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

The Mechanics of Time

A manner of words will carry weight

for the listener

far more likely than that speaker

for whom the end never arrives.

 

There is a wisdom in the quiet –

when will we ever understand difficulty

is far beyond

a matter of chosen explanation.

 

Might we sacrifice peace of mind

too often

rather than finding a way to live

accepting thoughtful compromise.

 

Certainly one cannot fathom

a notion of defense

would overcome the deceit apparent

is fraudulent dialogue.

 

A communication designed around time

and history,

once revered in a clocked day

become weeks of truth.

 

Days begin weeks become months

the years fly by,

and yet words once shared

do now become a travesty of time.

 

We are in the throes of this ‘human condition’

tossed about like pawns by our own volition.

© Thom Amundsen 8/2020

 

 

A Week Later

I wonder about perception,

how well it matches up inside,

the image we carry of ourselves,

the identity screaming always for balance

against the odds,

despite our own misgivings.

 

Last week I was high,

a natural phenomena

that took me places,

I didn’t have to anticipate,

just lived inside

this possibility.

 

This morning I stared out the window

barely able to move,

I wanted to question whether I should

with the many voices

clamoring in the back of mind,

yes, well, in any rate, you could.

 

I did,

here now begins a day,

a bit overcast,

accentuating a sort of morose

atmosphere

to balance the mood.

 

Sometimes I wonder

to myself

where this all began.

I know I shared it with you

one time,

so many peaks and valleys ago.


© Thom Amundsen 5/2020

Finding One Door

IMG_0177

This matter of doors,

talked about in quiet rooms,

where two people, maybe four, three

could openly speak

closing doors, reasons why,

open doors, easily cry

for there is some certain avenue

allows us all to find our way,

if we choose to be

the person we might

want to

speak someday.

 

I remember a year ago,

saying I wished I might not live another day,

exhausted,

it was a similar hour of night,

this seemingly special occasion,

where I

the leader or the exhibit on display,

wanted nothing more

than to go away.

 

Yet here I am today,

celebrating some reason to explain

how it might I came to be,

this life,

this scrutiny

that only I control.

 

Oh I may allow others

have a hand

in my own dismay,

but it is in those darker

moments,

I can begin to

explain away,

the tragedy of my own

today.

 

I met someone once,

she touched my heart,

we spent hours into the twilight

talking about who or what our psychic meanings were.

I remember wanting only to

kiss her,

and yet so compelling was her ability

to sway the judgment of my play,

I listened,

and the hours flew by,

suddenly sunlight peeking through

her apartment drawn shades,

the two of us laying comfortably apart

together,

opened our eyes,

smiled,

suggested

what a day this will be

today.

 

So tonight,

just after midnight,

I look again into that open door, a space

just kind of waits,

and yet there are so many stories about

that man in the chair,

who looks like yesterday,

or maybe a little like his mom

whom as he weeps in

a sweet silence,

he imagines or hopes,

dreams on occasion,

if he did stand up,

and walk through,

there would be she,

and all of the questions

that have rocked his mind for over

half a century

might suddenly

come to life,

what some could easily pin upon

the afterlife

 

Yet why is that even as we try to blend

the pallet of our fantasy,

why do the same entrances tease our mind,

the darkness will always prevail

until that moment,

when trying to be,

might only become

the aftermath of

we in the some triggered response

to ending all of the confusion

that inherent blend of

mystery

the human condition.

 

Safe in my distance, I do imagine the other side,

and just wonder if a  picture will ever help me decide.

 

Wanting Relief

Last night I listened to the winds howl in melody

seems they were speaking, warning of a parody.

So quickly our lives, my own, grooves self importance

wanting only to observe, less patience more chance.

 

I speak in my head a constant life of simple romance

that sort that would suggest our lives live in a trance.

The famous writers who could travel in love’s pain

a prowess with words, retelling always the reader’s gain.

 

I wondered how long it might be in this state I remain

whereby my actions would prevent me feeling the rain.

Where simply do we go when the winds to pull us under

An impossibility, our minds will not be want of wander.

 

Last night I listened to the winds howl their melody,

A certain peace is Her vibrant reminder the ready.


© Thom Amundsen 4/2020

The Words That Speak

I read a poem today,

talked about saving a life,

that words could

in such a remarkable way,

cause someone to

rethink their moment,

that impulse,

the frightened reality

the edge.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

We might easily write about death,

oh the beauty of their lives,

the regret of time,

the nature of loneliness

how simple it is

when described

yet complicated when

lost.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

How does someone decide

to listen

what is the correct cadence

of wanting a wandering soul

to find their way

inside the mystique of

questioning

the human condition.

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word

 

I stood along the railroad tracks

watched the lights brighten

the clicking of the clack,

the deafening horn,

I watched the light of tomorrow

suddenly set in the western sky,

and then I stepped away …

 

I wondered about the beauty of a word.

Wonder About Wander

I wonder,

a wander,

I wander about in wonder,

the formula of finding purpose,

while walking into forever.

 

I wander,

a wonder,

I wonder about in wander,

the essence of a philosophy,

while settling inside a routine.

 

I wonder about why,

what is it,

causes me to wander,

rather than letting my soul cry,

it is the future of a sweet wonder.

 

I wonder why we wonder,

while the rotation continues nearby.

Learning to Hate

I don’t know where it started,

one day as a child,

I think perhaps when they stole my bicycle,

I hated that it wasn’t locked up,

I hated not having any control,

I hated the embarrassment of being vulnerable.

I was only a child then,

I believed in the impossible,

I knew that anything could happen and I would always be safe.

…  I became a father …

I remember the first time she cried, and told me the reason,

I wanted only to protect her,

she only had certain words she could express,

“I hate it there” she said,

“I hate everything about it” she cried,

“I hate having to go there” she wailed even louder,

I knew that she didn’t mean it,

this was just the easiest word to use at the moment,

we later laughed when the years went by,

we reflected upon what is important today, what became

a priority that when we were children seemed like endless pain.

There appeared to be a constant though,

when our lives paralleled childhood,

we both experienced a part of life we didn’t understand.

We made adjustments over time,

we learned to tolerate, to accept, to better engage in reasoning,

we realized that hate was a far more powerful term than we might imagine

We decided to become conscious of how we chose our words,

carefully,

with sensitivity,

we began to think before we spoke,

we thought everyone would do that same thing,

eventually.

We then discovered the evening news …

These are the people I remember

I listen to a certain melody to bring me somewhere,

need to step out of where I am,

perhaps an escape,

one might call it a sojourn,

only works when I can find my right rhythm,

my beat, my way of departing from my real place,

into that world of imagination.

I use music to get me there,

but it can take a lot of hours,

just like the many days that have passed,

those that I recall when the words and tones of music

help me return to that place,

cold or bitter with the pain of my reality,

I can still find myself there.

I listen to music to bring me home again,

to that place we’re only supposed to go when we are ready to be there,

I suppose it is like a journey to another time,

that imagined pedestal too high to climb.

I have my music as a sort of blanket,

that one to suffice when emotions raw I can’t handle any outcomes

on my own.

I need your music to bring me there, again.