And Then I Know
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
I, one evening, going out to a recital, look away from my life, a brief moment.
When my gaze returns, my perception changes, questions in my mind foment.
Walking to the concert hall, after it’s rained, light reflects off every city street,
diamonds to dazzle my eyes, my life rearranges, my heart chooses a new beat.
My roadway glows golden, pointing toward not here, now, but my destination.
Late, I reach to jot a note. I find my journal missing and, sigh in consternation.
I walk past the hall, bemused, my favorite pen to hand; this cannot be enough?
I trek the streets all night, my mind waxes poetic, my most magic words, fluff,
here, gone, with no way to record them. Perhaps, trite, poor, but a weak herald?
Neither profound, eloquent, wise, sacred, true, persuasive, amusing nor guiled.
A horn honks, a phone rings, a spot found on a shirt I want to wear, distracted,
time flying, I hurry out with no final check, a decision that cannot be retracted.
My own fault, my momentary lapse, diverted by constant stimuli I daily receive.
Inundated with minutia, my daily life, chores, awful news, tired, easy to deceive.
With myriad decisions, changes, life may turn on a moment’s focus, inattention.
How many times have I turned away, perceived poorly, lacked comprehension?
Have I lost moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, all life to date?
An artist, poet of little regard, virtually unknown, destined to stay second-rate?
Baffled by my world-at-large, my life at times; is there a way I’ll ever be certain,
that I will know my true and only path, before time rings down my final curtain?
Have I existed at angles obtuse, perceptions skewed, a perpetual glance askance?
Not the rarely seen view of writers, artists, musicians, those who’ll take a chance;
those unique visions captured by a turn of head, a step sideways, closing one eye,
or simply focus, concentration on one truth excluding all else. Have I given a try?
What opportunities I lost, I ask, when my attention was channeled away from now,
away from what I would do, should do, must do even though I cannot cypher how?
The life I must find because it is my need, unique to me and brings me a joy I share.
Did I enter the world with eyes closed, vision distorted, lacking entirely or unaware?
Did I, as I believe, yet cannot remember, begin life with the magic all children know,
recognize, comprehend, till our lives, each specific life is fitted out for our shitshow,
blinders that decide what I’ll see, the chains to say where I may go? No matter where,
or what description, third world, second world, first world does not, cannot exist here.
Labels grave as cement slabs, obdurate prison bars, defining the walls, the doors, my
asylum, where everyone has hopes, dreams, the same smile wear and same tears cry;
who share sorrows as deep, laughter as merry, no matter the cause of defeats or joys.
My emotions, reactions mirror theirs. You may see it as other; we covet the same toys.
Particulars, reasons, no consequence. Neither religion, reason nor brute force alter this,
nor will any provide the right to rich, poor, stuck between cracks, to unearth life’s bliss
No matter our location, education, station, situation, projected, expected destination, we
will be challenged, by our life, all the myriad ills, pressures, which we perceive must be.
Made to thwart us, to which we must succumb. We may be turned away, choose or feel.
we’re obligated to follow history’s steps, those who’ve gone before, surrender our zeal.
Are we dazzled by birth’s light, blind to chance, possibility, tethered to tradition, unable
to follow a path that glows for us alone? Would you say, think we’re limited or unstable,
shunted aside, simply wallowing in well-worn ruts, vision locked away from this aurora,
our goal? Sent to dark forests, down in deep mines, do we cope, burdened by a plethora,
becoming lost, confused, alone, abandoned, must work to live, rather than simply living?
Are we trapped, blinded to the cosmos’ glory, our place within it, taking without giving?
Out the asylum windows, when inmates secure me for a night, which may last a lifetime;
I’m captivated by a glow on the horizon. So tantalizing, but such a vast distance to climb,
reach; it conquers me ere I have begun. I know you know this lure which hooks my hope.
I would and will reel in the world, discover it smaller than I believed, or need more rope?
Though greater than my comprehension, I want to learn its secrets, to crack it like an egg,
split it like an atom, break it like dawn of a new day. I’ll show it to you but I will not beg,
aware I may be the only one who can clearly perceive this moment, while others only see
through the morass, the jungle fights to entangle us, keep us within its grasp. It cannot be.
I fight to forge a path, in darkness, with dead ends, false trails, search for my golden way,
uncertain, at times where it is, which direction I must turn and unclear as to why I’d stay,
remain lost, no known direction I am heading. The easy way, the oft-beaten track appears
around every bend in my path, as life thrusts up mountains, blocks my road, rapidly nears
perilous cliffs, that fall precipitously into darkest depths, unknown, terra incognita. I walk
a lane alone, compassed by people from the past, future, walking unseen, who quietly talk.
Others on the same path in separate places, alternate planes within this vast, unique reality.
Many turn away, resolutely, eyes, heads, beings, till they may pretend they cannot see me,
refuse to acknowledge the tantalizing glow, its existence, convince themselves, others, it
never existed, except in the imaginations of dreamers, fools; they believe that it cannot fit.
They cannot resist resenting, admiring any who stride boldly forth, despite ignorance, fear,
animosity, court rejection, dejection, failure, staggering struggle. Hope springs eternal here
in secret awareness I may never be recognized, accepted, that I may go to my grave as mad
as grief-stricken prophets none see, hear, accept, remember, then or later, unknown and sad,
until long years after each life has been forgotten. Or never. Who are we, you and I? I know
this fight, this journey of miles, toils, days, weeks, years, lifetimes; afraid to start, never go,
losing sight. I started later than some, strayed often, followed society’s ordained way instead
of my own; a path chosen for me, not by me. I gave in to the pressure to earn my daily bread.
Convinced I must provide, financial, physical, emotional support; I did, through and for love,
afraid I’d break apart before I found my way, battered by the ever-ongoing push and shove.
I justify my actions, in case I never reach the fabled, promised land for which I have yearned.
And yes, I know success is the quality of the journey. My life not always easy. Still, I learned.
It’s been more than many people ever dream. Should I not be content? Why then, do I break
trail, far from my old ideas, driven by hope, wield my machete, prove I have what it will take
to not give up, give in, surrender to that which I’ve been told is inevitable but that I refuse to
believe. It’s not death I speak of, my final sunset, but life, fettered, following rules others do.
Those who would convince me, persuade me not to challenge the accepted order, be it state,
religion or nation. I know, we all know life is change, constant, inexorable, still, forced to wait,
be sometimes turned aside, delayed where we are. Like electrons, we’re always in two places
simultaneously; we fail to recognize small truth. Is it unrecognizable, we wear our two faces?
Both the same, is too daunting to confront unless we face it boldly? I may gamble, lose and
clear away debris hiding other pathways as well as my own. Building bridges which spanned
crevasses of doubt, while marking my trail. Only I’ll transverse it till someone or some when
realizes, recognizes signs I have left behind are a language they understand, but until then.
It may take years, lifetimes to completely comprehend the everything I’ve expressed. I hope
they may teach others to read my once alien language. Follow in my footsteps, a stout rope
by my trail, find their glowing roads, their golden mean. Each path walked, leaves existence
richer, as journey adds to journey; I climb upon shoulders of past lives, dogged persistence,
the brave vanguard which has proceeded me, to discover the light of distant vistas for which
I’ll strive. I imagine multiple-dimensional perception, quantum connectivity where I am rich
with opportunity, possibility, as all paths are one path, our one path toward home. I will call,
chuckle, laugh out loud, when I realize, understand the path I’ve been following is a path all
have followed, not at the same time or place, but leading to the same destination. As pieces
of the puzzle start falling into place, rapidly revealing the whole which teaches that peace is,
was and has always existed everywhere, every-when, whether I saw it, whether or not I could
have, or would have previously accepted the truth with my limited, my limiting view of good.
Until I stop and open my eyes in wonder and say, “how did I ever get here?” And then I know.
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think.