We are uncomfortable
in this world
not made for us.
Or just another
cosmic punch line?
Act 1. I don’t know if being alive matters.
Act 2. I don’t know if this world matters.
Act 3. I don’t know if me being alive in this world matters.
Do you feel “special”? Do you long to feel special? It seems to me that people strive so hard to be special, to be exceptional. Ordinary is for losers…or at least that is the message we seem to get from society.
I’ll admit that I share this obsession. Maybe part of my problem started with being an overachiever in grade school. I always had to be the fastest, the best in my class. I went to all the gifted programs and was praised for exceptionally high standardized test scores. I was highly competitive and a horribly sore loser…something I still struggle with to some extent lol.
The problem is that when you are told all the time growing up how “exceptional” you are, it sets you up for unrealistic expectations in the real world. In the real world, it isn’t always the smartest, the most talented, or the hardest working that succeed, and that is a bitter pill to swallow.
From my experience, the ones most likely to succeed are the ones that have wealth and powerful families behind them. Yes, some people do manage to crack the glass ceiling alone by sheer luck or being at the right place at the right time, but the majority at the top of any enterprise are generally those with connections the rest of us could only dream of.
Of course, you can focus on the feel-good, conciliatory message that “everyone is special”, which is undoubtedly true in some ways, but when I hear that, I always think about Dash from the Incredibles asking, “If everyone is special, is that really just a way of saying that nobody is special?”
Let me try not
I want to remain
of the fact
that the bravest
man amongst us
will never overcome
the innate fear
I love this quote by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche:
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
The trouble is, sometimes I’m not sure exactly what my “why” is. The most likely answer is my husband. I would say I stay alive for him when things are the most unlivable. I know what it is like to lose someone you love dearly and would never want to put him through that. Other friends and family count as well, but I don’t have a whole lot of them left on this earth or living near me, so they aren’t as much of a “why” anymore.
Other possible “whys” for me would include sharing my art and writing, my pets, and connecting with people online (including you guys!). Another “why” would simply be my stubborn refusal to surrender and give up. I’ve always been a fighter and determined to prove the critics wrong. I still hope to do that.
What would your “why” be?
I meant to share this poem around Easter, but forgot. Guess I had too much going on. This poem just sort of wrote itself, with the images of both the commercial and sacred aspects of the holiday mixing together in my mind. It is not meant to be offensive to religion, but instead, to compare and contrast the cheerful, innocent brightness of welcoming spring with the actual gruesome reality of a crucifixion and resurrection:
poor Jewish carpenter
whipped, beaten, and scrambled
Recently I discovered Elfchen poems, which are 5-line poems that follow this pattern:
Line 1 – 1 word
Line 2 – 2 words
Line 3 – 3 words
Line 4 – 4 words
Line 5 – 1 word (different than the first line word)
It is also common to take the last word of someone else’s Elfchen poem to start off your own new one.
Here are several of my first tries with this poetic genre:
when you live
in an unstable world,
weakness creeps in
settles on the edge,
lie firmly under
your tongue in cheek,
Master of Time
By: Maranda Russell
Make the closed circuits
and tinker with the channels.
Embrace the metal of your own making
as well as that of the Gods.
Hold the pocket watch of eternity
in your shaking hands
and watch as time
starts to run backwards.
Today is the past,
yesterday, the future.