DURING TRAVEL

Between hotel check-out and arrival home

I’m at my worst

There are too many forced choices

In a moment’s notice about

Things I don’t know, unfamiliar places

El-trains, subways, buses, airport gates

Streets, choices, now, act, move

Choose now

Loss of power—their seats, refreshments, served on their timetable

Uncertainty—it’s all in your own hands

Panic, decisions, and waiting

I’m not at my best faced with all this

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IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE

To answer my question

An Indigenous teacher

Once told me

If you know who you are

You will never be lonely

I didn’t understand

 

White, I grew up

In bland, blanched suburbia

Moved to

A small, rural town

We people were the entertainment

The gravitas

Friends

Porch sitting hours

Moved to

A hip, slick, cultured, sophisticated, city of universities

America’s Athens

Loneliness, assimilation, knowledge, alienation from self

Moved to

A wealthy, beach retirement town

Boredom, self-discovery, self-recovery

Toured foreign countries

Europe and the roots of Western Civilization

Meso-America, Maya

Tropical Island

 

I am

Wherever I go

I understand

AN UNEASY GENERATION GAP

I could be his grandfather

So a peer relationship is likely not in the mix

Yet his expertise surpasses my own

An expertise I need

Technology

The bane of the aged

The bond of the ages

Generating the collaboration which is the extent of our bond

He declined money

Our signifiers differ significantly

So collaboration and my interest in the youth world

From the perspective of my so different world

So different signifiers

His life ahead of him, much of mine behind me

My crippling need of his expertise, coupled with his self-confidence

Technology

Will collaboration serve for a peer relationship

Our mutual interests

Our alliance uneasy

Our uneasy generation gap

LIVING MY OWN LIFE

Existential isolation was

En vogue

When I was in school

(Probably still is)

To which I added drunken dissipation

Upon graduation I found sobriety

And was terribly alone

Outside the “we” program

Despising my loneliness

In an otherwise paradisaical climate

 

I no longer feel alone

Which begins with Carol and us

There is the small church

Sacred community

In a world that has no place for religion

Out of vogue

 

Trends

 

But I have Carol

I have the church

I have sacred community

Which means more than any trend

I live my own life

I pay the consequences, reap the rewards

And think very little about some social construct of vogue

LIFE HERE, PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD

We live in this world

The only one we know

We make arrangements

Build hopes, aspirations

Purchase goods

To fit our life here

In a world which is only leased to us, at best

For an unknown term

Certainly, some of our efforts in this world

Translate

To the other world

Certainly, much will not

“We come into the world, and we go out of the world”

The Mayans remember each morning

Certainly, we must provide for life here

Properly understood