Archive for category Finding Purpose
Here today, things started to change dramatically.
Do you know, when I just said that, I knew it was false,
but it’s hope, so fuck ‘em. So for a few minutes, I thought,
I might be a writer. To me, that meant I might be a decent
human being. I have this blind sense that humans need to
have a central purpose, a reason for going on despite all
the facts that seem to recommend action to the contrary, but
it is blind because I don’t know other humans well enough
to know that they need a purpose. In fact, often, I wonder
how these integrated, bloated masses of people get along
without purpose because they simply trudge through, yes,
contented, but vacuous, contented with eating three meals,
with chips and snacks and pops, and weekend trips to the
lake ( THE fucking lake), and working on these schedules
that are preposterous, barely having time to hug the dog,
rarely awaking without an alarm designed to send humans
into blind destitute, where they don’t know how empty all of the
facades are, and I sit here, wanting to spit on my new pants,
wanting to throw the cafeteria tray across the room, blowing
out the perfectly-clean window which teases me with a Zen
garden that is never used for true purpose, not for lack of need,
but because the minds are entrapped in this buzzing hum
of doing what responsible adults and other gurus have told us
we are meant to do, despite our god-given sense that we waste
this gift of life every day, each day with these millions of
moments that spin down clockwise through snake-cleaned
drains made of the detritus of all of the gold we mined in the
good days when living in a tent and eating smoked rabbit
was a good thing. Here I am praying for a revolution that will
turn me into a writer and allow me to live out my days,
comfortable in some sense of purpose, praying that there
are people who might read and might be changed in the
slightest, because if I can touch a few people with writing and
eat a bit of rabbit, what would be wrong with me, but I’m scared
in the end, remembering those nightmares of walking out of
my tent and hanging myself with heavy rope on the sturdy,
horizontal limb of the old oak tree, ending what seems to be a
useless quest, a useless longing to rid myself of this vast,
empty purposelessness. And here I am wondering what kind
of stupid fuck would write about writing, and I stop. I’m due
back in my cubicle.
I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again. Last year, miserable failure, so I needed a new strategy. This year, instead of trying to write masterfully, I will simply write. Can I turn off the inner editor for more than three sentences? Who knows, but I will try to turn off the editor for four weeks.
I’ve taken writing courses in both fiction and poetry recently, and I have found that my classmates have uniformly disliked my material. I’m a modernist sinking in a sea of well-trained crafty dime store novelists. I wish I could craft anything well, but I’ll be damned if I’ll write something that’s been written millions of times.
I’m not a writer, but my heart gets sparked when I write, so damn the people who don’t read the shit. I’m going to write the shit and we’ll see where we go from here.
When I left the mental hospital tonight (thankfully having been there as a visitor trying to share hope rather than floating there as an admitted patient), the staff member told me to watch for deer. The full moon was fogged behind deep purple curtains, so I had to use my bright lights a few times. I was resentful of the clouds while others are dealing with horrible winds and floods. I tried to be a blazing trail of alertness. There were no deer encounters, but there was a dead dog. So sadness pervades my evening, not as severe as the pre-visit crater of terrifying depression, but creating doubt that I have any chance at writing 50K words in November, but here on October 30th, I feel determined to plough through.
Every word I write seems to murder one of the parasitic creatures inside my skull, which temporarily alleviates the pain, so on we go – let’s kill some pain.
I don’t suffer from the brilliant people’s writer’s block.
I get these swarms of self-hatred that swamp me and create an inactive Tonka toy, ready to rust and to be kicked.
Kicked so there are dents that won’t be repaired ever and whose cracks will submit themselves to the onslaught of rust fueled by the beads of moisture tickling up from the Jersey Street sandbox that never had the privilege of sun.
The loneliness in the dirty sand.
Writing is my therapy, but fear dunks my horrible lungs – What a silly fool.
A toad who can’t stand water.
I’d laugh, but I’m sick of being sick.
Exercise is therapy also, but do I use it?
I know myself as a bucket of shit, pardon the phrase.
Meditation, yes, you have it – therapeutic, but the good people, the beautiful people, the loving people suggest 20 minutes, and my storms conquer me and my mind will not crawl in the cotton for longer than three and a half minutes, five when stretched to my maximum after a long, tortuous day, spent as a salmon in a brown pond with no outlets.
Today at lunch, I saw three people in a continuous slideshow of three side by side by side events.
For a flash, I think I can write, but it lasts only seconds.
At the end of my drinking career, I hated being drunk for almost every moment of the ten to twelve hours per night, Every Night, but there were still those few seconds of each night that crawled gently around my collar and that felt okay like a smooth hug from someone who can save you, that felt like a solution to all of my problems.
I perpetuated the myth of solution into dark ages because I hated being sober so very strongly.
Now, I like my sobriety, but the solution is spoiled milk and miles away on a dry highway below sea level, and I can’t write a silly, shitty little poem about three humans who arrived in three sudden scenes, like flashes from god.
A gift smashes my brain with light and I can’t speak.
For a moment, I knew I could scream the loudest beauty at the walls of the world, but my brain locks as a broken chain on a bicycle and it hates me.
Yes, writing is therapeutic, so I did this little essay. I share it with you because I must let it go.
Tomorrow, I will write a poem.
It will be brilliant
and I won’t
throw it away
when it is complete,
I’ll shut off my brain,
and I’ll sit still,
trying not to worry about how
I seem to be a black hole
in this lifetime, hanging
on those thin threads
that won’t leave
the new pants
I had worn into
of the Monday workplace.
Not Writer’s Block, I start,
no, self-hatred, lack of balance,
and you can beat yourself,
waiting for another 2%,
beat yourself silly,
lose your love, lose
watching yourself hating
the world, the people,
the beautiful people,
hiding in your dark
closets, 22 minutes
per day, and your brain
is pummeled and out runs
your patience, your
love, and you say,
I quit but you can’t.
Pardon me, but these fuckers, they’re buying blotto tickets and they’re fucking with my serenity. Moving my bright red mop bucket for an emergency and they act like I got nothing to do but wait for them. I say excuse me, but they can tell I’m just a retired railroad worker. Not really, bastards fired me for sleeping on the job. I was too old to get anything but dragging the mop at this 20 trillion square foot grocery store. Heading for the Indian spice aisle that makes me puke to pick up some used diaper some shithead left there.
Adjust the schedule. I wake up earlier than anyone and still don’t get to work on time. Good air conditioning, Claude. I’m compulsively against mornings, but I hate exercising in the evenings so it has to be the mornings. Should ban myself from the computer, from the books, just get up, walk briskly, meditate, hop in the shower, and then if there is time, go read a bit. Schedule the big shit first and all of the little shit falls in. We are hopelessly overwhelmed with information. In my job for sure, but in my spare time, so big shit first.
Rilke is teaching me honesty.
I want to tell you things using decorous tools,
but Rilke says look for that middle.
I search around, listen to some swaggering music,
knowing I am nowhere near my truth.
I doubt I have any truth. I am a piece of watermelon,
turning brown and drying out. I read Rilke
and the center turns red. I inadvertently write well
and the outside also blazes red.
But when I write
like this, I float away in the dust storm
and wish for death. Is it right that honesty
is so easy for everyone else? Alcohol might as well
have been a giant gun pointed down my throat,
not just pointed but blown clear through my guts,
for it has left me with no more middle.
I walk around with sprinklings of Rilke,
nice and lilty without any middle.
There are two quite long stop lights on the way back home.
I feel victorious when they are red.
My spaces, not for staring, not for judging others,
but for spiritual transition
out of the deep graves of humankind’s laws.
My right arm with torn muscle
reaches for The Complete Anne Sexton.
She is sparked by the alert.
Passenger side air bag isn’t on.
I crawl under a mighty Northeastern Oak tree.
Anne holds my hand and her eyes tell me I’m good.
It’s my transition.
I want Anne to hold my hand forever.
But the light will change.
Hundreds of wicked symbols will shock me
back to hate. Back to detesting who I am
and how I see the messy chaos of unmixed disgust.
Anne sits back into the tan plush, lacking her air bag.
I hope Anne has left a drop of life in me from the transition.
I hope there might be life left in me when I get back home.