I feel like the world is so distant, because I'm looking at it from the outside.
I feel like the world will never open up to me, becuase of my closed mind.
The world is only calm, from my viewpoint thirty miles high.
If I stepped down into the chaos, only then would I see the war, only then would I see
I know I make you laugh
i know I make you feel
i Know I make your heart beat fast
i know I make things real
but I know you still love her
i know I'm not the one
i know that im just a. distraction
and I know how much That hurts
i just wish you'd love me for me
and not the fact that I'm pretty
or a relief
i just wish I was Something more to you
I want to feel hopeful
I want to feel hopeful.
On Saturday, I watched masked crowds across the country weep, cheer and sing joyfully, peacefully, celebrating the probable victory in the U.S. presidential election of a man who has been married for over four decades to a woman who has supported him in his public service at the same time that she has maintained her own professional life. A man who openly loves his family (appears to be loved by them) and is a man of faith.
Why so much emotion? Some said they burst into tears, a kind of release from months, if not years, of tension, holding in angst, anger, sadness, terror. They gasped, took in deep breaths, suddenly able to breathe air cleansed of the unease and doubt that strangled them. My mother cried because she had felt like democracy was in danger and the apparent majority vote appeared to favor maintaining the democracy we have loved for so long. It seems that hope was rekindled.
I want to feel hopeful.
But, a good many citizens also favored keeping someone in power who sees himself there indefinitely, or, as his account Tweeted in June 2019, "4EVA", and has stated thus in speeches (in jest?) and on Twitter multiple times since 2018.That is not how our democracy has functioned up till now. Alas, change is the way of life...and Plato would say that the sociopolitical system implied by that "4EVA," is indeed the natural next step...
I listened as a grandfatherly man gave a "traditional" well-written, well-rehearsed speech that sought to build bridges to reach all citizens of our beautiful country, to offer healing and hope to a nation in the throes of social division and turmoil, presenting a voice both civil and diplomatic to the country and the world. For a few moments, all the ways of being my peers and I were taught as we grew up were meaningful once again.
I hesitated to react to a moment that might be incredibly brief; that may be the proverbial quiet before the storm. Indeed, a storm whose winds began to blow immediately, as I saw vitriolic reactions posted on social media. Former classmates, former students and neighbors made obvious their preference for the acrimonious voice of division that is more truthful and inspiring to them than any other.
I want to feel hopeful.
But over the last four years, I have returned time and again to a quote from Hannah Arendt"s The Origins of Totalitarianism:
"The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exists."
"In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness."
"Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.
"The point is that [historically, totalitarian leaders] held out promises of stability in order to hide their intention of creating a state of permanent instability."
I want to feel hopeful.
And so, as I have done often in my life, I look to my son. He is a good, considerate man, a hardworking man, a well-mannered man, with a kind heart, a generous spirit and an incisive mind. He tries to put himself in other's positions in order to understand behaviors and beliefs. Like me, he has strong friendships with people of kaleidoscopic religious, ethnic, economic and political persuasions. Each of them feel it is the person, not the boxes they check off, that matter. He reads avidly and writes extensively to clarify his thoughts for himself. Never a frequent presence, he has eliminated even the occasional scroll on social media, seeing in it the ill Aldous Huxley foresaw.
It is said that hope is seeing light despite being surrounded by darkness.
I look to my son, and I feel hopeful.
How am I feeling?
It's nearly 2am and I am extremely tired, wondering how I will stay up all day with my 3 cheeky children, but I just cannot put the phone away because I keep seeing fab posts and interesting challenges that seem to be more important than sleep right now. Going to have to put restrictions on myself to not have a peep after 10pm .... actually 11pm ... ok latest 12.
Right going to stop now... I hope. Night for those who will be going to sleep, or like me, should be sleeping. Ok, I'm really going now. Will be back soon.
Your morning scramble special with a side of instability
I'm feeling like I just submitted to a big fiction contest last night and re-read the whole thing this morning and decided: wow, I suck at this craft.
I'm feeling like I revealed too much about myself in a ficitonal piece I now am slightly hoping won't grace a website's front page.
Why doesn't my writing make any sense, even to me?
I'm feeling like I just had a conversation with someone and blacked out mid-way through what I was saying; later I will piece together what I said and wonder that anyone can make sense of anything I say at all, especially with my slurred, mumbled speech.
I'm feeling like I write too much poetry and then read other people's entries and get a sinking feeling that my emotions are not expressed the way I want them to be, or worse: I don't feel complexity in emotion. I'm feeling like maybe what I feel isn't intense enough for this craft. It's an art form I am inches away from and am being told by the museum security guard to back away, as I am going to ruin it with my breathing. My art was considered and then placed on hold indefinitely in the crypt of a dusty basement.
I'm feeling like I need to hone in on one emotion and stick to it. I can't bounce around from thought to thought like a raquet ball. I need stability in my mind. I'm feeling like I do child's pose over and over in my yoga practice to get rid of a pounding headache I can't seem to shake; staring at a computer screen for eight straight hours a day and squinting to write "Sincerely, ____" at the end of a simple thank-you email.
I'm feeling like there are phone calls I need to make that make me shake at the prospect of making them, and I am putting friendships and family relationships indefinitely on hold, like a phone operator is telling me: tomorrow, you can do it tomorrow. I'm feeling like my anxiety will destroy me.
I'm feeling like the list of potential titles I make to my future stories and poems are exceptionally deep, and then I blank when I need to title something I've written. I'm feeling like, what did I just write? A scramble special with a side of instability and self-pity.
I'm feeling like maybe someday all the pieces will fall into place; I will be living in my little home somewhere with my dog and feel at peace, having written some Magnum Opus that will change the way people think about the world and themselves.
I'm feeling like I want my writing to become a museum piece, dusted off from the shoddy basement archives and brought back to life, having made sense the whole time.
There must be
Some unheard, unseen fairy
Like Tinker Bell
Turning ordinary beauty
Into a wonderland
Of golden leaves
After a long, hard year
Falling gently down
And as it drifts
I stop and stare
The selfish thing
Turns to the beauty without
Letting me see
The good in others
And the beauty all around
Turning my desires
Just like the trees
The hardest thing about answering your question is that I've learned people don't really what to know the answer when they ask. They understand life isn't always good, but they don't feel comfortable with the nitty gritty details of things like self harm, PTSD and loneliness. Things have been rough lately but I'm doing fine - this is the line I give those who bother asking. it doesnt feel like a straight up lie... after all, I'm not trying to say everything's perfect. But am I really doing fine? sometimes I am. Sometimes I see the hope for a future and a decent life. Other times I feel like it's all pointless. Like wading through and endless swamp. some days there's so much noise in my head that the only way to make them shut up before I go crazy is to scratch and cut at my arms. Some weeks I haven't had a decent nights sleep at all because of the nightmares, and the nightmares follow me through the day as flashbacks from trauma I've been through. Some days I'm just really not ok. I want to be. I try to be. But I need help. Someone to say "I really do want to know how you are, scary stuff and all." Someone to ask me questions and get me talking when I'm not sure where to start. So thank you.
If someone were to ask me
If someone were to ask me
how I am feeling now,
i would naturally say I’m fine.
but sometimes, my greatest flaw
is hiding how I feel inside.
if someone were to ask me
how I am doing today
i would tell them I am not doing okay.
life has become more of a burden
rather than a gift.
it seems like there’s always someone trying to screw me over,
oh wait, that’s just me.
it seems like the universe is one big cosmic joke.
i hear my mother crying
echoing in my head.
i want to comfort her
but she’s nowhere near.
i know when she comes home
after ive worked my shift,
she’ll be put together, she’ll be strong.
but nothing seems to stop the record
playing on repeat.
over and over again, I can hear every sob with such clarity
it’s like she’s not gone at all.
life is kind of sucky right now,
trying to hurt everyone I love.
a close and trusted family friend
watches her 2 year old daughter
as she slowly succumbes to the cancer
plaguing her body.
a close friend, one I hold dear to my heart,
is watching and waiting,
holding his breath as the uncertainty of the life of
two members of his family
are slowly slipping away.
he wanted to end it all
the second he heard the news.
popping pills for two days
trying to escape the pain,
he grew slightly distant
so close yet so far away.
i often worry about him,
because he’s a few state lines away,
if something were to happen to him
i would never know.
i myself haven’t been faring
to the hand that life has dealt me.
an endless cycle of relapse and guilt
followed closely by a sharp sting
in both my arms and my heart.
I want to stop the bleeding
i want to stop the stinging
i want to stop it all
but it keeps calling me back.
like a moth drawn to a flame
i find myself with it again and again.
bright red angry streaks
crisscross my arms and shoulders,
my thighs and knees.
i want to stop this all
before it gets too far.
but it is the only thing
keeping me going.
it is the only thing
dulling the pain
in my heart, in my mind.
so, I guess if you were to ask me
how I am coping today,
i’ll look you kindly in the eyes
and say “I am alive today, that is all that matters.”
now my friend, it’s my turn to ask
how are you today?