“I” versus “O”

For the longest time, I wanted two tattoos.

The first would have been on the inside of my left wrist. A thin, black “I”, in the style of a roman numeral one. A roman numeral one, representing the idea of singularity. We use this symbol as both a letter and a pronoun, and it mimics that same idea of individualism. Let’s conjugate a first-person singular verb in English:

“I want to dance on clouds.”

I. One. The singular. I wanted this tattoo on the inside of my left wrist because it symbolically represents my body and everything that it will endure throughout the course of my life. In itself, it could also be seen as a single human being. An erect, vertical body. The letter I.

The second would have been on the inside of my right wrist. A thin, black, “O”, in the style of a perfect, geometric circle. A circle representing Earth. A circle representing every “I”, every “one”. 

The circle is an exact contrast to the I. It is the cycle, rather than the linear. It has no “beginning” in the most metaphorical sense of the word. The circle is the shape of the universe. Everything that has success in existence coincides with the form of “O”. Planets. Orbits. Rotations. Seasons. Everything enduring is cyclical.

On opposing hands, these two ideas serve as reminders about the constant clash of “I” versus “O”. I love exploring this idea through every lens of life.

In Biology
The idea of “I” can be seen in the systems of our bodies. The most profound and obvious of these is the digestive tract. There is a beginning at the opening of our mouths, and an end at our intestines. The journey is linear, and the product is waste. Everything that begins at the mouth is used and consumed by the body, then rejected and disposed. The product cannot be consumed again. “I” is life to death.

“O” is immortal. The circular system of blood is our body’s endless source of vitality. It cleans itself. It recycles. It makes use of waste and reshapes it into life. “O” is eternal. 

I wanted to tattoo “I” and “O” on my wrists for this reason. It serves as a reminder of my veins. My body is a fucking miracle and I want to appreciate it. Yet I am confined to this construct, to its perceived limitations. With that realization, I only wish to use it to serve everything else. I am a vessel, a conduit of inspiration and possibility, and it’s up to me where I channel all of that potential.

I want to give everything to the cycle.  

In Society
We blatantly ignore the fact that the earth rotates around the sun, and that time is redundant.

I am constantly unsettled by this. It’s everywhere. We are trained to live a linear life and have linear goals and construct linear successes. We live this way on a circular planet. This is doomed to fail. Like a radius, we will continue forward until we escape the bounds of the cycle and drift into nothingness. Into death. 

Why the fuck is Christmas relevant? Why? Why?

Every year, I am sickened by the self-indulgence. This is not progress. This is not even healthy. I fucking hate it. I’m not sorry. We consume so much shit. We fucking abuse each other to fuel this bullshit of a holiday. Wake up.

Can you remember what you got for Christmas two years ago?  

Can you imagine if we gave things away on the 25th?

In Language
To me, this has been the most profound and significant of the perspectives explored. I think it holds the most weight and application of all. I wanted to tattoo “I” and “O” on my wrists solely to remind myself of the power of words. 

Think about everything you say that starts with the letter “I”. How much of your grammar is singular, first-person? How much is “selfish”? There are those in my life who can’t escape the trap of constantly spewing out obnoxious babble that starts with the letter “I”. So much of our diction is selfish. It’s linear. It’s death.

The “O” is the discussion of ideas. It includes every “I”, every “one”, yet does not need a subject. The philosophy of god has nothing to do with ego, with gossip, with the menial happenings of somebody’s twenty-first birthday outing. Only by removing yourself from the frame will you achieve a deeper level of conversation, and connection, with those listening.

In other words, nobody gives a fuck about your day. Stop talking about it. Stop asking about it.

Start asking what you’re doing for the world. What you’re doing for something else. For the Idea. For the human entity. For the universe and for the progression of thought. For the cycle, and the eternal, and the immortal.

Stop saying “I”.  Start saying “Oh!”.

In the Afterlife
I suppose that I don’t believe anything will happen when I die. I struggle with the fact that so many people believe that something will. I think people believe in a heaven because it’s a way to give meaning to everything. To be hopeful.

But it’s also very linear. The idea that we are going somewhere, and that the destination is far from its origin, is just like the digestive tract. It’s just like the radius. It’s selfish.

I am happy at the thought of death because I’ve removed myself from post-mortem desires. From the “promised land”. My passing has nothing to do with the pleasures of heaven or the phantasms of antiquity. Dying is not about me. 

Dying is about returning to the circle. It’s about giving energy to the worms that will feed on my flesh. It’s about returning to Carbon and Hydrogen and Oxygen and Nitrogen and freeing myself from the bounds of my body. It’s about becoming mulch.

I wish to become mulch. I will become mulch.

Because a death that gives life achieves infinity.


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