Hilborn on Self-Isolation and Death: This is Not the End of the World

Neil Hilborn, “This is Not the End of the World”.  I thank the angel who introduced me to this poet.  This is a poem of self-isolation, or the need to withdraw from the world. Hilborn not only articulates the world of depression and loneliness, but also offers us a way of understanding the self in this place.

I’ve been hearing that the world is ending.
I’ve heard it SO much these days I can either completely ignore it or never leave my house again,
that is if I actually left my house for things that don’t directly enable me to keep my house,
I’ve been thinking about… driving nowhere.
I’ve been thinking about becoming a box inside a locked room inside a dark house at the dark end of the street.
I want to go away until I’m gone
it takes so much less energy to not exist than it does to exist and get burned.

I’ve been burned so much i’m not me anymore,

I’m a stupid puppet version of me
I’ve got strings that lead to nowhere,
nothing is pulling on me
I wish someone would drag my hand out of hiding and sign my name on a dotted line
There are days that I cannot find the sun even though its right outside my goddamn window.
when getting out of bed feels like the key in the doomsday machine,

so on those days… this is what I tell myself:
Whatever you’re feeling right now there is a mathematical certainty that someone else is feeling that exact thing.

This is not to say you’re not special
this is to say thank god you aren’t special

I have kissed no one good night
I have launched myself from tall places and hoped no one would catch me.
I have ended relationships because suddenly I was also exposed, but

Isolation is not safety, it is death.
If no one knows you’re alive, you aren’t.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it, it does make a sound but then that sound is gone.
I’m not saying you will find the meaning of life in other people,
Im saying other people are the life to which you provide the meaning,

see… we’re wrong when we say
I think therefore I am.
The more we say it the more it sounds like
I think therefore I will be.

You cannot think yourself into a full table
You cannot think and make walls and a roof appear around you
I have thought
and thought myself into corners made of words and nightmares
and what has it gotten me,
but more thoughts…
a currency that only buys more currency,
so please…

if you want to continue existing… do something
learn to make clouds using only your breath
build a house even if every wall leans to the left
love it anyway
just like a season
just like a child
love how you hate yourself sometimes because least there’s still something to hate
I know how easy it is to think and keep thinking until you’re the last person left on earth
until the entire world becomes no larger than the space between your bed and the light switch
I hear the world is ending soon.
when we go, and we’re all going to go
I will be… part of it.