If We Were To Know

Would we be the same

if wherever we go

vastly different claims

would question ego.

 

I sat on a hill one day

imagining my life

wondering time away

wandering in strife

 

So many of us each time

we think we figured it out

we walk again in line

acting we know all about.

 

If we could be where we are

if you and me and everyone

were to know just bizarre

our attitude weighs a ton

 

I wandered off the hill

again wanting only peace

some sort of quiet release

wanting everything to be still.

Advertisements

First Glance

Eyes open

still in mourning

a soft reminder

precious

in the quiet of a breeze

rustling leaves

the next stage

a would be journey lay ahead.

What follows

will be stark extreme

immediate loss

in sensory perception

for some a routine

cycle of life

while others we know

traverse a newer universe

one shares in

solemn

Mortality

Please Scream Rather Than Leave A Note – Suicide In Our Lives

spade

Kate Spade / Anthony Bourdain


The other day, I read a NYT article that indicated suicide rates are rising at an alarming rate since 1999. The same day CNN listed a similar statistic at 25% since 1999. This was the day after Kate Spade had taken her life. I thought it a natural followup of a tragic event. This morning I woke to the news of Anthony Bourdain. His series ‘Parts Unknown’ has been receiving high ratings on CNN for years. These are two prominent members of our society based upon their achievements over decades. Yesterday at a conference, a colleague of mine made the poignant statement, ‘suicide isn’t selective’ in its victim.
 ~
I’m really having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The first time I experienced suicide was when a friend of mine’s lover took his own life because he was terminal with cancer. I remember he lived a block away from me, and I probably could have heard the shotgun had I been on my deck, but I didn’t know about it until the next day. I remember his partner’s grief, and all the confusion that followed.
 ~
Years later, a man named Spaulding Gray wrote a wonderful piece called ‘Swimming To Cambodia’ and I immediately fell in love with his writing, his persona, though I remember being tempered when once interviewed, he stated that when he knows he is too sick to enjoy a quality of life, he will jump in the East river. His body was fished out of that same river two years later. I was devastated. and again not fascinated, more sickened by the reality of such a gesture.
 ~
In my own family, we have experienced such a tragedy, and there are never answers beyond the telling statement that depression is often a leading component in a person’s choice to take their own life. I’ve seen it too many times to count, and I still cannot wrap my head around it.
~
I know in my life I’ve struggled with depression more than I would like to admit. I’ve felt the dark moments that I suggest to all of my students as they go on to college or just live their present lives that when those moments arise, they have to call someone, they cannot allow themselves any other choice. I recognize the hypocrisy of my emotional reaction to this terrible outcome in the lives of so many people in our society and world.
 ~
Yet, all I can do today is speak to it from my heart. I didn’t personally know Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, countless names in the public eye. I don’t know the names of all the people that the reader’s of this commentary have lost over the years. I only know the pain and confusion is real. I only know when my dark moments come, I cannot help but reflect upon the realities that exist around me on any given day.
 ~
I can only suggest that people use the hotline – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, rather than accepting someone’s final option as the only answer. There have got to be solutions, and more importantly there has to be a greater awareness and acceptance around the stigma that is attached to mental illness and depression.

AP File Photo

Fighting Ignorance

This word popped into my lexicon

today, while basking

in the setting sun,

I wondered aloud about

what it is we seem to focus

upon while all around

our familiar ground,

the ignorance of life

seems drawn to

interfere with

a

quiet reality.

 

Sweet ignorance

the bliss of our lives

suddenly has feet

begins its walk again,

when a man,

a seeming professional

screams a rant at his own fear

in order to make a point,

that was already denied

fifty years ago,

when the time for

ignorance

seemed waning

rather than gaining.

 

We do sometimes choose to ignore

that purveyor of our deepest passion.

Getting Older in Autumn

sunset

pinterest – sunset

I read somewhere today about recognizing positive energy,

wonder came across my mind,

am I, can they, do anyone I know,

is there really a measure,

or are we all simply kidding ourselves.

 

I would glance around the room during times like these,

see all the different faces,

are they feeling the same,

maybe not now, or could we, is the

same solitude as impactful for her,

as it might be for the other guy

nearby wondering what lunch will be,

later on.

 

Is it really that simple for those that would rather complicate

the reality of our lives,

are we all, is it this, did you, I said it again,

I keep trying to stay out of this argument,

yet somehow I find I’m in the middle,

always trying with little effort,

or perhaps it is the other way around,

I might really exercise a certain bizarre discipline

toward accentuating

the negative nature of the human condition.

 

I do know there is a measure of truth

in the reality of a giving spirit,

I can see it on their faces,

the fresh affect, beautiful demeanor

of those whose smile is as real

as a wonderful sunset on a cool summer’s night.

 

That visual caused just a little bit of happiness … right?