The Swirling Chaotic

Vortex Soul


The Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul is an essay I wrote for a college writing assignment in October 2019.

Specifically about how the death of someone close to me in 2018 affected my worldview...

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J.J. Winfree

7 (the original was 5)

October 2019

March 25th, 2020








The Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul

Created for Mr. Lowe’s college assignment about an event of introspection in October 2019.


Written by J.J. Winfree in October 2019.

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I have a pretty strange, and dark outlook on life. Not enough to go overboard, nor without leveraging the actual good things that exist. Though by being descended from the unfortunate events that plagued me. Culminating in an understanding of Human mortality.

Except that’s a conclusion I would only come to by the start of this year, and only after having experienced the worst year of my life. A year worse than every other bad year combined, and an era largely bereft of happiness. Compounded by consecutive defeats of my pride that kept me from escaping my dark depression.


2018 being so bad that I’d rather not talk about most of it. Except when it comes to the topic of this essay, of which I’ve long since come to terms with. Although, having gone on to become a core tenant, and one continuing to strengthen in relevancy.


Dubbed in the prior September as the word salad that is the “Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul” or “SCVS”. A thing derived from the intense depths of my emotional state after the worst event of that year occurred.


When my first cousin was killed by invisible gas in August 2018.


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Tyler was a twenty-two-year-old barge cleaner who faded from three sons and a girlfriend, an entire family, and so many friends he gained over the years. All of which were devastated, and taken aback that he would be the first to go instead of many of them.


Being the kind of person with enough boisterous youth to make even the elderly young again. Except as the biggest braggart of a redneck numbskull ever to disgrace the stuck-up establishment. Totally uncompromising in his approach, but boldly enthralled by his interests no matter what they were. And second only to my Mom in fearlessness, even though he wasn’t above shirking his duties so he could screw around in Call of Duty.


This being someone I grew up with like a brother. Someone I’d spend days goofing off with in the dumbest ways, even if I was a silent, nerdy twig compared to him. In the end being the biggest impact he left on me; his indifference towards my antisocial arrogancy.


So needless to say, I was VERY taken aback by his departure. While 2018 overall was an amalgamation of physical pain, the magnitude of his death did to me mentally what eight spinal misalignments did not. Despite having spent most of 2018 in bedridden agony.


The mortal wound to my already dying idealistic worldview, and the point which I started to truly believe that life has no destiny owed to it. Opening my eyes to notice just how common it was for even the best of us to be taken away so suddenly.


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Though I’m glad to say I had people in my life who supported me at the time, and I still have those people today. The severity of all of this obviously warranting that kind of emotional reinforcement, even though I wanted to be a loner. Except I still had to do a lot of soul searching when it regarded me walking on my own two feet.


Although post-August leading into 2019 was the darkest time of that year, it was also an integral time of evolution. I started to truly question who I was, and what I had been failing to do. Especially considering I of all people would be the one to outlive someone far better equipped to face society than I ever was.


A transformative point of my life initially hopeless, but eventually posing the true benefits of existentialist thought. Realizing why my uninspired life was a ramshackle shack instead of being built as a brick and mortar house. And ultimately just how much my own involvement affected my future, despite feeling like I had no control.


His tragedy revealing to me the philosophy of absurdism, existentialism, nihilism, and so many other negative ideas of thought. Initiating the notion that life may very well be just as meaningless, and empty as the holes in our hearts torn by the tragedies of existence. Though at the same time, perhaps life at all being the one good chance at redemption. 


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Because of 2018 I realized the hard way what my own faults were. Even if it was the hardest thing to do, I had to swallow my own pride, and take the hits to make the play that was trying to become a better person. And not only this, but to escape my abysmal depths to ascend back to a point where I could feel good about myself again.


Except will alone wasn’t good enough for me. That being a concept apparent as the thing pushed by the impatience of unrealized dreams, but constantly quelled by defeatist mindsets. Regardless of how easy it was to enact regardless of self-worth, I just didn’t have the traditional kind of motivation to just go do it.


However, there was still something motivating me, and something that became so much stronger after my cousin passed away. A thing fueling both will and motivation I can barely quantify even now, with the name I’ve given it being only an interpretation.  Though what exactly is the Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul, if not just the soul, or a vision?


It in total being a combination of both the visualization of the soul, and the feeling of the soul as one “super will” fueling motivation. Providing nigh infinite sources of power, most prominently when in an emotionally distraught state. Even if emotional pain would be the major thing that empowers it the most.



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A thing I’m sure everyone would think is already active to practically everyone in the south, which I don’t disagree with. And a concept probably attested by a screwball acting like a wannabe philosopher. If my cousin is still out there in some other place, I’m quite sure his eyeballs are throwing their weight around right now.


But to me, the one who coined SCVS, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Perhaps at best being the expression of the power inside all of us. At worst, a concept too abstract to be useful in society. Though the thing that validates it to me is its combination, and how it only gets stronger the longer I live on.


Seemingly closely in association with, if not also fueling the intensity of my growing ambition, and visionary outlook on my dreams. Because even if 2018 was utterly god awful, I came out the other side stronger than ever. Which was possible because of the tenacious ideas like SCVS giving me motivation to continue despite the pain.


Which I can certainly say in the present, despite 2019 not being the greatest year, that I’ve felt better than I’ve had in a long time. And I do so with enough self-awareness to look back on my past with a joking mindset. Though also in a challenging intent to utilize my pain in the absurd engine that is the Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul.


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(This is a piece of artwork I made in September 2018, which was inspired by the topic of this essay. I'm including it here as supplementary material, though I did not include it in the original essay.)

(It's called "Hints of Swirling Chaotic Vortex Soul")

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