Jangled inertia

 

Konica12554

 

 

Lostness   (53)

 

In an indifferent universe, not loving oneself invites adversity.

 

I am wary of conditional self-esteem:
which only accepts a “special” existence,
being intolerant toward the ordinary.

 

Could self-hatred make us incapable of a happy relationship…
even with ourselves?

 

Inner severity undermines attempts at kindness.

 

Abuse lives on through psychic forces.
Internal voices.
Always ready to attack.

 

Children look to mothers for protection,
not realising she’s also a source of father’s power.

 

Against injustice, hatred may feel like strength.

 

Prejudice as a default condition.
Ethics to rationalise aesthetics.

 

I was trapped behind this face.
Rejected for lacking beauty.

 

Could these perceptions be fought?

 

Many things might jangle the inertia of beliefs
but resistance needs overcoming for them to change.

 

I recall meeting people whose desire for control led to a doctrine
of personal invulnerability.
Claiming nothing happened without their assent.

As if illness and death were for wimps.

Unfortunately, they all had at least one
unpleasant surprise due
in old age.

 

 

Sensing my mind wander
after philosophy
then
a question loomed…

 

Am I still romantic enough
to imagine that some verbal answer
for the problems of life
will banish
despair?

 

 

 

 

(1990)

(psychology/mental health/depression/thoughts/ideas/opinions/aphorisms/poetry/writing/blogging)

 

 

 

 

Peripherality

 

Konica12549-1

 

 

Lostness   (52)

 

I had an idea for a story
about being always in the wrong place.

Just missing events that could lead to love,
beauty,
purpose.
By rounding a corner,
crossing a street,
moments too early
or too late.

I was going to call it “peripherality”.

But inspiration faded
through my lostness.

I never wrote it.

 

Unable to step twice into the same stream of consciousness.

 

Currently I lack energy for basic activities, let alone literary ones.
Once exhaustion strikes, mitochondria become as important as the muse.

I suppose it might be useful to train for leisure, like a job.
Yet illness ruins free time, along with working ability.

People retreat from me.
Perhaps they find even the thought of suffering unpleasant,
or threatening.

 

I especially regret not having friends,
now I’m too unwell to make any.

 

Does “Know thyself,” imply access to a library?
How about gaining knowledge in relation to others?

 

 


 

 

Lying here, isolated,
mind wandering,
imagining what is elsewhere…
am I truly present?

 

 

Dozing a little
I envisage
one day emerging
from this labyrinth
of unhappiness
via some dream-gate
blinking
in a radiant
new life.

Instead
pain has colonised
my body
which wakes
cramped
with emptiness
where bones ache
from the pounding
of nightmares.

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/depression/thoughts/ideas/poetry/writing/blogging)

 

 

Merciless neutrality

 

 

Konica12552

 

 

Lostness  (51)

 

 

Biological prisons can obscure their bars with love.

 

Marriage may reduce some potential chaos unleashed via active sexuality.

One hopes future generations will learn from our mistakes.

However, if children copy parents, adults need to embody
any change they wish to see.

 


 

 

Demanding coherence might encourage comforting illusions.

 

In a scientific age it appears more respectable to blame unspecified genes
for misfortunes, once perceived as arising from curses.

Even guilt has been preferred over the acceptance of helplessness;
or an uncaring universe, with its merciless neutrality.

 

 


 

 

Beliefs perpetuate themselves by becoming psychologically indispensable.

 

Despite many advantages, modernity leaves unsatisfied desires toward transcendence, which tempt reversion.

Spiritual frustration extends into art.

At a recent exhibition came the remark: “But anyone could do this!”
Meaning: “Where are those profound and beautiful works we yearn after: to move us?
Things requiring special abilities, beyond our capacity…”

 

 


 

 

In my own case, continual restlessness led me away from whatever I became tolerably good at.

Having wandered and dreamed through existence, I wake, unknown by the world, into a void of personal insignificance.

 

 


 

 

Now illness is closing
the doorway to life
in my face

mortality haunts me

across vague
nostalgia
for improbable faith

and ancestral perception

cyclic being
or  continuum

reincarnation…

Imagining
how different
it would feel
viewing death
as little more than
an inconvenient
change of trains
on eternity’s
timetable.

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/aphorisms/art/beauty/poetry)

 

 

 

 

Mortal graffiti

 

Konica12546

 

Lostness   (50)

 

 

Another flagellation by remorse stings my conscience…

 

From failure to continue the family line.
Generations of care, toil, and suffering:
ending with me.

 

Have I conspired at my own futility?

 

Did I avoid decisions that led toward adulthood?

What to do next?

Where to look for answers except inside myself.

And if I find nothing there?

Who could help someone wanting only
to want something?

 

Once practical difficulties recede, personality problems can dominate.

 

Would I try so hard at expressing contentment?
Will lines of happiness remain unwritten?

I think about playing guitar,
how even writing may get lured by the blues.

I scan, without focussing, across myriad ink marks in notebooks:
like graffiti on walls of mortality.

 

Am I alienated from myself, not just society?

 

Efforts at self-analysis indicate a desire to help.
Yet illness seems stronger than health.
Or beauty.

Perhaps this lostness is quite gratifying
for hostile psychic elements?

 

 


 

 

Later
alone
in the empty house
noticing a slight glow
from another room
where an old TV set
has been left on
with sound muted

There
caged by glass
blizzards of electronic particles
surge
ceaselessly
against the screen

Calming
such pointless agitation
I click
the off switch
and trapped light
implodes

to darkness.

 

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thought/ideas/opinions/writing/lostness/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A demon of weakness

 

Konica12553

 

 

Lostness   (49)

 

 

Perhaps pain only tends to ennoble those already possessing nobility?

I experience my own suffering as rather disgusting.

Then notice, automatically judging myself harshly.

It seems so easy, believing bad things said about me.
Yet very difficult to accept any praise.

I  was taught such severity, before I could form a defence.

We cannot atone for the offence of existing
to someone who finds our existence offensive.

 


 

How to gain self-esteem without currently having it?
Breaking circles of negation…

Should I begin by directing inward, sorts of kindness I might like to receive from others?

 


 

 

When loss is unperceived, grief may be misunderstood.

 

 


 

 

In forced rest
sensing slow atrophy

drifting farther
from a once fit person
returning through dreams

where he moves
effortlessly
along streets unseen for years
while I struggle
to accept
never walking them again

lying alone
with fear
that some demon
of weakness
drags me toward
strange realms
better unvisited
which become harder to leave
the longer one stays

as a door closes
upon me
here
lacking strength
to hold it open
this exit
from my past
wished left
ajar

now
losing
what I had not realised
was even loved

my own
old life.

 

 

(1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/illness/loneliness/thoughts/ideas/opinions/poetry/writing)

 

 

 

 

Anything realised

 

Konica12508

 

Lostness   (48)

 

 

Though it may be enjoyable, sneering is hardly a superior use of intelligence.

 

Cultural snobbery, for example, aimed at cliched reactions to art from those stuck in their visual taxonomies.

 

(Which I associate with reviews leaving the question:”Did you like it?” unresolved.)

 

 


 

 

Vagueness forms a refuge, where precision seems threatening.

 

Situations requiring the supression of hostility.

When, if we cannot make people good, we try to make them behave well.

(As politics or law tend to result in an imposition of will, by some upon others.)

 


 

Whatever arises acts to constrain perception.

 

Anything realised involves options closed.
Perhaps constituting a burden of finitude.
Thus we could imagine that inertia preserves more possibility than action.
Yet, in actuality, a small task done outranks our big fantasy.

 


 

 

Feeling oppressed by a sense of insignificance.

 

While my certainties take negative form.
(Age, loss, illness, rejection, death.)

 

Hope no longer shields me from the truth that I am unfit to marry.

 

I tell myself sex would only leave me unfulfilled.
I mingle pity with desire
allow beauty its sadness
even admit love may reveal
what it was supposed to overcome:
a victorious loneliness…

But women remain icons
for an impenetrability
of existence.

And I end up making jokes
because life
is so serious.

 

 

(1989)

(philosophy/psychology/poetry/mental health/thoughts/ideas/writing)

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 


 

 

Childhood’s shame still beats through my heart.

That “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)

 

Postponed living

 

 

Konica12510

 

 

Lostness   (46)

 

What could save me from this abyss of the self?

 

Books have assisted in postponing existence.
Now unfit for life, I make do by reading about it.
My attempts to “start really living” led nowhere.
Or, rather, back to isolation;
and these words.

Too restless to take pleasure by mere being,
while with human company I often feel stressed,
there is a reassurance in the presence of books.

 

How should I learn to love myself?

 

Must I deny the verdicts of parents, or society?
Perhaps such problems stem from childhood,
accepting harsh judgement by others, upon my life.
Taught to internalise a condemnation,
which may then perpetuate injustice.
Thus, uttering any personal assertion that is positive,
I struggle against an internal barrier
of shame.

Yet implausible dreams still arise: of beauty, and a woman’s passion.
Visions neither nature nor nurture gave me the equipment to realise.

 

Can the head cure a sickness in the heart?

 

It is common to associate happiness with normality,
though times I passed as normal failed to dispel my discomfort.
Sometimes adding a sense of diminished authenticity.

Might reason overcome emotion?
How to change my automatic responses?

If thinking did not get me into this mess,
why expect it to get me out?

 

I hoped, perhaps, to mellow.
but despair
seems ageless.

 

 

(Jun-July 1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/writing/opinions/ideas)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright improbability

Konica12505

 

 

 

Lostness   (45)

 

It helps to begin by wanting something.

Why strive, with nothing to strive toward?

 

Existence might be easier in a system that made provision for those wishing to live outside it.

 

I remember questions from a career advisor to our class at school. And noticed few others found difficulty responding…

“What do you want to be?”

I hoped adulthood would see an answer emerge.
But it never has.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

There was an idea of “finding who I am”, before returning to visual art.
Though I failed to find who I was.
Or the way back to art.

 

Should I have masked disappointment in fake smiles,
tried to keep too busy for worrying about my soul…
and any capacity to believe I still had one?

 

Perhaps needing love is a design flaw:
without which I could even feel free
in my isolation?

 

Biology triumphs over truth.
Intellect may want an end;
while body says “no”.

Its basic component, the cell, also names a place of confinement.

 


 

 

My mind wandered, next,
through dreams of textual beauty
where polished sentences
shine
in bright improbability.

Hence frustrating attempts
at cleaning previous lines
made soon to realise
how words
are no mirror.

 

 

 

(April 1989)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/writing/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seedbed of regrets

IMG_20171126_205954086-1

 

Lostness   (44)

 

The sensation of a room as empty
once alone inside it
akin to psychic negative space.

 

Here I sought to transmute my pain into art.
Though, recently, there is so much more pain than art.
And even that seems insignificant.
Must I also lose an alienated hubris?

 

Questions without answers, again…

 

I knock at a door, which remains closed.
After the problem of what to do
or the lethargy of unable to do
lies the remorse of “if only”.
While, in my head, a silent voice hates me.
Requiring someone to blame.
Can I stop hearing a tape, if my brain keeps playing it?

 

I search for the roots of unhappiness.
And find more unhappiness.

 

Is it woven into my being, or DNA?
How to picture life beyond such a state?
I write: aiming toward freedom, yet create only
variations upon darkness.
Could one construct some aesthetics of suffering,
mined for its beauty or poetry,
redeemed in creation?

 

But I weary of chronic illness:
and am taking it badly
lacking great heart
like those cheerful victims
beloved by media
who face up to
all privations
bravely.

 

Sickness sows a seedbed of regrets.

 

Where I languish
finding alternate descriptions
for inertia
but still strive to imagine
being at spiritual peace
from despair
in its closed
circle.

 

 

(Mar-April 1989)

(philosophy/psychology/depression/mental health/thoughts/writing)