MY BLITHE SPIRIT (redux)

O, to be blithe

Hail to me, my blithe spirit

Blitherie is not whither my spirit listeth

To be blithe, I need to release much

To fly away some glad morning

Release more than just a few weary days

–More than the consequences that drove my ambition–

—-The momentous, heavy pressure, guilt, blame,

—-Blame my early family conspired to see was my guilt,

—-Echoing through a severe religious system:

—-“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”

—-Did anxiously strive to live such impossible words, yet the same, kind Master’s words

—-“My yoke is easy and my burden light,”

—-I never heard.  I can never be the perfect god I try to be, nor ever the perfect child

—-I try to be who will be approved by my father

—-No.  Not while I carry the guilt of my family’s sins, born upon the person

—-I am

—-Denied.  Denied confession, satisfaction, and absolution

—-Echoes through this self, denied, self-denial.

—-Enflaming ambition, the hunger, nay, to crave

—-Blessing.  In a degree, from a book publisher, record producer, an arena’s applause

–And now this dalliance with being blithe; hail to me, my blithe spirit–    

With spirits I’ve attracted in my Kirlian aura, karma

It would be a sort of religious conversion

To be a new version of the self I’ve been and become

Plato once told me that an unexamined life will never be blithe

I came up in conversation out at the pub, I heard later

I, back in the solitude of my hotel room

“Dave’s probably working on his book while we’re out here”

In fact, I was carried away deep in Beethoven’s Mass in C

Kyrie eleison.  Donna nobis pacem: have mercy; give peace—and I, a pastor

Which is what I mean about blithe

There are no trines in my astrological chart

All my planets are in the first house and everything

I do or that happens to me comes with a momentous upheaval

And I must be momentous, I guess, and not blithe

I think I could be blithe if I wanted

If I only wanted to be blithe, to let go, could let go of it all, wanted to let go of it all

Or ought to let go of it all and be blithe

A RAKE’S PROGRESS: A COMEDY IN TWO ACTS

Prologue:

When you are the tempest

You don’t notice the gale

Swirling tumult menace

 

In the calming after the threat

You shudder at what could have been

Destruction skirting rash choices, obnoxious, noxious

Act I:

For this life it was long life in schools,

For others it could be other—say, family, workplace, working the land, art

My academic life so much this life, persistent

How I absorbed—no—consumed knowledge

Guided and goaded through many books, no one could count how many books

Reasoning, disputing, inquiring, assimilating, dissipating in pubs after class

Academic identity, subjects discussed, discussing how to discuss

 

Learning to learn to continue to learn

Living to learn at leisure and pleasure

Learning to grow trying on life, lives

Trying a Hemingwayesque character (to become a man), or The Artist as a Young Man,

evolving into self

Yet it wasn’t the schools, the books, for this, my life

Nor would it be family, workplace, working the land, art alone for others

In a critical life worth living, not unexamined—passing time unaware

 

To see in a single vision the course of a life

While karma is lived out of developmental stages

Surrounded, bounded, encased within

The facts, the academic style, the collegial camaraderie

Do not make the personality’s lasting completion

Make person, mark lasting brain synapses firmware

Within the encounter with environment, the contours of self are carved

Not necessarily unchanged but the self, persistent

Act II:

A seed, a stem, a blossom, growth—becoming

The single flower—but is it?

From raging adolescence into combative adulthood

Through economic cooperation vocation teamwork

Emergence: genuine caring, community, the other

The shell that was learning and environment

Husking through what becomes self-development

In fact, new self, though persisting

 

The process of my formal education was

But a shell in which I formed.

The facts, forms of knowing, interlocutor interactions

Outside, the self incubating within the process

How ill-suited I was for a serious academic career

Working through the karma of a developing self,

Headstrong, too sure of a developing self

Indifferent to social norms—“What have I to do with thee?”

The wisdom I acquired was not in the books—the many books, no one could count the books

But in the crucible the walls of which were the process of my education

Epilogue:

In the calming after the threat

You shudder at what could have been

Destruction skirting rash choices, noxious, obnoxious

 

A narrow escape from who I was

 

The wisdom I acquired, and did become and am becoming,

And decorum, more or less, contours of cooperation—no—eco-operation

In sync.  Sympatico become peaceful and am becoming peaceful, become peace

OUR OWN MIND

They say water seeks its own level

Some make it a matter of Karma

Put in strongest terms, its Fate

I prefer destiny

I’m certainly following my own path

In spite of the world’s exigencies

Sometimes partnering with the world’s exigencies

Funny how little I am affected by outside forces

I’m a man of my own mind

Doing my own thing and loving it

I now walk with another, together

We are of one mind in our individuality

We are doing our own thing and loving each other

Funny how little we are affected by outside forces

Seems like the currents of our streams sought each other

Though, in fact, improbable we ever would have met

And me antipathetical to the concept of Fate