The picture beside this paragraph is one of me and a promising young pilot from my former Air Cadet Squadron at Villeneuve Airport, where I took some photos for an article I was writing for the Lion’s Club magazine.
This second photo for today is of another aviator, one I never tire of watching or photographing. The young man above is likely flying military jets by now, but he will never have the real freedom and beauty of this little birdie here.
The Long and Short of It All
Well, I did have an incredible birthday, but life must move forwards. I don’t like to say “life goes on” because I remember a day many years ago when I was 17 and I first had to seriously deal with death. A good friend of mine, named Brad had killed himself a few short days before and I was completely devastated. I was working at a gas station at the time and some people who also knew Brad came in and when I asked one guy if he heard, he smiled and said, “oh well, life goes on I guess.” I will never forget that cold little bastard or the smile on his face. Not three months later his mother committed suicide and I went through hell not knowing how to deal with the situation. I don’t know if it was a direct result, but not long after that I found myself being confined to a mental hospital in dire need of treatment. I am reminded of words such as, “For whom the bell tolls” and Tennyson’s incredible quote where he spoke of the loss of a friend and said, “I go on with a deep sense of longing and regret, among new faces and different minds.” But the reality is, I now do kind of feel that when someone kills themselves, there are better things a person can do other than fall to pieces. The sad fact of things is that many people believe that suicide is a form of revenge-getting. And the person who kills themselves doesn’t have to live with the pain, the people he/she leaves behind do. I also have been looking at the whole question of suicide a bit differently because recently I have been going to a Catholic Church with an incredibly kind and wise priest who once mentioned that while suicide is a sin, there are some people who are not in a normal state of mental health who kill themselves and will be forgiven by God.
I suppose I should turn to lighter subjects. I am glad to be 43, and very glad to be in a healthy state of mental and physical health. I keep active by swimming and doing a lot of walking and a bit of Yoga. Sometimes I wonder if it is a good idea to do Yoga being a Christian because it is almost a religious practise that goes against some tenants of the Christian faith. This does seem a bit silly to think about, but it is really important to me that I keep my faith and my ‘relationship with God’ in a right state. I have to say I like a lot of what our new Pope Francis talks about, though some of the things he says leaves me confused. I hope one day soon I get some bold followers who are knowledgeable in such subjects to comment and discuss these things with me. I also hope that I get my lazy Sunday afternoon butt out of bed more often so I can get to Church for the first time in months. I really enjoy going to Catholic services, there is something so holy and pristine about going there, I often feel very cleansed and renewed after a service. I do have this problem though, and I suppose it has a lot to do with my illness, and the proper balance of medications I am on, I get paranoid and angry quite easily when I am out in public. This is something meditation is helping me with, but I think I also need to look at other chemical therapies that can help me with this. Well, that is about all I have to say for now. Below I am posting a poem I just wrote that I am hoping to take to “The Stroll of Poets” where I recite my poetry in public each Monday night. You can find the poem just past the attached photo.
In the Darker Hours
Cruel, insipid muse, where can you be?
Inside I have quatrains longing to be free
Stanzas of of rhymes dancing in my head
They won’t let me rest as I lay in my bed
Perhaps it’s the comics, the TV and cartoons
Ingesting those media makes me feel the perfect buffoon
I should be drinking in sonnets and dark villanelles
Tasting ancient philosophy, feeding brain cells
Poetry you are such a cruel wench
Poetry, poetry you disgust me like a stench
All I can come up with since this past week’s start
Is four rhyming lines that stink worse than a fart
I tried going to a play, I tried expressive art film
Throwing in fiction short stories into the kiln
Yet all I have brewed is words stale and flat
Un-chewed, undigested verse chunks all greasy and full of fat
I live in such a time that I shouldn’t have to beg you
My muse, my inspiration, for rhyming lines that are new
Once there was a time I could write on for hours
But trite teenager comic books seem to have sapped all my powers
It was a nice thing going out to a reading or two
But in the end they reminded me I’ve boiled a poor stew
I need to flambé up some words that will tickle and inspire
My need for these things is growing so dire
I can taste on my tongue the vestiges of well thought out lines
This aabb scheme crap I am putting out is somewhat less than divine
I want to train my little brain to speak more iambically
I want to loosen my belt and let my constrained breath of words free
It’s for you my dear reader, or listener perhaps
That I need to somehow create something more than this crap
Because in the end I live for that applause
At the end of my poem when I know I have stated well my bold cause
All I think I must do is sum up in these short bursts of words
The plight of the lonely, the angry, disturbed
Because in the end who among us has all they want
Why my good muse do you tickle, tease and taunt?
December 3, 2014