In the great big book of life every day writes a different story. Perhaps on this day a rushing river will symbolize how time can run away from us. Maybe the rising sun will illustrate the elation and relief one feels when death passes by their door. Perhaps there’ll be a word for the way rush-hour traffic takes delight in sending some into fire-headed road rage. Yet another word for the way it offers time for the voices of the patient few to break into tune.
One night soon, The Seven Wonders of the World will have sex with one another, giving birth to newer wonders of the world—Machu Picchu with a Taj Mahal crown. The Grand Canyon experiencing an Aurora Borealis acid trip. Those wonders will swap DNA with other worldly wonders, creating scores & scores of still newer wonders. Those frisky wonders will engage in awe-inspiring orgies with other worldly wonders, giving birth to generations upon generations of other glorious wonders until, everywhere you look, the whole world is…well…wondrous.
A new day begins where so much and so little will occur. Surgeons, like Christ in medical scrubs, will heal the dying. Some will sit in recliner chairs, staring dull-eyed at the TV. Lives and property will be bought and sold. Jobs and homes will be lost and found. God will play poker with the devil trying to win back peace on earth. Some will awake in a hotel of nightmares wondering how they got there. Dogs will sleep. Cats will maul scratching posts, imagining them to be every face on the 10 most wanted list of their pet peeves. Some will take a leisurely stroll around the block. Others will venture bravely out onto the open road. I hear the ghosts of the highway can do a mean two-step if you ask them nicely.
It all begins with a positive intention rounding up its crew and breaking into the heart. No weapons necessary for this heist; no gun barrels forced into the ribs of unsuspecting emotions, forcing them to hand over their riches. In fact, all that’s eliminated from the heart are negative feelings—greed, envy, hatred. Left in their absence: benevolence, grace, happiness. Once filled with so much tenderness, the heart realizes a good deed must be performed. And to think it all started with that one positive intention having the guts and know-how to commandeer the heart. Kindness is an inside job.
Poetry is sacred graffiti spray painted across the heart. Words that cannot be marred by war, hatred, or intolerance. Poetry is constructed from blood, sweat, and the fortified syllables of soul whispers. It hears the unspeakable’s deepest elations and tribulations, translates them into blues, ballads, and haikus of universally shared experiences. Poetry can be weapon or wonder. Fragmented or full-bodied. Elegant, or absolutely stunning in its ugliness. Poetry can be breathy and uplifting, or shouted and ready to tear down the walls. Poetry is anarchy swaying with a halo hula hoop.
Maybe it’s something in our DNA, something in our history that causes humans to want to hurt one another instead of heal; torture instead of touch; kill instead of kiss. Whatever it is, the human race suffers from a serious case of premature eradication.
Another day of political corruption, Russian collusion, and polluted drinking water. Homeless veterans, separated families, reality TV reality. Leaders of revered social movements revealed as false idols. Abductions, murders, sex trafficking. Alternative realities, racist dystopias, late-night Trump Twitter rants. In times like these, even just a little daydreaming can serve as a life-saving antidote to a world that continually breaks our hearts and minds.
While out for a late-afternoon family walk, my two-year-old daughter glances up from her stroller, studies the bruised blue altitudes. “Sure is a big sky,” I tell her. “Big sky,” she burbles in return. Her words drift upward, create pillowy clouds along the horizon. Imagine some years from now when my daughter’s passageway into adulthood is like a grand hallway, where dreams still walk the earth and haven’t been ravaged by firestorms of cynicism. Imagine it could be that way for all of us—how we could one day glance along the horizon and realize the sky still bears the cloud tattoos of our long-ago child babble. How much easier we’d breathe if we could remain so connected to the world.
Truth is relative…No, wait…Truth is an alternate reality…No, that’s not it either…Truth is like sucking air from a helium balloon, the more you speak the funnier it sounds…Nope, that’s not it…Truth is an adventure in oral sex without protection…No, lemme try again…The quadratic equation of truth yields to the solution that no truth is probable unless, that is, you’re telling the truth, which truthfully speaking isn’t my truth…Wait, how about…If administered correctly, truth can move mountains, but I’m not even at the place where I can budge a dust bunny…Or what about…Truth is the party guest that is last to arrive and first to leave.
Another summer crawls towards its end. The rising moon sighs, its old silver bones creak and pop, splinter off into dying stars. Crickets tune for funeral dirges. Fireflies flash SOSs that drunk teenagers cruising the streets mistake for lights from faraway raves. The echoed hum of passing carnival trucks sounds like geriatric whales slowly sonaring towards distant shores. The rest of us sit at home, mark still another day off the calendar. We recall a time when we couldn’t remember, let alone pronounce the months of the year. And how hurt we feel now as the years slip by, barely giving us the time of day.