A Question of Manhood

 “That paper–it sits there, open at the employment section. It sits there like a war, and each small advertisement is another trench for a person to dive into. To hope and fight in.” ― Markus Zusak, Fighting Ruben Wolfe
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie
 

punemployment

General malaise. That’s what the doctor said. The medical term didn’t mean a thing to me, what was important was the why?  What’s lost is a purpose, duty, and usefulness. When I lost my abilities and thereby my job, I lost more than money. My reputation took a hit, with my ego falling hard soon after, then, a darkness, like a twilight that makes it hard to see unless I look away from the object. Men commit suicide in these moments. Subtle injuries to self esteem, normally peeling away like water off the leaves, cut deeper and stay longer. My image was built and maintained by the acquisition of wealth. When money leaves, my foundation rocks and shakes leaving me unbalanced and with the lingering question, “What now?”, “What will I do?”, “What else am I good at?” People make career changes all the time, but what is my calling, mylife’s ambition? What will I be satisfied with? There are no easy answers, just a raw pain, like a burn on my soul, evidenced by the blush of shame on my cheeks as I struggle to answer the question that makes a man a man, “What do you do for a living?”

Grey – A peek from under the wet blanket

It’s an art to live with pain… mix the light into gray.” – Eddie Vedder
late-on-time

Listen, while I tell you a story of grey. The grey wraps around my soul in a haze of unwanted anxiety, a watered down black, like dark swirls in spoiled milk. These streaks of deteriorated joy cover my lens, my warm blanket soaked with fruitless tears. Feelings are sharp and cutting, nothing is gained by the sorrow. My grey love backfires, I point it toward her but the pain is set loose on my soul. This grey soaks me, in vain I try to keep myself warm in the breeze of cool emotion. Grey is my elixir of madness. I drink deep from the drought of darkness gone bad. Stormy clouds gather, a condensation of holiness evaporated from the lake of my soul, leaving it a lifeless puddle of unfathomable sorrow. Now you know of my affliction my curious companion, my lifelong condition of grey. Pray that you escape its mesmerizing effects and that you with the brightness of healthy hope, avoid this quicksand of a tortured mind.

For help with depression: Symptoms, Warnings, Solutions
05312012

Sieve – Losing All Through Me

“You are to be my command laid on my enemy. you’ll make a hole in him through which he’ll drip away until he runs dry. As he drips out darkness, we’ll smile together, me inside, you outside. We’ll crush him between our smiles.”- Margaret Mahy, The Changeover 


A little gap, in which I must wallow

Just a hole, one of the many to follow

A poke again, a partner to the first

Its just a hole, draining the water for thirst

This sieve of soul, now bleeds my affection

Its just a hole, so no need for correction

I catch the drops, so many all around

It just a hole, but I lost all I found

My Thorns, My Gift

 thirteenbrains

I watch with envy
the flowers around me
they sway so freely
they seem so happy
so full of life
colorful and bright
but no not me
I have the devils horns on me
these thorns restrict me
no one picks me
no one seems to want me
they leave me out
saying I’m different
saying I seem so uptight
my mother tells me
I’m just not right
she told me to see my thorns
in a different light
how lucky
she says
you are
to have thorns
while all the flowers
seem so free
they are in major
danger
they seem happy
but it’s a lie
they are colorful and bright
but they have nothing inside
you have it all
for you have the ultimate gift
you have your thorns
which protect you
through the darkness of night
and the evilness in life
they will help you win
every fight
and you will get through
everything you face
just do what’s right
and hold onto your thorns
tight
and you will soon see
the light

Copyright © 2010 taking off the mask 

A Broken Seed

 “Some of us look for the way in opium and some in God, some of us in whisky and some of us in love. It is all the same way and it leads nowhere.”
W. Somerset Maugham,
The Painted Veil
wehaveforgotten

Me, the living dead, a zombie of a man, a tortured and near empty soul made void by the very thing that I sought to deliver me from the pain of existence. I sought Them. The caretakers of darkness, who, pawning their wares to this little child, made sure their victory. Taking their empty promise, I swallowed the hook and ran. They, laughing, knew it was a matter of time before they would pull up hard on that line and watch me struggle valiantly, but in vain, against the taught leash. I jumped, thrashing against the line, but into their hold I fell. In the misery of the company around me, I saw I wasn’t alone in my plight. There were many who, in an act of innocence, in an attempt at living, took the camouflaged snare, and, like myself, struggled to retract their explorations and be safe again. Years have passed now, a blur of feigned life, an echo of songs long since expired. My hands reached out of their cage many times, hoping to connect with freedom. I found my release, unexpectedly, born on the wings of tumultuous circumstance. My cage was thrown to the wild waves, into a deep sea of desperation, leaving me, in heaving labored breaths, to struggle against the inevitable. Death. Cold and final. Release. It wasn’t my end, but my beginning. Spring, bringing tender green shoots and a fresh vitality, broke me from the seed that bore my soul. In a dance of liberty that only those who are long held captive can know, I spun around and around in delighted exuberance of the death that brought life. Captured and prostituted soul, find your open door through a death. But not a death, a door. For how can it be called death when you live again? It is a door, not an end, but an eternal beginning.

Also published in Life As A Human Magazine

                   

A Broken Seed

 “Some of us look for the way in opium and some in God, some of us in whisky and some of us in love. It is all the same way and it leads nowhere.”
W. Somerset Maugham,
The Painted Veil
wehaveforgotten

Me, the living dead, a zombie of a man, a tortured and near empty soul made void by the very thing that I sought to deliver me from the pain of existence. I sought Them. The caretakers of darkness, who, pawning their wares to this little child, made sure their victory. Taking their empty promise, I swallowed the hook and ran. They, laughing, knew it was a matter of time before they would pull up hard on that line and watch me struggle valiantly, but in vain, against the taught leash. I jumped, thrashing against the line, but into their hold I fell. In the misery of the company around me, I saw I wasn’t alone in my plight. There were many who, in an act of innocence, in an attempt at living, took the camouflaged snare, and, like myself, struggled to retract their explorations and be safe again. Years have passed now, a blur of feigned life, an echo of songs long since expired. My hands reached out of their cage many times, hoping to connect with freedom. I found my release, unexpectedly, born on the wings of tumultuous circumstance. My cage was thrown to the wild waves, into a deep sea of desperation, leaving me, in heaving labored breaths, to struggle against the inevitable. Death. Cold and final. Release. It wasn’t my end, but my beginning. Spring, bringing tender green shoots and a fresh vitality, broke me from the seed that bore my soul. In a dance of liberty that only those who are long held captive can know, I spun around and around in delighted exuberance of the death that brought life. Captured and prostituted soul, find your open door through a death. But not a death, a door. For how can it be called death when you live again? It is a door, not an end, but an eternal beginning.

Also published in Life As A Human Magazine

                   

Shadow – Lessons from a dark friend

“Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?”Henry David Thoreau  

tihku

It is an image unlike any living visage, stretching further, a distortion that discerns reality. This is the shadow. The position of light influences the distortion of it, happening without my conscious decision. My only control is where I place myself in reference to the light. What is the light that I stand in? Where will this light strike me? This determines the length and breadth of my darkened friend. If run from that light I find darkness with every step. When I face the light, my path lit with comforting revelation. it’s discouraging at first, to see my faults and missteps in the glaring brightness, but it’s comforting to find that at least I am dealing with reality. This reality is always harsh, but it provides facts that help me to face change.

It’s a difficult and unnerving venture into light’s reality. There are benefits though. I can see farther down my path to the repercussions of my actions. This brings hope. Hope allows me to take bolder steps into the light. It is not for me to know my faults and shrink back in fear, but to grapple my choices, both those that are made in the past and those being made at the moment, discerning them and learning. 
Learning can happen without having to experience the actions contemplated. Watching my fellow companions walk in the light, or walking away, brings an illustration to my lessons. In either case, light is important. When walking away, the light shows the way back. When walking into it, it shows the way to stay in it. Come my shadow, let me watch you carefully, letting your blackened representation be a guide to the truth and bringing assurance of my direction. 

Also published in Broowaha Magazine