“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Just imagine an endless void,
infinitely dark and bound by no space
and time. A perpetual midnight
with no stars or moons. An
Then a flash.
A light, a breath, a life.
Milliseconds later another flash.
The last gasp, darkness, death.
Back into it.
This is our life and our death.
A mere flicker in the spectrum of time.
An instance in eternity.
What do we do in between
the mysterious voids?
What do we do
with the fleeting miracle
of the light?
After the first spark,
we soon realize that the second
spark is swiftly approaching
and we fall to our knees
in angst and fear
of the looming darkness
rather than celebrating
the impossible odds
of the first spark.
In the face of the dying
of the light, we’ve
allowed ourselves to be consumed
by the masses
succumbing to a maddening
9-5 routine lifestyle
of work, TV, bed, repeat.
With weekends filled
with other predictable normalcies.
no diving into the depths
of the great works of
wisdom and art.
No effort to taste
the world beyond
the recognizable margins
of our own lot.
It just seems like an evil hoax,
a bad dream,
a soulless way to spend
the fleeting days
of a brief
Most live it, or are conditioned to live it,
or at least endure it
because we have bills to pay,
cars to drive, and mouths to feed.
It’s an honorable feat.
But deep down we know
it’s a killer. As Thoreau once observed,
“the mass of men lead lives
of quiet desperation.”
We’re running around mad
in our own little mad world, always doing
something that brings no joy,
darting here and there
with no time to think or reflect,
no time to just sit under a sycamore
and ponder on the mere chance
of our existence.
The late great mythologist
Joseph Campbell recognized that
“We’re so engaged in doing things
to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget
the inner value,
the rapture that is associated
with being alive.”
Maybe this explains the lunacy and self-ignorance
we see around our bankrupt country.
Seems we’ve politicized our minds
and neglected our souls
to the point of hysteria
while hiding behind worn-out ideologies,
mindlessly swallowing the nonsense
we hear from empty suits
in positions of power.
We cling to the buoy
and cheap entertainment
afloat in the whirling
sea of anguish.
We know nothing
but our mouths
It’s like we’re trapped in a theater
playing constant reruns of a bad melodrama
with no exit.
It’s a hell of a predicament we find ourselves in.
Sartre just might’ve been right when he said that
“Everything has been figured out
except how to live.”
Or as Oscar Wilde once said, “To live
is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.”
Maybe we’ve lost what it means to be alive.
We’re not our jobs or the labels society pins
to us, we’re not the daily routine,
the lunch breaks, the clock-out time,
the bitterness, the lifelessness.
We’re so much more.
Life is a rapture, my friends.
the yearning to create something
of value or beauty,
like an average poem
or a photograph that captures
a moment in time, or a stunning piece
of furniture. It’s being
intoxicated on books and dreams,
staying infatuated with the mystery of it all.
It’s seeing things and going places, journeying
alone under burnt-out skies,
finding out what you’re all about,
and what its all about.
There’s just too much to know & experience
to settle down
in a little pocket of the planet
doing mediocre things,
thinking ordinary thoughts,
and speaking in common ways.
As Carl Sagan reminded us,
is waiting to be known.