The icon in the woods, by the cabin

By Blagovesta Aleksandrova. Blagovesta, 24, lives in Sophia, Bulgaria. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

To be common and familiar is to be expected. Men enjoy their patterns and comfort, they stray from the anomalies and punish or dignify them, if they refuse to conform. To be different is to be estranged or made into a deity with superhuman qualities. The thought of any of these two consequences makes Camus’ person exert himself in order to morph into a conventional being, that blends in with ease. Society pushes him to alter himself, to be a master of imitation and deception in order for it to view him no differently from any other being. The choice is either to have an isolated and solitary existence or to concentrate his powers on becoming a commoner.

If the pariah manages to achieve this well enough, people would never recognise these internal grapples and his reality. His solitude will continue despite the best efforts to bring himself closer and achieve this state of sameness, that is so crucial to his life in the social world. What he desperately tries to evade and erase, stays with him, hidden and unnoticed. It is truly a miserable loneliness that accompanies the outsider day by day, regardless of the masterful play of the role and the great desire behind it.

But it is really that choice and that wish that makes him what his aim is to be. There is a normality in wanting to be accepted by the clan, to be included and regarded as one of their own. This desire to not be alone in your temperament and essence is so painfully, intrinsically human. It is oh so very average to cling to the idea of commonality and homogeneity, to put your best efforts to not be deserted or sanctified. Even this paradox of doing the normal to be average, this lack of awareness about your relation to every other being, is to be seen in all members of society.

People’s method of classification is soaked with fear and irrationality, that strip it of any complications and grey areas. There are beasts and gods, and everyone else. What is not everyone else is incomprehensible and foreign, it’s the indecipherable, that which overhauls the mind and never crosses it. Something that commonality has never come across and identified with, and this is to be never changed. It is this obsession with simplicity and binaries that prevents a deeper and more truer understanding of the nature of humanity, that is lacking and very needed.

Normality has a complex structure in human life. Its floors are covered in what is considered too common and nauseatingly mundane, while its pillars are carved from virtues and vices, said and unsaid human principles, that are continuously emphasised on and sought in everyone. But it is truly the dome of the structure that is a place of worship and furious cursing, that awakens debate and internal conflict. It is where all features of normality are amplified, to the point of no resemblance with its supporting pillars, and yet its spherical, metallic reflectivity engulfs them all.

Camus’ person is a resident of the dome, roaming over all the commoners who desperately hang on to the pillars, so they don’t touch the floors. He can be the evil pariah that makes people never look up because of fear, that they might see their reflections next to him or the one whose image is distorted by the dome, making him appear grand and distant. He is able to observe everything below and ape all he sees with every intrinsic detail. What he doesn’t realise is that his hanging feet are effortlessly brushing against the pillars.

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