Solitude

“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am reminded of one of the first blog posts I ever read. The gentleman who wrote it goes on to explain the difference between loneliness and solitude. His conclusion being that we are unable to tell the difference between the two.

So afraid we are of loneliness that we cannot find the simple joys in solitude.

I am unemployed though reasons I will not rant about now. While putting off finding a job, I have much more free time than I know what to do with. Much of this time I have spent in the company of myself and have come to realize how great a gift to myself my solitude is.

I went to the art gallery. Walked through the trees, admired the building, lay in the grass. I wandered to the adjacent park and watched the dogs tug their owners about, pleased for one of the few days of warm weather we’ve managed in this May of Buffalo.

I thought about things, and I thought about nothing. I relished the sun, the fresh air, the scent of growing things and life. I spoke not a word. For six hours I enjoyed the silence of my own voice.

Solitude has been a balm to soothe the wrongs that have befallen me recently. I didn’t realize just how lonely I had been for my own company.

To Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; I will say that yes, life is a monotonous affair. But it is not fear of freedom that forces people to run about like ants filling every spare minute. It is fear of loneliness that brings that need.

And to kjsquirrel, thank you for the thought.

Advertisements

Introspection

I like to look at myself

and wonder,

“How is it that I came to be

what I see

in the glass

when I’m alone

and no one is watching?”

I like to ignore

the excuses

I tell them all,

the excuses

I tell myself.

I like to be honest.

And brutal.

And cruel.

It’s not too drastic,

nothing dramatic to see.

Who else will tell me

the things I need to know?

No thought to my feelings,

the fragile mess of wires

twisted and tangled

like a ball of yarn

at the mercy

of a kitten.

You can’t break toys

if you don’t play with them.

When I look in the mirror,

I put them away.

I’ll take them out later

to examine and share.

Who can I trust

to know what and why

I do what I do.

I say what I say.

I see how I see.

Who can tell me why,

I am who,

and what,

I am?

Who else will know

even the things

I won’t admit out loud?

I know them.

I only let myself know them

when I can stomach

nothing but the truth.

Then I let them out.

Run them through my fingers.

Touch, and taste, and learn.

I explore

in front of the glass,

when I’m alone

and no one is watching

but me.

San Diego

Happiness locked away between the sheets

of a San Diego that will never exist.

A beautiful sunrise burned into memory

like phantom sand between toes

and phantom fingers threaded through mine.

But sunrise cannot come

in a San Diego that doesn’t exist.

The “I love you” is real,

it is meant for San Diego.

The “I love you” is still here.

You give it freely;

but

without San Diego it isn’t the same.

I love you too;

but

without San Diego it isn’t the same.

We left “I love you” in San Diego;

but

San Diego isn’t real.

I wrote this quite a while ago. I’ve finally had enough time to sit and think about it enough to share it. Hope you enjoyed. I’m challenging myself to write every day. If you have a topic, idea, or any kind of prompt you’d like to see my take on, please let me know as I am always looking for inspiration. Thanks for reading!

A Poet’s Prayer

Oh mighty revered lord beat of time,

at the holy altar of your metronome

I pray, for gifts of smooth and flowing rhyme.

I sound the sacred bells, they ring and chime;

waking spirits of harmony and tone.

Oh mighty revered lord of beat and time;

let my notes sink deep, distorting the grime

of the stagnation centuries have grown.

I pray for gifts of smooth and flowing rhyme.

Grace the sounds, that they elegantly mime

the flawless rhythm that your poise has shown,

oh mighty revered lord of beat and time.

For perfection the strings are surely prime.

I’ll bleed for the talent to be my own.

I pray for gifts of smooth and flowing rhyme.

Forgive my clumsy verse its thoughtless crime.

For imperfect meter let me atone.

Oh mighty revered lord of beat and time,

I pray for gifts of smooth and flowing rhyme.

Balloons

I’ll build a brilliant rubber rainbow

from the breath you left behind.

Exhaling it into creatively colored

balloons, eye catching by design.

 

I’ll tie a sting of sentiment

around the fatal final knot.

And by that bond I’ll lead you,

to the peaceful places we forgot.

 

I’ll trod the trails we walked,

conjuring cloudy memories.

Behind my back these phantoms fly,

dancing delightfully on the breeze.

 

I’ll walk until I’m weary,

until your breath breaks from its cage.

The baubles bobbing to the ground,

their vivid vibrancy a bygone age.

 

I’ll build a brilliant rubber rainbow

from the pieces you left behind.

I’ll lay the past to reverent rest,

embrace the future that I find.

Coping Mechanisms

Why do we actively seek self-destructive activities when we’re sad?

By we, I mean human beings in general.

I know I have these urges.

I know from a psychological standpoint that this is a common response.

But why?

A distraction I suppose?

To draw attention away from the current sadness replace it with something more immediately pressing that draws the attention away from the original stimulus?

Great coping mechanism brain, thanks. Your chemical balance is really on point.

So of course I had to refresh myself on coping mechanisms to find out which this falls under. I have to say, I am thoroughly impressed by how unhealthy all of these sound.

So I delved further.

I can find recommended strategies for coping in a healthy way sure. Relaxation, meditation, and seeking outside support are a few; though these are all actions. These are not classifications of coping mechanisms.

It’s rather depressing to find that every coping style I could find listed in the general classifications of coping mechanisms are maladaptive.

No wonder my brain has decided to fix my sadness with destructive behavior, it doesn’t have any more attractive options.

Feelings

He told me that sometimes he has trouble articulating his thoughts.

This is not just because of the never ending search for the correct words; but because sometimes it’s not a thought he’s trying to grasp.

Sometimes it’s a feeling.

I am of the mindset that feelings are even harder to articulate.

It’s just an ache.

Deep.

Painful?

Yes, definitely painful.

Pain doesn’t always mean some great sorrow is tearing my life asunder. It could be a happiness so intense that it hurts to keep it all in.

She told me this is the happiest she has even seen me. She’s known me for five years.

They are all happy for me, happy for my happiness. It almost feels selfish.

He was concerned.

My happiness is for me. Every selfish bit of it is mine.

But there’s too much. It hurts. I can’t help but share it, even though it brings my motivations into question.

My motivations are egocentric. It’s my turn to be happy, and fuck those guys who want to take it away from me.

Where was I going with this…?

Not everyone has the opportunity to feel a happiness so deep it hurts to keep it contained.

Not everyone is give the chance to expose themselves to someone who’s happiness consumes them.

I only hope that my happiness is half as contagious as it feels to me.

Culture Training

Our management team did an exercise at work for our corporate culture training. Yes, I know, corporate rhetoric for brainwashing, thanks.

I found out something enlightening about my colleagues, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The trainer gave us a sheet of paper with somewhere around 100 words printed on it. These words could be mostly described as positive traits if you didn’t pay attention to the form of the word in some cases. Suspend the grammar nazi beliefs for a moment and embrace the spirit of this “team-building” exercise.

Words on this list included things like “happy, kind, friendly, trustworthy, adventurous, responsibility…”

I already knew what was coming. The trainer asked us to circle the five that meant the most to us. Everyone complained at how hard this was.

I just chuckled.

“Just wait, then she’s going to tell you to eliminate one of those, then again, then again until you only have one left.”

The trainer looked at me baffled, like I had just given the formula to transmute gold to the masses.

Just to be contrary she left us each with three words. Everyone took this as three words to sum up the entirety of their existence; and the world was ending because a twitter post isn’t long enough to give credit to who they are as a human being.

I took it as a matter of priorities.

Now, this is what I was surprised to find.

As we went around the table revealing the words we chose that were so meaningful to us, my colleagues chose things like: loving, kind, happy, comedy, friendly, success, giving…

All admirable traits, don’t get me wrong.

But.

I simply needed one… self-respect.

If I have self-respect, all of these other things that are meaningful to me follow. In order to have self-respect I have to follow my own ethical and behavioral codes. I cannot respect myself if I am not kind, or giving, or hard working, or any number of other words on that page.

I thought this the most obvious choice, not a single person in that room even considered that option.

An apology and a poem

I’m sorry.  I’ve been away too long.  It wasn’t fair to go with little explanation as to why.  Please allow me to simply say; I am working toward the betterment of myself and that can be exhausting.  I promise to be more diligent in my attentions.

I’ve little more than a spare moment; so I leave you with something short.  This is not new, though it will be new to you.  Recent thoughts have brought it to the forefront of my mind.  I hope you enjoy.

Palms

The playful dance of fingers intertwined.

Mated palms kiss one another

in the holy union of

promises whispered across stars.

The marriage of flesh,

as palm to palm they stand;

strength exchanged for strength

in such a gentile kiss.

Palm to palm is soul to soul,

safe and sound in the grasp of a hand.

Mated fingers intertwine,

and draw love to love;

for sake of love,

to banish thoughts

of sad and empty palms.