Unfinisher by Paul Traynor

I don’t tend to finish many things that I start. I am eager to however. I want to finish what I start. It frustrates me when I don’t. It depresses me much of the time that I don’t. But it just doesn’t happen all that much. I have worked on numerous creative endeavours over the years. Most unfinished. Almost all unfinished. 

 Recently, however, I ‘finished’ something. A collection of music, an ‘album’. I’ve done similar things in the past, but they weren’t as ‘finished’ as this one. Granted, there is one track I feel needed something extra, but I drew a line in the sand with that one. As a whole, as far as that ‘album’ goes, It is done. It is finished. Done. Solidified by making it available to listen to online. There was not an overwhelming response, but I didn’t expect there to be. Some kind people offered some kind words. Lovely. Regardless – done. Finished.

 Eight days later I collapsed at work. I came to, felt okay, was poked and prodded by paramedics and appeared okay, but went home to be safe. I saw my local doctor that afternoon, got poked and prodded a bit more, still seemed okay, but got booked in for some more tests – blood tests, a 24 hour heart rate monitor, and a brain scan.

 Blood tests: all good.

Brain scan: all good (my brain is “unremarkable” in fact, according to the report).

Heart monitor tests: all good.

 However, through all of this, my imagination was fuelled by anxiety and I was expecting results indicating, quite clearly, that I would be dying soon. I didn’t want to die, not at all. I just thought that I would. Figured that it must be inevitable.

 It made me think of the album. The ‘finished’ album. I had started wondering whether, by ‘finishing’ the album, I had brought a fate of death upon myself. As though, by declaring an endeavour ‘finished’, the album in this case, I had declared my own journey ‘finished’. I was always, perhaps, meant to be the great unfinisher, and had upset the fine balance of the universe, or simply my existence in it at least, by finishing an endeavour.

 ‘Life is about the journey’ they say. The enjoyment is in the process. My life was meant to be a series of ongoing journeys, processes, discoveries, yearnings for more understanding, tastes, sights, sounds, sensations. Always leave them (“them” is me in this case) wanting more.

 Perhaps by sitting satisfied with ‘finished’ things I would no longer have the ability to want, to enjoy, to marvel, to wonder, to wander, to be open to learning. I would shrink, shrivel, not breathe.

 So all that was left was for me to die.

 But I didn’t.

 Maybe the nagging sensation about that one track saved me. Maybe I need to declare it unfinished and leave it unfinished.


 We’ll see.

Paul’s working life as an analyst has been about trying to understand people, and speaking or writing on their behalf about their experiences. Paul’s passion is using this same approach of observing and trying to understand the world and documenting it though the written word, music (under the name klangmoss), and drawing.

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