Perspective

Perspective is perhaps the greatest problem I see in most writers these days. That is a bit misleading because it isn’t the perspective of their writing that is at fault; no, rather, it is that so many writers suffer from the generational curse of being self-focused — not necessarily self-centered though it does seem to often follow. They simply don’t know how to look outside themselves anymore.

To this end, there seems to be a plethora of writing bereft of circumambient detail. What I mean is that too often modern writers cannot wear the bark of the tree nor the green of its leaves. They cannot imagine themselves as anything other than themselves.

A tree is just a tree. A forest is just a number of them. A park is just an encircling of forest.

Writers cannot see only what is. They must see what can be. What cannot be.

The tree is suddenly a bolt of lightning that erupted from the ground skyward and was petrified. The forest is a gathering of giants, plotting an attack on the last bastion of mankind. The park is home to a rare breed of turtle whose shells have evolved to look like trees to camouflage them from predators, and, due to this, the forest is viewed as being magical because the trails are ever changing.

None of that is good writing per se. I guess what ends up in short supply when perspective is lacking are ideas. Ideas are the cornerstones to writing and, without them, it doesn’t matter how lovely the words are, how grammatically correct it is, how innovative the style. It just turns out boring.

An old adage says to write what you know. And, to some extent, all writers do. But it is in twisting the world, seeing it in ways unreal, and finding our imagination in what we do know that writers find magic.

Writers are not so much artists to me. Writers are sorcerers and sorceresses who take the elements of the world that everyone knows and transmute them into enchantments and incantations, cast illusions over the eyes of the reader so that they may see the world as the writer sees it. If the world looks no different than the illusion, is it a spell worth casting?

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Poemetry: Ontology of Eternity

Across the worlds, across all time,

 in ancient age or modern clime,

rip the hours and seconds rend

and force the Clock’s lockstepping to end.

Break the hourglass, spill the sands,

 stir with mine a desert of thoughts:

grains unseen purl with the Distant Strand

and each knit the infinite wrought.

Aeons are within our minds,

infinitude within our hearts,

and jointly bound and shared entwine

Eternity within love’s art.

Unneeded

Being unneeded sounds rather terrible. To some, it probably is terrible. There is, however, freedom in it for someone like me.

Anyone who has read my blog, or actually knows me, knows well how often I rail against the differences between being wanted and being needed. Necessity is not a pretty thing. Utilitarianism is an ugly life philosophy. Truthfully, in the absence of being wanted, I would rather be alone than be needed by many.

But to be wanted… Oh, there is nothing greater in the entire world.

For someone to prefer you to not you, to know that they are fine without you but consider themselves better with you, that, that, is the loveliest thing in the world. It is a strange thought, but it is born out of Christ’s love for us. Jesus does not need anyone, or anything for that matter. We cannot do a thing to make His life better, to make Him more perfect, and yet He loves us, died for us.

His sacrifice for us is poignant for precisely this point. Consider if Jesus had to die for us instead. No option. No free will. Something to gain.

The cross loses its wonder and mystery and complexity. As to now, we are left befuddled and muted by the shock of God becoming a man and dying for us for no reason other than that we needed it. In that sense, mankind is unneeded. But not unwanted. And the lack of need in the presence of such desire, and sacrifice, is what renders us speechless and dumb.

Reflections in the fire

What is it that makes man so pensive, so reflective, when sitting before a fire? Is it that the  cracking and popping of the wood mirrors our souls as they face heat such that they expel superfluous elements amidst the flames? Is it the smoke that we are conditioned to see as a warning, and, yet, in this instance, the smoke is no harbinger of trouble; does it make us question what we know to be ‘fact’, what we assume to be fact? Or perhaps, and most likely in my opinion, do the roiling embers remind us of the roiling of our souls, of the undulations of emotion and thought that burn within us but no longer bear flame?

Whatever the case, tonight I had a bonfire. It has been quite a while since I had one, but it is something I love. Among the firelight, there gathered a symphony of crickets, the scratchy rustle of unseen things, and the pinpricks of stars.

Perhaps most of all, I find God in the floating embers. Something about it stops me, stills the turmoil about me, builds a sanctuary in the mire of darkness. Even then, though the turmoil dissipated, I couldn’t get someone off my mind.

And I just said goodbye to her.

How? How is it that I am giving up so easily? Has it been that life has taught me to just walk away when things seem impossible? To trust logic over love? That seems to be the case. Now, my heart stands in judgement of my mind, condemns it, calls it ‘monster’ and ‘imbecile’ and ‘coward’. And that is what I am.

Is she worth fighting the impossible for? I say all the time that we can only reach to the limits we accept, but, in practice, I use the word ‘impossible’. My mind calls it ‘realistic’, my heart calls it ‘cowardice’. Sadly, both are right.

Truth has this terrible, dualistic nature wherein both sides are true. To not be a coward, I must be an idealistic fool. To be a realist, I must capitulate to reality before me, subjugated and fettered by what seems to be true.

Always there comes more questions. What should I do? Just keep walking away? Would she really even miss me? She has needed me and now does not. She never wanted me. I’m a human consolation prize. Who knows.

The only thing I seem to know anymore is how much she means to me and the lack of how much I mean to her. Hell, for the first time in my life, I spent my birthday doing something for someone else rather than in quiet reflection. Alas…

Dragons are best left sleeping…

Remembered

Today is my birthday. To most, that means nothing. It was just another day.

But to a few, my birthday means something. Not my own family mind you. God, though, always seem to provide us with a family if our family by blood is not so close. One family and two dear friends remembered my birthday this year, celebrated because I exist. I’m not sure if I happen to have words for that other than ‘loved’.

It has been a hard year for me. And there is no sign of it getting easier just yet. But someone out there finds my life worth remembering. 4 someones who are children and 4 someones who are adults remember me.

I am an adopted uncle and brother to some of the most wonderful humans in the world, and no matter how alone I feel in this world, I am not. No doubt that feeling will come again for I desire a family of my own, the love of a woman as well, but I am not forgotten. My tears mean something, stain the sands of time, cause them to clump up if only for a moment and resist gravity’s draw through the narrow neck into oblivion.

Sometimes, I want to stand on the highest mountain and shout, “I am!” But who am I to tell the world that I am worth existing? No, the greatest thing to be shouted is “You are!” by those you love.

As for me, I will continue to shout “You are!” of those I love. For this year and all the ones to follow. Let me stand amidst the drooping clouds and shout of the lives of those I love, and let them know how very dear they are to me, that their existence, no matter how troubled, is worth it, if to no one else, to me. Let me always remember those who love me even as they remember me. Above all, let me always remember God for He never forgets me.

Poemetry: Venus

Venus’ arms have been reclaimed

upon the body of Helen,

but they are crow-pecked and bloody-framed,

serpent-bit and seeping venom.

Still I venerate them, marble-wrought,

though they be but stone to me,

and face me not, embrace me not,

caught in Paris’ treachery.

Free! Break free of the walls of Troy!

Leave the calls of the common men,

flee the mend of the hoi polloi,

return to the halls of heaven.

Don once more the golden bracelets

that adorned those ivory arms.

A copper crown, allow me place it,

but gilds your hair with sunrisen charm.

And aptly so for you are the dawn,

sunbeams wrapped about your breast.

Stand with me, as in times foregone;

abide with me: end this Siren quest.