Poem About People

by Robert Pinsky

The jaunty crop-haired graying
Women in grocery stores,
Their clothes boyish and neat,
New mittens or clean sneakers,

Clean hands, hips not bad still,
Buying ice cream, steaks, soda,
Fresh melons and soap—or the big
Balding young men in work shoes

And green work pants, beer belly
And white T-shirt, the porky walk
Back to the truck, polite; possible
To feel briefly like Jesus,

A gust of diffuse tenderness
Crossing the dark spaces
To where the dry self burrows
Or nests, something that stirs,

Watching the kinds of people
On the street for a while—
But how love falters and flags
When anyone’s difficult eyes come

Into focus, terrible gaze of a unique
Soul, its need unlovable: my friend
In his divorced schoolteacher
Apartment, his own unsuspected

Paintings hung everywhere,
Which his wife kept in a closet—
Not, he says, that she wasn’t
Perfectly right; or me, mis-hearing

My rock radio sing my self-pity:
“The Angels Wished Him Dead”—all
The hideous, sudden stare of self,
Soul showing through like the lizard

Ancestry showing in the frontal gaze
Of a robin busy on the lawn.
In the movies, when the sensitive
Young Jewish soldier nearly drowns

Trying to rescue the thrashing
Anti-semitic bully, swimming across
The river raked by nazi fire,
The awful part is the part truth:

Hate my whole kind, but me,
Love me for myself. The weather
Changes in the black of night,
And the dream-wind, bowling across

The sopping open spaces
Of roads, golf courses, parking lots,
Flails a commotion
In the dripping treetops,

Tries a half-rotten shingle
Or a down-hung branch, and we
All dream it, the dark wind crossing
The wide spaces between us.

A Friendship Interrupted

Surrounded on all sides by anguish and pain I have found myself paralyzed. I can no longer sleep, I cry uncontrollably for hours. I can’t seem to be reached by consoling words. I struggle to have any interest in other people’s problems. Food has lost it’s taste, I no longer see or hear the beauty in music, art, or nature. All has become dark.
And all of this has been triggered by a sudden and abrupt interruption of a friendship. Among my many friends, one had been able to touch me in a way I had never been touched before. Our friendship encouraged me to allow myself to be loved and cared for with greater trust and confidence than ever before. It was a totally new experience for me, the last several years have been awesome! They have brought me immense joy and peace.
Although now… it seems as if a door of my interior life has been opened, a door that had remained locked during a lot of my young life. But now this deeply satisfying friendship has become the road to my anguish, because now I have discovered that the enormous space that has been opened for me can no longer be filled by the one who opened it. What’s interesting is that right as I begun to realize that I had become quite possessive, needy, and dependent, that’s when the friendship fell apart; leaving me to feel abandoned, rejected, and betrayed.

A Friendship Interrupted because friendships never die! (At least that’s what I believe.)

My Christmas Wishes!

My Christmas Wishes for the suckiest year of all, 2008!

1. I wish that the words I’m sorry, If I’ve doing something wrong I will change, and I love you fixed every relationship.

2. I wish we were all more capable of having lasting and meaningful friendships and relationships.

3. I wish we all didn’t just want to bail when things get hard and that there was an easy solution for dealing with real strong emotional betrayal.

4. I wish ALL of my friends to find contentment, peace, and grace. And for us all to find a way to be content in a world with pain, greed, lust, and all the selfish stuff.

5. I hope we can all discover a lifestyle that leads to mankind’s salvation; a life of self sacrifice and continual service to others; a simple life… where everyone else matters more than ourselves.

Sitting here I fully recognize that my wishes for the next year consist of many sides. Most of them selfish, while others are hopes for a more selfless life. I see that inside my self I hold corners of my heart that remain extremely selfish and others that cry out and even demand selflessness. I really hope that my life, my soul, my journey, and my inner struggle will all one day hold on to all the hopes and dreams of a completely selfless person, but for now this is who I am. Love me or Leave me!

And I selfishly hope you love me!

Quote of the Week

“To establish the doubtful security of an uncertain life in an uncertain future, we sacrifice a life of certainty in a present that we might really possess.”

– Leo Tolstoi – My Religion

Two Lost Souls (My Random Thoughts)

I’m a dreamer, an idealist, an optimist… but not anymore, at least not right now. My dream has become my nightmare, my ideals are demolished, and my optimistic attitude has been beaten to a pulp and left out to die. What dreams and ideals am I referring to, you ask?

My hope for a friend. My hope for a companion. Two lost souls trying to make it through life’s hard times leaning back and forth on one another. Someone who cares about me and I care about them… making sure each other have what we need and encouraging each other to give of themselves to the world more than we take from it. A relationship built on trust, love, accountability, friendship, dedication, and selflessness. Oh, how I long to hear the words, “Kevin, I’m your best friend and you need to grow a pair.” or some other kind of friendly advice given from someone who knows me better than anybody else.

Now ideally this wouldn’t be a relationship based on co-dependency. Ideally, it would consist of a friendship where two people don’t need each other but choose to rely on each other anyway.

And Hey, I can’t be the only person who dreams of this… look at all the amazing fictional friendships that have been created over the years… Burt and Ernie, JD and Turk, Cory and Shawn, Lorelei and Rory, Ted and Marshall.

“We ain’t fussin’- cuz we got “us’n.” – How wonderful would that be.

I really want to know that my best friend still cares about me and has hope for some kind of future but
the Truth is I can’t change someones choices even if they do effect me and my life.

So for now I have to live with my dream and my nightmare!

“We ain’t fussin’- cuz we got “us’n.”

Chasing My Tail

Life definitely takes its turns and I must have fallen asleep at the wheel because I’m not quite sure where I am. My life has experienced some unexpected losses and because of those losses my thoughts seem to send me in circles like a dog chasing its own tail. With all of my energy focused on trying to become a more selfless person I find that deep down I’m getting no where. I’m perplexed with thousands and thousands of questions that do nothing but overwhelm all of my senses. For the last week I’ve found it impossible to journal or write anything that accurately expresses any of my emotions or struggles. It’s like a big chunk of myself has fallen further and deeper into the black abyss that has become of my soul. I’m so confused that it seems that no matter what move I make I’m permanently stained as selfish. Selflessness towards a stranger seems selfish because it’s easier than being selfless to those around me in my life and being selfless to those in my life seem selfish only because in a mutual friendship you often get something in return, is selflessness really selfless if you get something out of it? Is the true selfless life a lonely one? What does true selflessness really look like?
All I know is that when I had someone to bounce these questions off of, I chased my tail a lot less and was more effective at bringing real change into my life. Is it possible that the truth is just easier to find when two people seek it together than when we seek on our own. And is it really unfair to say that I feel robbed because now I am forced to face these realities all on my own. And I can’t help but wonder if someone else feels this way as well.

Be Careful! (A Warning for Myself.)

It is easy to become blinded by ones own search for contentment and happiness, especially when happiness is placed where it does not belong.

In the parable of the “Wicked Husbandmen” (Matthew 21:33-46) Jesus clearly demonstrates for us the danger of this. He tells us of an owner of a vineyard who basically leases his vineyard out to a few folks who quickly became short sighted and selfish and used the vineyard as a means to support their every wish and desire. They began to imagine themselves as masters of this beautiful and fruitful vineyard. Their blindness, imagination, and delusions lead them into a series of foolish and cruel actions, which resulted in the exile.

So it is for each one of us that imagines this life as our own and begin to believe we have the right to enjoy it in such a way as may seem good to us, without recognizing our obligations to each other. The husbandmen seemed to forget or just didn’t wish to remember that the vineyard was given to them fully hedged and labored and that it was expected of them to labor in turn for others. How often do we forget about the things that have been provided to us and never realize that we are only where we are because of others and we owe it to them and to God to labor and work so that others may have what we have as well.

Lord, may you help me to remember that a life lived for my own contentment and happiness is a life of robbery. I am meant to labor and work for the lives around me. We were meant to live for so much more!

I will say this… It’s one thing to know and understand this concept but it is a whole other thing to try and put it into practice. To lose yourself for someone else is a very difficult thing to practice especially with very little accountability. But maybe this is how it starts, by giving up the most important thing to my own contentment.

Any thoughts anybody?

Outside the Box Awards

This award goes to guy with too much time on his hands. Although I think it’s cool and quite possibly something I would think of and want to do, sometimes I’m just stunned to find out there are people out there as weird as I am.
clipped from blog.makezine.com
  blog it

Quote of the Week (a.k.a Parable of the Week)

People come to a farm; they find there all that is necessary to sustain life, – A house well furnished, barns filled with grain, cellars and store-rooms well stocked with provisions, implements of husbandry, a life of comfort and ease. Each wishes to profit by this abundance, but each for himself, and begins to seize upon all that he can possibly grasp, without thinking of others, or of those who may come after. Then begins a veritable pillage; they fight for the milk and grain; they grasp more than they can consume. No one is able to sit down to the tranquil enjoyment of what he has, lest another take away the spoils already secured, to surrender them in turn to someone stronger. All these people leave the farm, bruised and famished. Thereupon the Master puts everything to rights, and arranges matters so that one may live there in peace. The farm is again a treasury of abundance. The comes another group of seekers, and the same struggle and tumult is repeated, till these in their turn go away bruised and angry, cursing the Master for providing so little and so ill. The good Master is not discouraged; he again provides for all that is needed to sustain life, and the same incidents are repeated over and over again.
Finally, among those who come to the farm, is one who says to his companions: “Comrades, how foolish we are! See how abundantly everything is supplied, how well everything is arranged! There is enough here for us and for those who will come after us; let us help one another. Let us work, plant, care for the dumb animals, and everyone will be satisfied.” Some of the company understand what this wise person says; they cease from fighting and from robbing one another, and begin to work. But others, who have not heard the words of the wise man, or who distrust him, continue their former pillage of the Masters goods. This condition of things lasts for a long time. Those who have followed the counsels of the wise man say to those about them: “Cease from fighting, cease from wasting the Master’s goods; you will be better off for doing so; follow the wise man’s advice.” Nevertheless, a great many do not hear and will not believe, and matters go on very much as they did before.”

Leo Tolsoi – “My Confession, My Life, My Religion” pg 129

And so it is, A life lived for yourself is a life of pillaging and robbery. Only is it when you allow yourself to be concerned not with your own needs but the needs of those around you that you choose the road of selflessness and compassion. A world of individuals is a world where only the tough survive. A world of communities is a world where everyone has enough.

Quote of the Week

“The most intimate relationship with the Lord is expressed from out of the reasoning process. The believer is to seek to be transformed by the renewing of his perceptive abilities of his mind; to put the issues of life to the test… reasoning things out, seeking to percieve what the Lord’s will is for each situation.”
– Bill Klein
Greek Thoughts on studylight.org