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THOUGH I WASN’T ALWAYS
Why do I keep trying to understand
the list of many things that I do
not? I carry around a fifty-
one-year-old weathered scroll
inked with a variety of unknowns.
Some, once understood—now
not. Many new, others ever-
changing. The list
grows. If “life is what happens when you are making
other plans,” why plan?
Why do traits that attract
turn into reasons to leave?
Is life alone settling,
fate, or just giving up
on the game? Why use the word
forever when nothing is?
How can a lifestyle choice threaten
others? How is walking in rain
therapy to some, yet loathed by many?
How do crows know I am
a friend, though I wasn’t always?
How does a special animal change
a person’s life? What do you do
when they go? Why do tough
people sometimes betray the code
and cry? Why do some become monsters
instead of protecting
their children? Can the kindness
of an outsider make enough
difference? Why does the pain remain
when the damage is long
gone? How do butterflies
know to show up when you need
them? If writing can be an antidote
for depression, can it lead
to understanding? Is philosophy
a gift, or an over-thought
burden? Destiny, obligation
calling (words that are larger
than life) can you really
see them coming?
Herman Hesse wrote:
I have been and still am a seeker,
but I have ceased to question
stars and books; I have begun
to listen to the teaching my blood
whispers to me.
Was there an event that opened
his eyes to this
realization or is it the wisdom
of a tired traveler?
When is it okay to let go
of questions and simply embrace?
The surprises never
end. Perhaps it’d be healthier to lean
back: let the bad be curses
and the good, magic.
This poem started with my piece Why from the “Write to Understand” writing workshop taught by friend Matt Love on December 10th 2016 in Astoria, Oregon and evolved over time thanks to the help from another writer friend of mine Tara Hardy .
Why do I keep trying to understand the list of many things that I do not. I carry around a fifty-one year old scroll of weathered paper inked with a variety of unknowns. Some once understood – now not. Many new, others ever-changing. The list grows…
If “Life is what happens when you are making other plans” – why plan
Why do traits that attract – become reasons to leave
How is walking in rain therapy to some – yet loathed by many
How does a special animal change a person’s life – what do you do when they go
Why does pain remain when the damage is long gone
How do butterflies know to show up when you need them
If writing can be an antidote for Depression – can it help with Understanding
Destiny, Obligation, Calling (words that are larger than life) – can you really see them coming
Herman Hesse wrote, “I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”
Was there an event that opened his eyes to this realization or is it the wisdom of a tired traveler? When is it okay to let go of questions and simply embrace?
The surprises never end. Perhaps it’d be healthier to lean back: let the bad be curses and the good magic.
As always I learned while enjoying my day at the “Write to Understand” writing workshop on December 10th 2016.
Matt Love lives and teaches in Astoria, Oregon.
My phone has traces of acquaintances, pets, friends and family who are no longer living.
No longer living here with us.
Their birthday’s pop-up as if to remind and say “Don’t forget me.”
Photos in the memory mix float around and surface at times, blending in with new experiences.
It is hard enough to say “Goodbye” in this life,
making [Delete] impossible.
So, My Collection Grows…
We were off to explore a college.
Jeff and I acquired the correct paperwork, our parents approved it.
Being seniors in high school this accepted right of passage allowed for a few additional days of absence.
All of our individual teachers initialed the forms and counselors filed them with praises.
It was the best ski trip of the season!
Missing my Friend
Hardly any Focus
Breathing seems Difficult
Oddly the mind makes Time seem slower…
while trying to Absorb the Surreal
Feels like my Heart no longer fits in my chest
as if somehow Bigger, but actually probably Smaller, having another piece …Broken off
an all too familiar Mental Time-Out Torture Chamber
The Monster we Simply call Loss is Beating me again
* * *
Cheers to you John Kelly
* * *
I heard that John gave someone the gift of sight. How awesome is that?!
The Holiday Season
As the year winds down, festivities compress what time remains. The usual events, rituals and traditions combine to make the last couple of months blur into a final season. I am grateful that Sarrah was able to be here for ‘The Holiday Season’, one more time.
Sarrah was part of my increasingly favored holiday and our recent annual tradition of gathering at The Beach House for a few days around Thanksgiving joining; us, my parents Esther and Stan, Nissa’s mom Gail, the cats and our beach neighbor friends Mike, Lori and Jessica for another extended weekend of giving Thanks. We individually gather and stay there for a few days, making the holiday more about being with family and friends than just an over planned annual meal. It seems the added time in this place allows the traditional stress to dissolve and the true flavor of giving thanks takes over. Sarrah was part of it all; inhaling all the smells of the cooking feast, scoring human food snacks, walking with her toes in the sand, barking orders at cats, collecting affectionate pats from all and constantly reminded me to be thankful. This year the quiet moments were a bit heavier and at times a little saddening, but moments like these helped me remember and define others.