Poetry in Bed
Cobwebs on the headboard
Memories of them shaken – not stirred
Now simple reminders
Love strolls paths that need tending
Blustery day, melancholy winds
Cherished breaths, valued consciousness
Leaves release their tenuous grip and
Fall away from the branch like a wayward man
Ominous whispers weave through each breeze
Foretold doom approaches
Each minute of each day/week/year
Another semi-silent step to the abyss
Religious folk rail against such honesty
Clinging to their better-place-than-this;
This place of life and possibility
Gets traded for an imagined persona in a future world
Philosophies tickle the mind
Religion rots the soul into lifeless mush
Balance a perfectionist’s dream
Breezes beckon the listening ear – come.
Slip into the sad, sad truth
Your life, your control over who you are
Ends with that last breath
You will be assimilated into perfection
Or death will greet you cold, harsh
No further trouble to your soul.
Neither alternative appeals
One – amalgamation into that which is loathed.
Complete cessation the other.
Where does this leave the poet?
Steps forward into the swirling, leaf-rustled air,
A wish of rescue and companionship
To at least suffer a few minutes in temporal joy?
I wrote this on my iPhone on December 9th after just waking up, hence the title. I did take some liberties with traditional poetry. Forget meter and rhyme. I even broke ranks with stanza length at one point.
I’ve written quite a bit of poetry over the past two months, but have not posted any. While chasing down reasons for this would be pointless, in going back over some of what I wrote, I see that allowing them to “simmer” is not a bad thing.
I also wrote the following essay, at least that is what I think one would call it, around the same time frame. This essay ends up focusing on personal brilliance and the world at large. Hence its title:
What the eye beholds the heart ponders. This is true of me. Most likely, this is true of most people. Much of the time I rush to a heart determination of good, bad, or indifferent.
As we age, we get the feeling we’ve seen it all in life or at least enough to make a valuation. The fundamental truth of this is we miss out on quite a bit because we lose the advantages of wonder, amazement, thrill, and joy.
The world becomes this jaded place where nothing is new under the sun. Yet there are degrees of wonder and amazement available to humans to keep us free and joyful.
Being upbeat and happy is available to us when we look at possibilities. I see why people seek the solutions that lead to damage. We look for that freshness key. We search out that special moment and thrill to take our minds off our troubles.
We often exhibit a need for conquest. A need for engagement. A need for purpose and direction. Do you know who is really good at giving a person all those things?
Other people. Most all have good intentions and every single one of them are wrong unless they encourage the person in question to pursue their own life in the manner befitting them.
Oh yes, this opens up many cans of worms and delivers the possibilities of divergent behavior from the expected and even desired. I’ve seldom performed or accomplished something that later I haven’t determined I could do much better.
The crazy part of this fact is that seeing I could do better is a positive attribute. I’ve too often regretted or beat myself up for not having performed at my perceived higher level. I’m told this self-critical nature is bad and unhealthy and that I’m beating myself up.
I bought into the view that my self-analysis and subsequent negative reactions were bad for me. Lets step out into another reality. What if this reevaluation after the fact, no matter what time span, what if this internal mechanism gets embraced as valuable?
My instinct tells me my self esteem and confidence will kick up dramatically. The opportunity to make mistakes gets eliminated. The acts in question do not become mistakes but first drafts or works in progress that may be honed if desired.
This cannot be a “trick the heart into believing this philosophy” kind of thing. The heart is far too intuitive and operates on too many levels without us seeing. This view must be embraced and practiced.
There are many forms of this knowledge that have been taught to me over the decades. One “label” along these lines is to “give yourself permission” to do something. Too often we leave this as a permission to fail.
There exists a better, more life-enriching view of permission to craft your life in its details as well as its broad strokes.
Am I brilliant? The ego asks the question. Does it matter? This question appears to matter to me. I spend too much time with the mistake-mentality and too little with the pursuit of the question.
Is curiosity over personal brilliance an overstepping of the “ego” police? After all, historically I care far too much about what others think of me.
Or is the honest pursuit of the question “Am I brilliant?” a valid endeavor – if the measurement is not so much others but oneself.
For instance, take my writing. I get accolades and praise for what I write often, but most of my writing could be dramatically improved upon – in my eyes. Here is where everything becomes a sticky wicket.
I’ve viewed this as a negative – that my writing is sub-par. At the time it was written, the writing was the best manifestation available to me. If I look at the opportunity to build and shape the writing, if desired, as brilliance achieved, I might just fuel more confidence and personal esteem.
Future selves will always possess a more informed view. That fact is intrinsic to our lives. Barring mental degradation or other illness that taints our minds’ ability to function, I believe a person can pursue their own brilliance without adopting a superior attitude to others.
This takes a humility that recognizes your reality and brilliance may well be confined to the infinities that exist between your ears and centered in your metaphoric chest.
Why would a person NOT pursue their own brilliance? If not your own, you would be pursuing someone else’s brilliance. The problem here becomes that other person’s brilliance will not necessarily carry your life.
We are all individuals who differ at some point, some tangent, some philosophy, some belief.
Pursuit of someone else’s brilliance at the subjugation of your own is dangerous at best.
This is where we get sheeples. This is where we get followers who no longer believe in their own brilliance or ability or even right to make their own decisions or express their own views.
In my life, I observe that many folk understand and employ what I’m saying here. These people are known to you. They are politicians and speakers and leaders and dictators and successful business people and outgoing personalities and introverts who achieve at high levels.
Too many of them, for my own liking, realize how to pursue their brilliance and use it for nefarious and damaging purposes.
I need to look only to religion to see this played out in ugliness. Islam is too easy a target here. The issue is with all religions. Christianity is rife with “sin police” who trample the lives of people who need to be encouraged to embrace their brilliance, not loathe themselves for their inability to meet impossible standards. The proliferation of victimhood in religion is epidemic and encouraged by far too many who look to foist their own brilliance on others.
Because we exist as human beings in various states of self awareness, religions prey on those who buy into their role as a victim. To me, this leverage religions use is like shooting fish in a frying pan. So easy to manipulate masses of people rather than free them to pursue their brilliance.
This is not to say all religion is bad. I personally believe in God. But that belief is mine to tend and nurture, not someone else’s to control. When religions stop killing and condemning, all in the names of their “gods,” I may take more note. Personally, I am disgusted with the mass manipulations going on in all religions.
The same scenario is true in the business world. The art/creative world. The government world. The sports world. Any other grouping you can think of works here.
People too often gain leverage over others with their particular brilliance and use it for control rather than share it. Humility and a giving spirit is the answer, not domination and control. I’m certainly nowhere near the first to say this or believe it. There are many who view life along these lines.
For me, embracing and trusting in my own brilliance is my greatest struggle. I’m not speaking here of egotistical views. I’m speaking of the incredible creative brilliance each of us possesses, no matter how latent, within us.
The fact I struggle with embracing brilliance tells me there are many others in the same situation. Take a look at your personal brilliance. Nurture it. Grow it. Cultivate it. Share it freely with those who accept it. Avoid forcing it upon others for that is the danger zone for all humanity.
Finally, please consider this. As humans we ALL share the reality of victimhood. We all suffer the atrocity of death. The fact we all know this on some level sets the stage for victimhood. Religions prey upon this fact. Governments and propaganda prey upon this fact. Corporations prey upon this fact. Individuals prey upon this fact.
My encouragement to you is to step into your brilliance and craft the best “you” from the experiences you own and embrace your brilliance within the context of your true self – not someone else’s. Beware those who use their brilliance to control you.
This is no small task. For me, it is a life journey. We not only share the victimhood of death reality, we also share this world and all its magnificence. Let’s embrace that magnificence and share our lives with each other.