Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Old Wounds

An old friend of mine laments an Old Wound. Letting go is tough. I find my time frame for such things is not in weeks or months; I take years. At some point, I just have to stare myself in the face, pry the telephone pole out of my eyes, and realize what and who I am. The monster isn't in the fire of my eyes, but in the water, the deep water. As awful as I am with my choler, my melancholy is half again a measure worse.

My Old Wound never healed. The ankle gave out on me today, and the same voices that sang in High School invaded my ears. I'd almost forgotten the melodies in their laughter. Once broken in spirit or body, it's hard to reform whole. I find that the lingering threat of hurt never quite disappears. The fractions of my head seized upon a minor thing, and made my demons out of its aftermath. With as much stress as I put on my body trying to be the athelete I could never become, I should have expected an injury. As trivial as it sounds, my loss of that questing beast, my physical ambitions, ushered in my psychosis. I know that I probably would have lost my mind later, but the small things in life I always over-value like honor, truth, love, and strength, have always affected me inversely with their importance.

For now, the water deepens. On occasion, the burning furnace of my anger pulls me back out for a while, but the boiler is shackled to my feet. When it's done belching fire, I just fall back into my watery lair, no closer to clean air and happiness than I was in 1994, 1997, 1998, or 2004. Sure, I can write, but who reads? Sure, I can struggle, but who cares? In the end, I'm alone in this. I can write a canto to everyone I attach to myself or who lingers nearby, but all the words in the world never seem to do anything but pull me deeper.

Good writing comes with time. Think years, not months or weeks. The schedule of the pen is always outstretched by the demands of passing moments. Seneca cites Cicero as saying "that if the number of his days were doubled, he should not have time to read the lyric poets" (Seneca, Epistle LXIX). If reading lyric poetry is such a waste of time, think of the enormous waste of writing it. I aspire to epics, but in the end, I'm probably a lyric poet. Time isn't on my side. I can't meet the expectations of others or the progress of John Keats. I can only struggle with words, and hope for understanding after long intervals of time.


Xiporah said...

You aren't the only one that licks their wounds for years. In this respect, you are not alone.

Thomas Jackson said...

Unfortunately, it appears that in every other aspect of my life, I am alone.