She placed the mug on the table and asked me, ‘‘What is it you long for?’’ I guess my attempts at not looking, well, kinda restless failed.
What did I want? I did not really think about it. But one thing I was sure of was that whatever I wanted, or all I desired was just to do something- anything— not really to simply do it to pass time, no, whatever I’ll decide to do will be something that will bring change to things...at least that’s what I long for.
She cleared her throat. Ah, I still hadn’t answered her question. Uh, will she think I’m crazy? Maybe so, maybe not.
Anyway, I actually would like to know what she longs for, too. We might be able to assist each other with getting what our hearts desire~ aye.
This might sound corny. Idealistic. Perhaps even insincere.
But I really do wish the world would value what is really important.
Value People and Planet over Profit.
Humanity over Hierarchy.
Wish that we hadn’t enslaved millions for a bit of sugar. A bit of coffee. A bit of chocolate.
A bit of Profit, prestige and power.
That no infant would be killed by her family, just because she was a girl. Just because she was a burden, in the world of misplaced values.
That money was treated as it should be. As a means to an end. A tool to achieve something great. Something better, for everyone.
Not as an end in itself.
Because without people planet and humanity, money would not exist. Not vice versa.
It only has value, so far as it achieves what really matters.
And if we lived by that, there would be no slavery for profit. No killing to save on a dowry. No climate destruction just to make the bottom line.
I desire a world of true values.
Everyone is Something
“What do you desire?” asked the Devil.
“Nothing,” I said. “I desire nothing.”
“Come now, yes you do. Every human does. Tell me, dear boy, what burning want do you have? What is it that you crave when you lie awake at night? What does your soul ache for?”
“Is it love?”
“A companion? I could whisk from the air the finest canine or the mightiest lion to stand beside you.”
I shook my head.
“Then what? There has to be something.”
“I told you. I don’t want anything. I am nothing. I can’t want anything”
“That’s not true. Everyone is something. Even the smallest of men is something. So, let me ask again. What, my dear, do you desire?”
I sat and thought for what felt like eons. The Devil sat and waited patiently.
“I think I’ve got it,” I told him.
“Tell me.” Flames danced across his charcoal eyes.
“I want to watch the world burn.”
Wants, Desires, Needs
I know what I want to know,
I want to know the unknown
I know what I want to have,
All that has been denied to me.
What I need,
What I want,
I need to know that the perseverence,
Every day toiled behind my desk,
Writing words that may never meet foreign eyes,
Placing my dreams onto the page,
Will not be in vain.
I desire to reach the world with the written word,
to find a part of myself that I'm proud of,
to take bold risks,
to be good enough for my own expectations.
What will I desire?
The Smaller Desire
I long ago chose to live in my corner of the world, the part of New York State in which a three-story building is a behemoth. I type this…essay? missive? journal entry?—as I wear a brown sweater in my high school classroom, a few hours before a handful of part-time thespians come to perform the comic one-act we’ve been rehearsing. Two different colleagues have stopped by to apologize for their non-attendance, but have thanked me for what I do for the kids.
I like my job, and I like doing what I do for the kids. I like that this odd little group that might never set foot on a stage otherwise is going to take on roles like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty and delight in making fools of themselves. There is value in the life of a teacher.
But I also know what I gave up to be a teacher. I began college as a business major and an officer in the student-managed investment fund, pursuing a lucrative career in finance. I later declared my English major and received plaudits within that department, too. My decision to become a secondary educator split the faculty who knew me. Half praised me for my idealism. My supervisor at the university writing center, for one, told me she liked to “think of me out there in a school somewhere,” fighting the good fight. The other half told me to aim higher and urged me to pursue my doctorate and rise to the top of my field. I thanked them and ignored their urgings toward ambition. It was the simple life for me. Married with children in a country town, teaching high school English. That life was my greatest desire. I’ve lived that life for several years now, which means I am very fortunate. I still desire that life as much as I did at 22, which means I am very blessed.
A few minutes ago when that colleague thanked me for working with the kids, and I had wished him a happy birthday, I turned back to the football field and autumn leaves outside my window, snug in that sweater I received last Christmas. It’s one more warm little moment in a career that has stretched 15 years and will stretch 25 more. Sometimes, at these moments of satisfaction, I also feel a pang.
My smaller desire, the one I would confess to few outside of Prose, is for something I wrote to be selected for publication. That would take me beyond this little world. It would mean that I could have my provincial cake and eat it too. I could live a small life but know that my thoughts and passions had been shared, been communicated to people beyond the boundaries of my county. There is a sense in which I am a writer. I would like to feel like a real writer. I would like something I have written to be chosen.
And then, after some hugs from close friends and a celebratory bottle of local wine with my wife, I’d be back to my classroom again, a man wearing a sweater and doing what he can for the kids.
Go Back and Say Sorry
Desire to reinstate the earth to its oldest, rawest form. Return to it all what it owned once upon a time - her spiraling vines that sprouted and ran fearlessly to unfathomable distances, almost forgetting where they came from. Her verdant canopy of trees that had invincible kingdoms on earth and thought they would rule sine die. Those immeasurable mountains that had exemplary courage to be resilient to tough weathers and who greeted skies through their ice-laden peaks. And ah! all those flawless rivers that flowed with gigantic noises; an ocean where they would eventually fall could hear their roars from millions of distances away!
Desire to annihilate the day when Mother Earth thought of conceiving with a human - a day that she rues now. Desire that she had the wisdom to know beforehand that a man would confiscate all her unending treasure and render her trash. That he would molest and plunder, abuse and attack her in every possible way. That he would be a hungry virus to obliterate all the life forms that she had raised in primitive times. Had she known, she could be the way she was always - beautiful, vigorous, and vivacious.
Desire to take all the human race with me to the primordial times and let it comprehend the enormity of its blunder. Let it say sorry for the crimes against its procreator.
Sonetto del Cambiamento
I seek the simp'ler times of long ago,
when people still swung by to say 'hello'
and chatted 'til the moon began to glow
o'er cookies and an endless cup o' joe;
when correspondence reached a house by mail,
the tales of distant relatives regaled,
and roses still had time to be inhaled-
before advanced technology assailed.
For, now, the Wi-Fi's on in ev'ry room,
ensconcing in electrical coccoons,
and robot vacuums have replaced the broom,
while nature is so callously comsumed.
The good old days have swiftly disappeared,
and what lurks in the furure should be feared.