To sit in silence is to face oneself. A break in conversation to hear what the other has to say. The other: your feet. The other: your organs. The other: the pain in your back whose cries are stifled by social anxieties each day when you leave the house. A locking door to an empty room, a place of silence. A place of overwhelming complaints, of longings, of terrible, horrible things. To sit in silence is to sit in chaos.
To sit in silence is to reflect into the mirror that is the undistracted heart. When the room floods, what is it that rises to the surface? What sinks? And which will you remember to move to a higher shelf? Do not fret though. The sunken and forgotten with age will become treasure that will be most novel to rediscover. By someone else of course, not you. The next tenant, hypothetical grandchildren, or a sparrow to use for their nest. To sit in silence is to scramble to the top of the trash heap.
To sit in silence is to gaze into the crystal ball you have spent your life creating. To revel and to mourn. To anticipate and predict. To worry and to dread. To sit in silence is to be assured that all is factual that is broadcasted from you and if the forecast is dire, you need to take shelter soon.
To sit in silence is to levitate in a spacious moment. At the counter between customers when the store is empty. On the near-empty bus late at night between stops. On a walk as the battery on your phone finally runs out. To sit in silence is not to sit at all.
To sit in silence is to squirm uncomfortably in your chair, in your clothes, in your skin. To sit in silence is to notice you are physically alone, and to realize the music, the podcasts, the radio are not your friends after all. To sit in silence is to notice silence. To sit in silence is to remember how untethered you are. Levitating, cartwheeling, sleeping, gliding, landing and launching. All you do to feel as though you are going somewhere, reaching something, reaching someone. To watch time pass and feel it pass to always arrive at the same place. To sit in silence is to face oneself.
I've had it.
So here I sit at my ol' Underwood, rapping my fingers: QWERTYUIOP.
Qwertyuiop. It's my salutation to the keyboard and begins my correspondence.
The keyboard responds:
FORGET THE WORLD. STAY HERE. YOU'RE UNTOUCHABLE HERE.
I think of the places where no one can bother me. When I'm in the shower. When I'm stuck in traffic. When I'm pleasuring myself. When I'm undergoing surgery. When I'm dead.
I've made this place my untouchable place. No one can get to me. The door is closed; the devices are turned off. Even my window is triple-glazed, blocking out the sounds of life.
I write what comes to mind:
I like not being bothered. I like being alone. Just me and my thoughts. Are they thoughts important enough to record? Maybe. Maybe not. But why take a chance? I type and I operate this industrial machine of transcription, pacing my heartbeats and brainwaves between the end-line bells and the strokes of the lever to advance to the next line. It is magic.
No one can bother me here.
Today is special because I'm prolific. My thoughts flow in black ink prints struck into the give of the paper fibers, like bloody footprints in the snow that lead to a killer.
Suddenly, the ink ribbon will advance no further. Here I am, where no one can bother me, and I am bothered. No ink. No thoughts. No words. Qwerty is dead. Just when I thought my Underwood was my comrade in the quest to not be bothered, I have decided it is the thing that has bothered me.
"Now, you, too?" I tell it, in a scornful tone that says, unmistakeably, "You are dead to me."
I leave the room and undress and turn on the shower faucet. Or worse.
how to be your own roman emperor.
So, I've been learning about stoicism and a fellow named Marcus Aurelius.
Why is it that most Roman philosophers and emperors had names ending in -us?
Was it a decree of some sort? Who knows. There must be a linguistic explanation.
Or, another reason, is that humans sometimes are stupid
and look for meaning in places where there simply isn't any.
Anyhow, back to the original point. Stoicism.
It is not the concept of not feeling anything, but rather about choosing the best box
in the attic of your mind in which
your emotions belong.
Instead of acting on impulse, one focuses on the facts,
on reacting to an event with courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom.
In being the most genuine version of yourself instead of fixating on what was,
on what could be.
There are several aspects based on the concept of memento mori.
Remember you will die.
Yet, despite these philosophies and Roman emperors and tips
and meditations and breathing exercises to take four seconds breathing it,
holding it in, and another four seconds breathing it out,
the reality is
I desperately want for so much, precisely because I know I will die soon.
Soon can be tomorrow, twenty, forty, fifty, one hundred and twelve years from now.
What I want is tangible, burning, nonsensical, a borderline teenage dream--
I want to throw this desk into the window, create a bridge of iridescent glass
I get to step on in my sudden escape,
and no matter how many bleeding scrapes will cut my feet,
I would grin and laugh knowing I am finally, at long last, free;
free to explore a place where I get to climb trees to the very top branches,
where I get to make my words matter to vastly honest, honestly vast audiences,
where I do not think about my lifetime of the past as if it was my present,
where we all want for naught, where we choose kindness above all,
where we are all doing what we love, to the point where we forget to eat
I want to skip along insomniac streets with the sound of yellow-white
lamppost light and music in my ears,
to stare at the sunrise from a beach with tears in my eyes as I just
allow myself to simply
A blank sheet, or a blank slate?
Sometimes I sit at my desk after work and stare at the city lights. I see the people walking around living their lives. Where'd I go wrong? How'd I end up here? Wasn't I made for better? Common questions racing through their minds and mine. The only thing we have in common is that we don't feel we belong. Every day I put my hands on the keys and try to type. I pour my soul into the paper and it remains blank. A reminder of potential squandered. Is each blank page an opportunity or just time wasted? I don't know. Night after night I sit and wait. Watch and listen. Write and dream but the page remains blank. I wish I could dream but that means I close my eyes. Close your eyes and find the world's passed you by. Now I sit at my desk and stare at the city's lights.
Satisfaction As A Writer
I used to always wonder, will people like my writing? Will they feel the emotions as vividly as my characters do? Will I be famous and loved? Will my writing be known all over?
But I realized that's not what was important to me. All I want is to write to let my emotions be poured onto the page with no regrets, because I want to. Because it makes me happy. I want people to feel the emotions of my characters and know what I mean, what I feel, be transported into a world that they want to escape to. I want to make something that makes me happy, but more than anything other people can relate to. I want to make something where people can feel so much, laugh when they are about to cry, feel when they cannot feel. All I want is the satisfaction as a writer that somewhere, someone out there read my work and felt something amazing. I want that satisfaction in myself that I made something I am proud of and that makes me happy.
Eight of Swords
How tight are the cloths bound along my hands?
Are they even tied at all?
I stand on the shore, salty water pooling beneath my feet. The sand gives way. I feel the coolness of a blade on my heel. I panic. Flail.
Weeping maiden, trapped.
The air only smells of the sea.
Are my captors lying in wait?
Or have they left me to my misery, knowing I would keep myself?
Luctor et Emergo
Here come the
Here comes the
Here comes the
Along with a little
guilt and shame.
in these days
Just my brain
But there are
all the time
inside my mind
that is not really
to get out
from under me.
Can't help but
fight what is
and I've got
this wrong sense
that inhabits me,
Why I write
Why I write without aggressiveness to become famous or rich, no matter yours truly could revel in experiencing modest acquisition of money, but said intent to craft mediocre poems or prose predicated on the sheer utilization of words to approximate describing an emotion, idea, or thought about the past, present or future, which constant (chronic) theme of alienation, emasculation, and isolation linkedin to earliest memories of mein kampf, when yours truly (me) awoke to feeling excluded among peers, and additionally verbally pillaried as the token scapegoat while bullies simultaneous brandished their fists inches from my face, a contortion of anguish, despair, hatred of self and loathsome, nasty and not so shortish brutes exhibiting a field day taunting a socially withdrawn diminutive boy, who spoke with a pronounced nasal dues to a congenital birth defect identified as submucous cleft palate (essentially split uvula, and the least serious diagnosis regarding cleft palate), but fortunately one gentle speech pathologist referred father and mother of their then sixth grader, (a student at Henry Kline Boyer Elementary School) to Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic treating patients with craniofacial needs, as well as providing pediatric and general dentistry, orthodontics and audiology, thus no surprise favorable reputation draws popular acclaim around the webbed wide world.
Passion I covet (to indulge analogous amorousness) toward English language (my lingua franca coinage) in an attempt (ofttimes feeble, especially if verbosity (mine) misinterpreted as ploy to appear mightier than the hoi polloi, when yours truly no affiliate, nor aspirant sans the bourgeoisie, and if altruistic anonymous benefactor capitulated donning endless greenbacks (a pipedream on par with winning the Mega million or Powerball drawing), the aery mission to learn to live off the grid, would generate lifestyle less dependent on the trappings of twenty first century Western civilization so reliant on technological mind boggling for one bumbling, fumbling, mumbling... primate currently ambling along the boulevard of broken dreams during what geologists call the Cenozoic era, which is itself broken down into three periods. We live in the most recent period, the Quaternary, which is then broken down into two epochs: the current Holocene, and the previous Pleistocene, which ended 11,700 years ago.
Despite random figurative dice chance throw of chance finds one ordinary hominid (who just so happens to be the author of these words, some of which tidbits conveniently, handily, pilfered from Google on the sly) hashtagged as a baby boomer, which general name for this and each preceding and subsequent linkedin arbitrary age groups ascribed courtesy generational theorists Neil Howe and William Strauss generally credited with identifying and naming the 20th-century generations in the United States with their 1991 study "Generations." In it, they identified the generation that fought World War II as the G.I. (for Government Issue) Generation. Additionally contemporary historians generally agree that the naming of generations began in the 20th-century. Gertrude Stein is considered the first to have done so. She bestowed the title of Lost Generation on those who had been born around the turn of the century and bore the brunt of service during World War I.
Unlike the majority of adults who worked their whole life, and now able, eager, ready, and willing to kickback and jump/kick start retirement, this married sexagenarian tormented with emotional disability fraught with an inability to cope with functioning within the parameters of society, and never felt boast worthy accomplishments, nor academically successful, and though I live a relatively leisurely existence jaundiced, upended by excruciating interpersonal anxiety severely punctuated with personality affliction characterized by a lack of interest in social or intimate relationships, difficulty with expressing emotions, and a preference for a solitary life.
When just a pipsqueak at a very tender age every day an arduous effort, whereat social security disability constituted unearned income deep into emerging adulthood of mine predicated upon the fairly recent diagnosis (roughly encompassing the second half of my life of lxv times new Rome man orbitz), though schizoid personality disorder bespeaks profound mental maladjustment, nevertheless said psychological label most closely approximated mental health condition, cuz some critical clinical description necessary to being determined eligibility to qualify for tax free income, though grateful (dead serious) to receive the equivalent of a monthly stipend to help defray costs of living plus subscribe to four magazines (Mother Jones, Smithsonian, The Nation, and TIME), Netflix (more so for the wife), and SiriusXm, an intense self fury still prevails for falling victim to fraudsters, whose scam (to pose as computer hacker, thence swindler) still smarts and crimps monetary resources about eight plus months ago, which nest egg (to help support me and the missus) never recouped even with bright idea of gofundme page.
This moment of silence is just for me.
Cut out of a time when sleep is avoided,
I sit alone.
A bird chirps a song of morning dew,
and sometimes others join in.
A chorus ensues.
The sun has hours to arrive.
Once in a while, the hiss of a car zips through.
Moisture on tires ripping across asphalt,
then back to silence.
There’s something in the silence that can’t be engineered.
Because it’s more a feeling than a sound.
There are always sounds, but not always peace.
and peace is everything in a world where there is none.
So, I sit alone and steal this moment for myself,
while you lay and dream of better years,
or better moments to come.
I wait patiently inviting the sun to peek its curious eyes over that mountain
so when you wake, I can greet you with a peaceful start to your day.
Your smile is worth the deprivation I endured.
©2023 Chris Sadhill