Finding Solitude

When do I recognize I’ve had enough

after years of never really knowing how to decide,

what makes it worthwhile,

this it, this piece of our lives,

this need to demonstrate always

while this hollow reality aches inside.

~

When only the quaking fear of my psyche

takes over anything else,

whether it matters or whether it isn’t even real,

my mind will play with the moment,

and let me wallow in the shame

of never really understanding how easy life might be.

~

I chose to take a difficult route the day I became alone

within a crowd of thousands,

there I stood in the center of everything feeling

the wrath of my society bend its will,

in order to pummel my own confusion

with diatribe after diatribe of nonsensical air.

~

I wonder if I might ever really fathom

hours of lost time,

considerations that might leave others blind

with fury or madness or ill met resolve,

the burden of the human condition

never really being realized, floating askance.

~

It was in the dawn of my 25th year

when reality spoke only of its burden

and the charmed life,

the one just on the other side of the fence

would only chuckle the nearer I stood

knowing forever I would struggle to find me.


© Thom Amundsen 3/2021

There Are These Days

A couple of weeks ago my world went dark. I made horrific plans, mapped out the day, my valuables, important tokens of my life. I say this because it does happen to people, and now I feel a better grasp and that is more valuable than any guilt or shame over previous moments in my life.

I call it these days because they really come and go. The weather outside is beautiful, and during the summer I spent most of my time on my bicycle, and tonight I couldn’t get myself to move. It is funny how our lives become wrapped up in ourselves, and we forget about those around us. Now with Covid, we are more often than not forced to live only with ourselves. I have a dog now, he is a beautiful animal, and just comes and lays by me most of the time, or if he hears or senses anything emotional from me, he’ll come and check me out. A couple of weeks ago when I hit that low, he was someone I couldn’t leave behind without somebody to be there to care for him immediately.

I think when I get lost inside myself, I forget the world around me. I feel pretty valueless when I let this trapping take over my state of mind. I fortunately have a lot of people I can reach out to, but sometimes one or two might be far more important than everyone else. It doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t carry the same value, there are just easier words found with the few.

I began writing to an old friend recently. I wrote her a letter out of the blue, and it was overwhelming for her to hear my words 40 years later. I felt this certain energy when I wrote her, it just let my mind go and took off and I could see and hear my words as they were hitting the paper, and I just let them go. I’ve only been able to do that with one other person in my life and now she has disappeared much like my old friend, so I resort back to these pages. I hope someday I can put them together in some manner that lets at least me believe the words hold value.

Tonight I found myself watching TV, letting the hours slip by. I have a morning obligation that I have to contribute to rather than just show up. Sometimes it is easier to do that – show up – without really taking value in the effort or what others are receiving from me. What is the energy I bring to a room. I want my students to have fun, so we have a lot of laughs, but what if it means nothing to me anymore. Isn’t that really just hurting the kids? Oh, see how easy that was? I found another way to beat myself up.

The weirdest thing happened to me the night I was feeling my low. I was beside myself and I wrote a letter to a dear friend whom I cannot get a response, and I talked about some dark moments. I think deep in my mind, I was begging for a wellness check, and so shortly after I went to bed around midnight and my code for the entrance to my village gate rang on my phone. I couldn’t figure out why. I thought there might be a connection and so I stood out on my deck expecting the cops to pull up for a welfare check on my state of mind. But no one ever did. So now I guess somebody hit the wrong number. I really haven’t any idea, but I think God was sending me a message.

I think about where my state of mind goes so quickly when I am feeling down. It goes as deep as my fresh optimism goes high. I can never seem to find that common ground, that even keel, that ability to balance on the fence.

I think in the time of Covid, it really is difficult to feel hope without despair. I don’t like my job right now, it is not because of the kids, I love my students, I just don’t like having an administration that has their own struggles but doesn’t reveal with anyone because of their role. I think we are all struggling right now, and to add to it, a remarkably historic election week, and we are all on the edge.

I guess I have rambled here a bit tonight, but I really wanted to just talk about how easy it is to fall into a mania that gives suicide a platform when loneliness and sadness overtake our lives. It happened to me, and it does more often than not, I just am better hiding it than I used to. There are really only a couple of people in my life who know I walk around like this all the time. A couple of weekends ago, nothing mattered, and then I scared myself, so now tonight as I finish this up, I guess I am just recognizing another vulnerability in my own human condition that I cannot let become triggered – rather I need to accept it and move on.

I always find a way to come to terms ever so briefly with understanding mood. I just wish it could be consistent and forever.


© Thom Amundsen 11/2020

Will We Listen

He

would suggest we

love one another

a smile,

a gracious host

he always gave you the last peace,

the first chance to realize,

a quiet reminder of how a man

could be gracious

at any

cost

 

His cost

our decision

a lot of indecision

inside the spectrum

of constant scrutiny

versus

a positive outcome,

inside the machine,

he would use

different tools

to provide allowance

a natural course of love,

perhaps our

loss.

 

So now today,

we remember him

his legacy

as brief a time

as God gave our

heart and soul

to understand

the magic

of his quiet

direction,

still a strong suitor

he assured us all

he came to

heal.

 

His legacy of love

sweet positivity.

Life Is Not A Ploy

Though there would be

immediate disagreement in one,

quiet satisfaction in another,

in the final hour,

one would realize if they did stop

to glance,

a world beyond their own device,

would, might

still exist,

and in that social fabric ignored,

a pain,

a fighting soul

whose rapture not found

might emulate

the sorrowful nature

of a discompassionate ploy.

 

Yes, simply a game,

beyond the reality of our terms,

defined by the human condition,

a banter of

despondent disregard

favors

only the regarded one …

or two, or three, or miles of more,

so difficult it is to understand

the lemings at my door.

When The Rains Fall

prince-profile-illustration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all sort of band together,

a community,

suddenly we want to feel like we

believe

in similar ways

the grief of the day,

or in contrast,

the delightful nature of a

calm spring day,

when last night,

when the horrid reality of life

in all of its shapeless mortality,

suddenly did reign upon us

with passion,

a vigor more relentless than ever we might

Imagine,

and yet now this morning,

sun streaked skies allow our hearts to breathe

in natural elegance,

we will recall the Purple Rain of symbolic legacy.

Until later on, when beyond the intoxicating allure

of a glorious spring evening,

we do sleep again, only to wonder

if when morning returns

will we listen to the soft coo,

When Doves Cry

Second Chances

We’ve all had them,

known them,

witnessed an account,

wondered about our own.

We delight in opportunity,

look for an opening

a way to move our ego

beyond that of nature’s

sacrificial lamb.

When witness to change

our actions become an exchange

for the former self

hoping an eventual transformation

might give our hearts pause,

beyond the scrutiny,

a lesser adamant cause,

to find peace,

imagine a world beyond

the ugliness of …

needing a chance.

When World’s Collide

Severe variables

immediate collossal

pathways merge

energy driven

passion aligned

We have these adventures ahead

with our own perceptive dreams

Decisive ideals

Value begotten

Carousel synergy

Outlier Definitions

While our lives are interchangeable

where is it the stopgap of indecision

I once knew a woman

who whenever hurt or pain

announced their presence

she could still smile, still smile.

~

How do we know when the correct moment

can suggest we collide with a resilience

rather then

squirm away

in fear, the deception  of our reality

playing with that spiritual edge,

a quiet reminder in the back of our mind

reminds me, us, when we need to seek

outside of ourselves,

with willing anticipation

the answer is always nearby,

love is always holding the key.