After the euphoria and relief of last Tuesday night, it was inevitable something would happen somewhere to remind us all of just how screwed the world is. Enter Uganda and its unspeakably barbaric ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, which has got me so angry that when I finish this post I might have to go outside and shout at a church. Exit faith in humanity (pursued by a bear).
That little cry of despair is a good segue into the pieces I want to share with you here. They are what happens when a mind begins turning in on itself.
Out Of A Clear Blue Sky
Where did that come from?
How did I wind up so consumed
By unreasoning paranoia,
Plotting responses to barbed questions nobody has
The slightest intention of asking me,
That even sleep is an impossibility?
It came on suddenly, it must have done.
Yet it seems to have lasted hours, days,
So long that I can scarcely remember what it means
To feel, to be otherwise.
The hours pass,
But the agonies do not.
But this most vicious of circles will not.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Me
Where did I leave me?
I feel like I have put me down somewhere and cannot recall where;
Or have I mixed me up with the takeaway menus
And the packaging of yesterday’s dinner
And thrown myself away?
In my place…what? Not a void,
Not an impostor; a husk.
Leached of life, this desiccated object wearing out my clothes
And wasting my voice is beyond help.
I, the last known abode of me
Must give up the chase,
To those who are whole and true
And instead must aspire only to understand and to accept.
Perhaps, in fact, someone is holding me hostage.
I can only hope that my suffering shall suffer
The ransom to be paid.
‘And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.’
-John Donne, Meditation XVII
That elegant exhortation to us to retain our common humanity was written by a clergyman…in the 17th century. So much for progressive faith.