Woven shame

 

Konica10233

 

 

Lostness   (97)

 

 

How to love yourself?
Begin to feel worthy.

How to feel worthy?
Begin to love yourself.

 

I never fully opened up that loop…

But also knew
opinions
hid assumptions
ripe for questioning.
While firm views preferred no
undermining queries
over truth.

 

I mused:
computers, given will,
could be as hard to command
as cats?

Might gods escape all explanations
rather than supply them?

 

Did reason set the model wrong:
if few broke laws expecting Court
when impulse
undeterred by caution
raced along a reckless course?

 

However tough existence gets
some still affirm
so faith persists.

Though those like me found
any hunger
to believe
exceeded our capacity.

 

With modern comforts
misery sees less excuse
but stress churns on
in inner states of
spirit’s house arrest:

Where loneliness joins
dreading death and guilt
before my ancestors
(who preserved
their family line).

Unable to regain good health
or vital masculinity
the body I seem trapped inside
caged deeply woven shame.

 

Tired at pain, I turn
then gaze
toward that
black-framed pool
of silvered glass

As, once again,
this mirror
holds me captive…

Compelled yet
not attracted
by

the face

reflecting
there.

 

 

 


 

(2011)

 


 

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Quiet force

 

Konica102314

 

 

Lostness   (88)

 

 

Beliefs are like a gravity
which shapes our thinking space.

 

Once taught a thing was moral
one felt better doing it.

So is habit truly ethical
or good taste just preferred bias?

 

Suppose ideas could rank along
a gradient of credulity
according to extreme content
and how much theory each require.

Atheists should have few demands
for doctrine
taking lives to be as
mundane as they seem.

 

While an attribution spiral
might account for certain myths
where nature’s motions
given agency
were reified with spirit.

 

Later, lauding openness
hints at virtue
in naivety.

Suggestions all
“create their own reality”: perhaps abused
by those who seek
to dull the pain
compassion spikes
observing others suffering.

Dismissal shields a
greater guilt

(hence some
scorning “love’s illusion”
on exclusion from such realms).

 

Truths abandoned
soon clear ways for
more self-serving
types of faith.

Though still our
charitable lies
maintain the gift
to blunt a crueller
honesty.

 

 

But

these thoughts got interrupted

as a slight
yet fragrant breeze
through my open window
blew
new smells
resembling freshly laundered
air.

 

 

And thus I caught
its first faint sign

 

that quiet force

 

of spring.

 

 

 

(2006)

 

 


 

 

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(art/ beauty/ blog/ drawing/ faith/ ideas/ lostness/ love/ mental health/ poem/ poetry/ thoughts/ truth)

Led astray

 

konica1200.jpg

 

 

 

Lostness   (86)

 

Like a youth resenting parents

certain rebels have turned harshly
on their origins.

Favouring antagonists
now sided with

escaping blame
since always
viewed as right.

 

Once doubts get impermissible
any power shuns restraint

finding evidence superfluous
for criteria of faith.

Over doctrines claimed infallible
humility’s soon lost

how are groups less confident
defended from such force?

Can shrinking introspection halt
those lusting to expand?

 

Intellect may not be fitter
at survival
seeing reason create
nihilists
human future could belong
among the dullards.

 

Do people rise to fight
for simple questioning?

 

Perhaps thought
leaves mainly hunger
in the place where falsehood
serves its sweeter stories.

 

While suffering still mocks us
through comparisons

deeming strangers greater

so we listen
thirsty
for the tales they tell.

 

Some are even led astray
by fools or rogues
who might be cheered
watching others
act as badly
as themselves.

 

 

Without a better answer
for life’s problems

we shall cede
continued triumphs

to the lie.

 

 

 

 

(2006)

 


 

 

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Each week, due to illness, my body signals I should give this up,
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Robust stupidity

 

Konica102312

 

 

Lostness   (75)

 

 

Things could get worse

if evolution selects against
ability to understand itself
favouring more robust stupidity.

An existence surrounded by
those safe from thought
fleeing silence
in cocoons of loud distraction.

Where any greatness will be judged
among inferiors.

As a few worship what they cannot comprehend
others instead
reject defensively
when convenient.

(Notice some
becoming rich
decide poverty merits suffering.)

Nobility resenting obligation
further speeds decay.

 

Cultural symbols need endurance
since lasting long enough
acquires veneers of meaning
though these can end up
mouldering once
fixed
like moths
pinned across an old display case.

Reincarnation
minus memory
seems blind.

And absurdity
gains little sense
via simple repetition.

 

Yet ideas tend to rank
before the real.

Where atheists face a void
belief views death
already overthrown.

 

But sceptics
incapable of piety
at times could lazily assume
zealots were only acting out appearances
as they invite all strangers in.

Perhaps strong doctrines
will grow to occupy
open places of escape.

Toleration hopes such groups
self-moderate
trusting extremity
is detachable from faith.

 

 

When intuitions clash
are matters found resolved
through reason
or by force?

 

 

Knowing grievance
so often fuels reprisal

prompts the question
on how many
grasping total power

might then leave no broken
people
in their wake?

 

 

 

(2002)

 

 


 

 

 

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Impaired affirmation

 

Konica12522

 

Lostness   (47)

 

Am I addicted to thought?

How does a mind cure itself of thinking?

Idea as symptom, or as cause?

Is this melancholy an emotional disorder
clothed by reason?

I turn to writing for my coping strategy.

 


 

At least despair offers a kind of certainty.

 

Affirmation requires greater faith than negation.

Should I just try what resembles
lying to myself?

I sit with eyes closed, repeating:
“Today, I am getting better.”

An inner voice says: “Why spout such drivel, when feeling so ill?”

“OK then,” I reply, “How about: ‘I am going to die alone, and unloved’?”

“That’s the spirit!” Approves the voice, “Now you’re speaking my language.”

 

Authenticity conditional upon hopelessness.

 

 


 

 

I took shame, from being an unwanted child, into my own heart.

Told how “no good” would come of me.
Each failed attempt at normality reinforced the verdict.
Did I need therapy, or exorcism?

In any case, if I knew there were no light
I could cease striving
to claw my way out of the darkness.

 

Looking for a loophole. Finding a blank wall.

 

Seeing the past with regret
and present through misery
toward some future anxiety

 

Like water undermining stone
I sense my slow erosion
by unhappiness.

 

 

 

(July-Aug 1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/poetry/blog/thoughts/questions/ideas/depression/mental health)

 

Apocalyptic gratifications

Lostness   (37)

 

There can be situations so far from beauty they give apocalyptic fantasy an air of gratification.

 

How to know whether I am moving on the path of light or darkness?

 

Are divinities merely hidden; or absent from this world?
Studying nature does little to reassure us about any supposed creator’s kindness.
Would as many desire to worship a transcendent cruelty?
Might higher beings care for us much more than we care for insects?
Imagine our planet a now discarded toy from god’s nursery…

Sceptics could take the view that millennia of effort have failed to produce a fully convincing religion; while disasters are as liable to spring from excessive belief as from doubt.
Certain cults poison perceptions of external society: to ensure that leaving the collective becomes unthinkable. In such ways it is possible to be stunted by faith.

 

Yet will we ever permit deities not to exist?

 

One part of us may mock what another part yearns for.

 

Thus I cultivate my emptiness
while, across fuzzy boundaries
of feeling and recollection,
writing makes play
ideas flap around
seeking coherence
I hold up sentences
by their ragged ends
toward philosophy
in its abattoir of words.

 

 

(1984)

(thoughts/questions/opinions/psychology/lostness/mental health/poetry)

 

 

Build on air

Lostness   (32)

 

“Where are those others, who feel as I do?” mutter castaways of the soul.
When loneliness appears like a destiny. To live, and die, among strangers.

 

My relationship with belief-systems is an inability to fit into any of them.
For thought, faith is a restriction.
Though we cannot build on air. At any starting-point conventions are present. Social animals tend to conformism. Group behaviour and saving face may surmount virtue. Notions of good beyond a categorical imperative, being needed for its use; the formula works inside an ethical frame, rather than generating one.
Zealots could act upon the maxim: “Always obey a divine voice, however terrible its command.” Ancient abuse might be cited in support of the new.
Ideas can coat even immorality with an insulation of sanctity.

 

The lure of a benign universe drives some to extremity.

 

Self seems to dissolve under examination, but so does object.

 

Should I attempt to speak soulfully
of some spirit that is lost
while night cloaks this world
in a profundity
dispelled by dawn?

 

 

(Feb-May 1982)

(philosophy/religion/thoughts/opinions/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pointing at nothing

Lostness  (26)

 

“I am lying.”
About what?
“I am simply lying.”
If nothing is being lied about, no lie is being told.

A word taken out of its usual context may not function in its usual way.
“This sentence is false” as form without content. Standing alone it does no work.
Akin to a finger pointing at nothing.

 

Philosophers sometimes talk as if a child were a small sceptic, already in full possession of language, posing theoretical questions to itself; for example: “I wonder if this entity changing my nappy has a mind?”
Yet for such perplexity education is normally required.

 

I am wary of inhumane impulses to faith. Hatred of mortality, sexuality, questioning and doubt.
Might believers be judged by the divine company they keep?
Cruel gods for cruel people?

 

God as prisoner of immortality? A being that must exist has less freedom than us.

 

Questions keep breeding from here:

If a necessary being explains existence: what explains the existence of a necessary being?

What causes a first cause?

Would a perfect being make an imperfect world?

Why create at all, if not from lack?

 

Fuelled by metaphysics: a temptation to hurl oneself at the limits of language.

Was I struggling toward an unreachable status for my signs?

 

The brain like a fuse.
Lit or unlit.

 

(Mar-April 1980)

(philosophy/thoughts/ideas/opinions)

 

 

Thoughts and illusions

Lostness   (14)

 

When thoughts are a part of the universe, we are part of the universe thinking.

 

Logic is of little use without true premises. If we cannot live with truth are we fit to survive?

 

Do even gods escape determinism?  How can a being choose to exist, unless it already exists?

 

It may be easy to love an abstraction. People are more difficult.

 

Some belief-systems take prior morality and claim it for their own. Virtue-thieving?

 

Faith sees wishes dressed as truths.

 

I try to have no illusions except the illusion of having no illusions.

 

Beyond the window
in cold moonlight
stars seem to mingle
among restless branches
of a tree.

 

(Jan/1979)