Lost between pages and piles of distractions ever droning engine drum of artificial escape limp, moth-eaten mannequin limbs propped against restless birds inside ribcages scattering feathers There is no anesthetic strong enough to obliterate this deep green, groaning forest that continues to grow impossible to silence the crashing violence of the sea enclosed in a stainless steel container half its size There is an holy thunder cloud that will surely rise from beneath the writhing mass of the overwhelmed a fearsome force of almighty nature to burst upon the scorched earth arrogance of mankind's oppression The twitching frustration of pinprick impatience is just energy building like static electricity the tickling sensation of all the insects scattering in anticipation before the entire sky bursts open
Morning light illuminates shame picking up half-dead carrion debris carcasses and ribcages cracked open leftovers from one more night of feeding the wrong, wretched wolf Spiting pestilence with twisted tongue poison projectiles, tiny fragments of casual torture hurled forth to reveal the contorted storm within that chokes as it choreographs cruelty Pleading with indifferent sirens to still and silence the sea inside or to at least tie my hands and feet and take away my vindictive voice so I alone may suffer the tides
Range of Motion
Everyone keeps telling me that I get to make the choice that happiness and peace are only one option away It's frustrating to then find myself in moments that don't seem to offer the possibility of different ways of being and I'm hopelessly overcome with old patterns I've been asking myself why I'm not strong enough to make the right decisions instead I just keep stumbling But I think I finally realized when people say we all have a choice that doesn't mean the choices are limitless or that we all have the same options Sometimes at first your scope is small I still can't choose unconditional compassion when my heart is sealed closed with anger but I can make the decision to be mindful I can witness myself from a few steps off in a way I never was able to before I can get curious about my intention and question my automatic reactions Sometimes I can stay silent and still or even smile as I watch these impulses swiftly rise, then subside and pass by right now the changes I make are subtle Mindfulness is a muscle that with effort will provide a wider range of motion new choices will arise naturally if I am patient and keep practicing
Comparison is the thief of joy and my wealth has all slipped away through the heavy sieve of envy The swelling warmth of gratitude has given way to the sweltering heat of sharp, gnawing jealousy My eyes keep straining toward empty places between vast, unobserved abundance fixated on the violent feeling of unfairness Cinder blocks of bitter energy build walls to block my view of countless blessings souring my simple share of happiness Unable to stop magnifying this self-induced, unnecessary suffering while being simultaneously smothered by the shame of being unsatisfied when I have so much
Engulfed in Anger
Anger is the poison that paralyzes my higher power the shackles that keep me separate swallowed up in thick flames Burning all the bridges that could deliver healing waters an aching exhaustion in my chest from hopeless, helpless hatred The violent energy that boils my blood bubbles up my throat to choke me lashing out with an instant instinct I immediately wish I could take back All consuming, ever growing a blazing heat that binds and blinds me rage reducing compassion to ashes burning up who I've hoped I would be I can never seem to calm this fire but let me learn to sit inside the inferno and keep this liquid lava venom from seeping out into everyone I love
Fill in the Blank
Don't allow yourself to believe the dead space between us is left empty or filled with the benefit of the doubt Anxiety and mental illness are excellent at filling in the blanks with haunting shadows and viscous, hateful delusions An "I love you" not uttered is not assumed to be neutral it is a shrieking echo of "I hate you" that reverberates inside my head A compliment offered only once is not carried over into the future it fizzles and is transfigured into just another lie Resentments are slowly added to the waters of my soul until an all-mighty tide of indignation becomes a tsunami to tear you apart An unseen pressure is surely building like hot air inside a teapot everyone always acts surprised when the shrill whistle of anger erupts Your silence speaks volumes to a heart that needs constant reassurance there is already too much bitterness to make it better
A coyote cuts across the foggy highway a life held inside indecision, a moment's hesitation could be a violent end of everything all at once Sulfurous air that once shrouded out the sun a sudden impact that swallowed the earth in many decades of dark, lifeless winter Time has a way of emphasizing the absurdity of right and wrong when final outcomes are impossible to predict Half the suffering I've known has been an inner upheaval of moral outrage resistance to the evils of this world My stormy turmoil subsides if only I can learn to surrender all judgement and accept my place as a humble passenger Who am I to hold dominion over the way life is supposed to unfold? I prefer the role of patient witness anyway To watch with curious eyes and an open heart ready to embrace all of life with equanimity a grateful submission to existence beyond understanding To play my small part with a soft hand extending a gentle, hopeful intention of pure love prepared to let go of any and all expectations Tender feet along the balustrade, balancing between engagement and surrender too often falling into indignation and anger The perpetual repetition of life can be tedious but it offers endless chances to keep trying precious lessons linger behind a door that is always open Every failure is an opportunity to find grace there is no permanence, perfection, or wasted effort everything is as it should be, everything is as it should be
The Sea Inside
My soul is always rising with righteous indignation swelling like the sea with power and momentum Impossible to contain or quiet any attempt feels like an attack on the very moral fury that has frothed the foaming waves Wrestling with water just adding to the flood of feeling lashing out at the perceived inner oppression of my own attempts to foster peace Internal justification is not enough to quell the violent current of painful passion as though a feeling that is valid must require direct action Levees of logical pleas create different ripples of unbridled rage the audacity of any intention to hold myself back You cannot stop the ocean and there is a sense of pride in having the courage of conviction a will made stronger by the moon But saltwater eats away at the shoreline and erodes everything that it touches my brain and body were not made to endure this endless, stinging submersion
Frightened by the violent riptide of my own raw emotion carried roughly away in rapids of self-righteous anger The sick, unshakable desire to stay inside this horrible hatred helpless to harness the grotesque venom of this self-harming state The sheer force of resistance soft heart turned to steel with heavy doors welded at the seam fortress of wild, agonized isolation Short moments of insanity disregarding the searing flesh of a hand clutching tightly onto a white hot coal Seduced by the spell of spite the toxic illusion of power promised to a soul that has been swallowed up and blinded by uncontrollable rage Sinking below dark waters a whirlpool of god-like wrath left trembling at the loss of all control
Exploitation and Injustice
The injustices, the atrocities, the exploitation that surrounds me, that suffocates me, is inescapable. Everywhere I look I see the rich and powerful crushing someone under the iron boot of the system that props them up. It is made all the more unbearable in the face of the irresponsible lies we are fed all throughout our youth about the way the world is. Why teach us that the world is fair, that society is just, that the government protects us, that we are free, when it’s not true? Why are we set up to suffer not only the reality of how things really are, but also the friction in our heads created by the false image inevitably torn down by that reality?
It makes me think back to a few months ago when I was reading A Tale of Two Cities. I couldn’t help but resonate with the plight of the starving, wretched peasants in the streets of France just before the revolution. I see that same suffering mirrored in the faces of the masses all around me in this pitiful, destitute area. I was rooting for them when they began burning down the mansions and estates of the wealthy, when they made being rich a crime, when heads rolled one after another from the guillotine all day long. They say history repeats itself and I’ve finally lived long enough to understand.
Even though I know these revolutions and uprisings have happened many times throughout human history, until recently, it seemed rather unlikely to me. I just couldn’t imagine the poor, huddled masses rising up and risking their lives no matter how badly they are treated. Now I realize that it isn’t a question of whether or not they will, rather when. Eventually enough is enough. Eventually the outrage, the fury, the inhumanity of it all becomes too much for anyone to bear.
It may sound silly by comparison to the injustices of the past, but spending all morning fighting with Comcast really gave me a glimpse into the mindset of these people willing to risk everything for the mere chance of change. In just three years time, my internet bill, which is the cheapest, slowest option available, went from $30 a month to $100 a month. My income, however, has remained exactly the same. How on earth am I expected to manage this? I have no other internet options in my area, so Comcast knows they can get away with it. (Even though we learn in school that monopolies are illegal for this very reason.) They add expense after expense hoping you won’t notice. They charged me $15 for me to install my own device a few months ago. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so infuriating. In addition to all that, each time I call, I discover that they’ve made it harder and harder to reach an agent to speak to. It took me nearly an hour just to get to a human being.
It is unconscionable. It’s criminal. The thought that humans are so selfish, so greedy, so horrible that they would make hundreds of thousands of people suffer with massive bill increases, for what? For literally nothing. The CEO of Comcast isn’t affected by my bill increasing. The amount of income those at the top see doesn’t even matter to them. Their quality of life couldn’t possibly be improved through financial gain at this point. They already have more than they can consciously even make sense of. Yet all of the people paying for this service, which at this point is basically a necessity, are crippled by the ever-increasing bills. I can’t stand it. I cannot bear to know this and accept that it is true.
This is the frustration, the desperation that eventually builds until it reaches a tipping point. I felt myself reaching that edge today. I felt the passion, the rage well up inside of me. I felt the truth of the potential I had to burn it all down, to kill or be killed rather than submit to this injustice any further. At a certain point, logic goes out the window, you become so blinded with fury that you are capable of anything. This is what fuels revolutions. This is what topples governments and creates violent riots in the streets. I used to think I’d be too afraid to fight when the next revolution finally arrived. Now I know I’ll be ready.