PAS DE DEUX: MY DANCE WITH THE MACHINE: A COMEDY IN THREE ACTS

Any More Than The Way Things Are

My Irish-Catholic friend published a book
About a world-famous Irish-Catholic poet
On a highly respected Irish-Catholic university press
And teaches college in a large, deeply Irish-Catholic city

I am a Swedenborgian
And even if I wrote a book about William Blake
There are no highly respected Swedenborgian university presses
Or big cities with prominent Swedenborgian populations

I have to think that all this matters
Isn’t it why my dissertation director counseled me not to write
About Swedenborg, for the sake of my career?

–“Academics don’t know, in fact, what they are suppressing”–

The dean of a Lutheran university confessed to me over breakfast
The General Secretary of a prominent interdenominational organization
Asked me over lunch why I am a Swedenborgian, meaning, I think,
“Why on earth are you a Swedenborgian?!”

Time was I believed that if I worked hard, became good at what I do
Success would be laid at my feet, not disappointment
It takes other things than being good at what I do
And I wonder that I am passed over for so many things I am good at

I am not asking for a leg-up toward success
Any more than is the way things are in this world
My Irish-Catholic friend is good at what he does
As am I, a Swedenborgian

Disappointment

Disappointment only descends upon failed ambitions
More than just getting your hopes up, as, for example, winning The Lottery
Expectations in general that fall through
Especially ambitions’ realization evaporating as one watches

Years pass, the doors close on what could have been
Out of time; out a life; a lifetime passed by
They say Reike can heal time—the past, present, what will be
Which is a different understanding of time that I know

Carol tells me that she has no ambitions, never did
My mother wonders where mine came from, since
Neither she nor Dad craved other than their work, homelife

–Nor credited me with success—

There’s something so real about Carol, which echoes back to a place I once was
I take it her upbringing on a farm
Where dirt and the harvest cycle are as real as it gets
Formed her out of the dust of the earth

The blanched suburbia of my impoverished culture
The shallow depths I almost drowned in
The neglect and torment my nascent family ignored and inflicted
Perhaps conspired to inspire my drive to reach for what my hand never grasped

I don’t know if Carol knows my disappointment
She has come to terms with riches she will never own
Guess it is not for me to posit where I would be
Why I continue to reach; I think Carol likes it

Some Glad Morning

I raged against the machine and did my own thing
Cultivating the garden that is my soul: wisdom, love
I didn’t care if they groomed me for success
Or if they said that I was just a fool

And so, my self found development in accord with aspiration’s beckon
Ever evolving aspirations leading my meandering pathway. I am pleased.
So why do I want that machine against which I raged
Now to bless me, sanctify my works with recognition and acclaim?

I wouldn’t say that I resisted playing ball with it all
I wasn’t in it for the game.  Karma drove my play
More than systemic machinations: I never felt like

–A cog in something turning, never cared to—

I followed and worked through my karma: the issues and stages
I got out of my system, that were me, became what is not me
Yet not another; self—the salve and the wound
The problem and the solution, the lock and the key

I suppose I made too much of eternity
Some told me I was too old to be thinking like that
And yet, I am old now and had better be thinking like that
So why this desperation about credit from the system I never much rated?

I suppose it isn’t so much about credit, I have credentials
Damn craving for more laurels I will never rest on and smile!
I do smile, smile at who I was and am: this beloved self
This no self, no permanency, only eternity of states flowing into who I am

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