect love story and the other, a sad love story.
    I was studying at your blog and I discover you have done so much on this subject matter, if given the permission I will go ahead to pick from the poems on your blog. I am hoping to have (15) fifteen contributing poets; among these poets are: Robert Okaji, Ragazza Triste, Vinz-Double-O, Luna, Specsladeyes, Baffy Basics, Cubby, Shefali among others. Your contribution and support will be well acknowledged and preached.
    Thanks for your consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Victor Eshameh-Giftedminds

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Victor.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my work. The feeling is mutual.
      As for Voices, I simply love the idea. I’m honored you’ve considered making me a part of it. It would be my pleasure to contribute.
      Feel free to choose whatever suits you on my page. I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with.
      Hope you have an incredible 2019 as well! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Shreya, I’m gladdened. I’ll surely let you know what I come up with. Happy New Year…

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Joyce says:

    Beautiful! And very inspiring 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you liked it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Somehow relate to the writing style, I’d eagerly await your next posts

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much. Hope you have an incredible 2019!<3

      Liked by 1 person

  31. This is beautiful. Well done.

    – Esme upon the Cloud smiling

    Liked by 2 people

  32. TawaPk says:

    wow such a beautiful use of words.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Too true. If Ayn Rand sees this she might strangle you (strong proponent of individuality) But what you say is so true and I want this the most, to be lost in a crowd. But alas…. Anyway uniquely endearing work .Keep it up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha I don’t think I’m against individuality at all, only it’s so, completely exhausting at times, don’t you think? Tempting to let it go, just for a moment, and forget.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. “the ocean does not move merely because your fins have grazed it.” Favourite part of the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it ❤

      Like

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