“We are embedded in a biological world and related to the organisms around us” ~ Walter Gilbert
“I am just a dreamer, and you are just a dream” ~ Neil Young
“I was always ashamed to take, so I gave. It was not a virtue. It was a disguise.” ~ Anais Nin
They said I was crazy
for throwing away a certain future
in order to chase a silly dream
But, said I
I would rather have a wallet stuffed
with post-notes of scribbled poetry
to place into the palms of strangers
Than stacks of stiff bills
staring up at me (old, dead, white men)
As I die a fresh death every morning
sinking deeper into the center of my cubicle
They still call me crazy
I’m still more successful than I ever imagined i could be
I still scribble poetry
I don’t even own a wallet
and i breathe in new life when I wake up … whenever I want.
Like .. a never-ending one.
Way back, pre-magic days. I was working my last job, at Heritage resort. I was asked to accompany my boss on a walk through the property. We chatted and walked, then sat beside a lake in a really green place. We were building a lighthouse stage there …
He complimented me on the work I was doing (writing scripts and executing them via live acting and puppets) and praised my efforts as an employee, husband, father, and human. You know that meme where it says that giving me compliments is like trying to put a wrinkled dollar into a vending machine? Yeah .. was then, still is true now.
And then he said something that still echoes in my head: “You have a really great way of reaching people, showing them your heart and loving them, that’s a real gift, but I never see you take much joy in yourself. Where is your happiness?”
Later in my story (couple of decades later) in the midst of an argument my wife accused me of being chronically miserable. She told me I could be happy if I could just act like I used to … find the ‘real me’ that I used to be. “You’ll be happy when you decide to be.”
My friend Andrea reminds me that I still create art for others and … it’s amazing and I’m really good at it. I’m dedicated and I care. All of these things are true.
Yet … I sink into a hole when I walk off stage. I give everything I have and I empty myself. I will get very still and quiet. On the best nights, after the best shows, and almost every single time I’m driving home from the Castle, I weep uncontrollably.
I’ve looked, I’ve meditated, I’ve quested for happiness through several therapists. I’m still sitting here with all this weight pressing down on my shoulders and i still have not recognized joy in myself.
Chronically miserable, though you’d not really know it unless I told you. Unless I foolishly laid out all the words about how painful life is. The persistent loneliness and certainty that I am unworthy. Not capable.
There is art to be made and art can be a forge that turns my grief into sunshine for someone else. So I’ll do the shows with all my might, all my heart.
Even when my heart is just a tiny, bitter, green pill.
Let nothing in my hand be a weapon.
Neither gun, wand, nor pen.
If my fingers should fist, please break them.
Should I be tempted to raise my hands in anger, quickly remind me that you did not give me hands for that purpose.
Violence is not the war i wage.
The hand … the hand is one of the most incredible instruments in the universe. Of all the bones in the body, one-fourth are in the hand. The balletic interplay of sinew and bone that is the human hand cannot be overstated, though it always seems to be thirsting to make a fist. Our greatest moment of humanity is when we open (un-fist) our hand to extend it in love … cradle a glass of wine … cup the chin or cheek of a loved one.
Even more … let nothing in my mouth be a weapon.
Not teeth, spit, or word.
Let my words be sweet … or savory. Never bitter, for I may have to eat them.
Turn my heart from hatred, and let love be the seeds i sow.
Fear is not the war I wage.
If I am to be known for anything in this world, let it be
“He left love where he went.”
Filed under Musings, poetry