It hasn’t been a good couple of years. Life, as with all lives, has its ups and down. I have a beautiful wife that I love, two good stepkids, two wonderful nieces and a trio of siblings with whom we hang out regularly. A granddaughter who is heart-burstingly adorable.
The rest of life, on the other hand, hasn’t been ideal. Crappy jobs, extra weight, aches, pains, depression, stress, tachycardia, name it. I’ve frequently gotten lost in fictions, in ego, in insecurity, food, alcohol, drugs, whatever.
That makes it sound like a season of Euphoria or some Nineties-era drama of the bleak, but it’s not that exciting.
It’s pretty much the same story as everyone else. Life carried them along a path and before they realized they were too far down it to control the direction, all the traps and constraints were in place to keep us from course correcting without massive upheaval and destruction.
Enter Donald Trump, pandemic, war in Ukraine, and the stripping away of compassion, to be replaced with conspiracy theories, absolute stupidity, soul-crushing delusions and entitlements, and I feel like Foreman in the final round, punched out, about to be beat down by the man Ali himself.
Only, instead of Ali, it’s not some grand wizard of boxing. It’s a fat, chubby orange man, a redneck with no common sense, a myopic boomer with no willingness to see past their own nose.
It’s an outraged millennial, or a hysterical Karen. It’s a pompous Gen Zer who thinks their way is the only way.
No one is listening. No one wants to listen. The same folks that scream gender and sexuality are not binary forget that neither is a particular viewpoint on any given subject. There are shades. Perspective is also a spectrum and we begin understanding and compassion only by acknowledging that fact. By trying to see from a viewpoint outside our own, by uncovering new facts, new ways of thinking, and letting go of the ones that no longer make sense.
It’s not about outrage. It’s not about enforcing an outdated point of view.
It’s about understanding. About being open.
I have not been very open. Depression and stress make for potent oppressors and it can be difficult to recognize that one’s mind does not have to remain trapped in a prison of its own making.
I am trying to do that now. I am writing. I am creating things – poetry, short stories, comic books, hip little things and transcendent ones. And yes, books, full size motherfuckers that range from the fatalist to the pure Tao.
And I will suck. For a bit. My views will change. I will fuck up, make mistakes, say dumb shit and have to apologize. I will not get it right, not all the time.
But I will try. And I will remain open, and hopefully, that’s enough.
Target: 100 words
Written: 83 words, haiku: Birds Fall