Learning to be a competant breather

Life is as hard as diamonds and cuts like them too. But if you slice a diamond just right, that rock can sparkle. For most, life is a longing for that sparkle.

We spend long hours in dusky air-choked mine-shafts looking for that glimmer of hope. Statistically, it eludes us and we settle for some nicely polished granite stones engraved with our names.

Then, there are the few who see the sparkle within themselves. There is no longing or searching. They have dumped the contents of their soul onto the proverbial floor, surveyed the goods and have determined that what they see is everything they’ll ever need.

They exist in the moment. When life gets hard and cuts, they take a cue from time, knowing they can only live in each second. They understand their enigmatic human body is designed to heal from the inside out. Living isn’t any easier for them as it is for anybody else, but their realization carries them a long way. Such a person hardly cares about polished granite stones.

I surmise those who search don’t think too fondly of those who just exist. Perhaps someone who is content to merely exist has actions, motives and words that are foreign to the Searchers. The Searchers must think, “What fool can be happy with so little? They should be trying as hard as I am. You haven’t found anything and shouldn’t stop now.” A frantic person does not appreciate a person who is still. Ask a person who is about to be late and has lost their keys if they think they will still be alive in 45 minutes.

I know a woman. She has the good sense to know she had that sparkle inside. Searchers pull her like taffy and guilt her into their dank lair, not for the sake of appreciated company, but to rid themselves of their own misgivings about their fruitless quest.

I try to understand the Searchers motives:

“To be okay with myself, I must validate that the way I live is right. Therefore, if someone is doing it differently, they must be doing it wrong. I will feel better about myself if I point this out and save them from their erroneous ways. I cannot bear the thought that they might be living the right way, let alone better than me. Because I am showing them the way life ought to be, in a way, it will be like saving them. I am a hero for having tried.”

It’s another fruitless pursuit, Searchers. Once an Exister has discovered the art of being, that awareness cannot be undone, only forgotten. The most vanquished soul is an Exister who has lost their way. They have resigned to searching but are unconsciously awaiting instructions as to what the prize actually is. It is absolute unnerving futility and it leads to inexplicable madness.

The woman I know will remember the sparkle. Unfortunately, it may require an earthquake that ruins the very foundation that supports her, reducing it to smithereens.

Buildings will crash around her like plaster waves, scattering their pulverant debris in the typewriter ribbon streets; sin sitting in knots in the pits of the bellies of all the victims- merely lost souls who never found their gem. She’s never willfully brought harm to anyone, but she will initially feel like a roach- alive and despised.

She is not a heroine.

But alas! She is! She breathes!

When she rises like a phoenix from the disheveled mess around her, bewildered and distressed, her clothes, strips of muslin hanging loosely from her frame, ragged and mangled like a ship’s sails; she will not be remembered for valor and fortitude. She did not perform a feat of incredible strength or save a fellow man’s life, let alone a kitten. She will be momentarily regarded simply because she clawed her way from the rubble and chose to stand up. Her victory will be in the modest effort she made to continue breathing when she could have sacrificed herself to despair.

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” ~Japanese Proverb

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 12:09 am  Comments (5)  
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The Collector

He collected stories like stamps,
gluing them in his mind’s spiral bound leaflets
and on occasion he would part those pages
brushing the dust away gingerly with his fingertips
to find they had aged, and cracked,
but more interestingly, had morphed
and only slightly resembled
the charming anecdotes they once were.
His stories were not usual ones
full of adversity, heroism, or moral.
Instead, they were whispers of depravity,
debauchery, and delicacy.
Loosely intertwined were blots of humor
dropped in the most indecorous places.
His stories were not fictional,
but they were in-credible and un-believable
to the audience of a few whom he cornered at debutante parties.
He was odd, and ofttimes avoided, but respected for his brilliance.
His hobby appalled and fascinated at the same time.
And his listeners in their black bow ties and tinsel gowns,
wide-eyed and rubber-necked,
once having eavesdropped,
would focus intently on his words, and still
remain to display disgusted looks on their faces.
This gentleman, with his idiosyncrasies,
like a ringmaster to circus freaks, yet
still warm and convivial,
and a restless insomniac,
made his nightly junket
into the dark passages of the world without slumber.
He befriended lost souls
that luck had ignored
and took their confessions, their plight
with an anthropological wryness, and
recorded them into his mind’s spiral bound leaflets
for no one’s sake or pleasure but his own.
He had no goal to educate his targets;
the slumberless, or the aural party voyeurs,
nor did he intend to change lives.
His tales were not wrought with sympathy.
Like a grandmother’s teacups on a shelf,
he sought different patterns, and stockpiled
not something so rare,
as something so rarely treasured.
But as time promoted his body,
so his yarns became tangled.
The bindings that held the pages were loose.
Some pages had drifted out into oblivion, undetected,
on the occasions he would finally sleep long enough to dream.
The gritty details which made his gems so tactile
had disintegrated and left, mostly, the core of the chronicles.
With little to preserve,
he fumbled to save them,
confusing the delineation between events, instead
weaving an incongruous braid of torpid remarks.
In his confusion and mournfulness,
he staggered through the shadowy sleepless underground
trying to repair the finer membranes of his memory.
Whilst striving to re-piece events with those he’d collected from,
he’d get it wrong, and mistakenly divulge private goodies
to those who trade such secrets like currency in the underground.
His sufferance increased as those who sought to silence him
paid him in pain and harassment.
The congenial man with the sardonic wit,
trusted and revered by many social classes
and always sure to repulse with a calm and matter-of-fact demeanor,
had become useless to everyone, even himself.
His only choices were to forsake his quest to reclaim his joy
by retreating into his lonely apartment,
with little left to draw fondly upon
for the rest of his long nights and miserable days;
or to go full balls-out into the sooty depths
of the whores, the beggars, the addicts, the sociopaths,
the gamblers, the cheaters, drunkards, and thieves
to howl at the moon in anguish
and become one of the very objects he spent decades ogling…
Published in: on May 30, 2009 at 3:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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