Once

There was this young man,

he didn’t understand,

lived his life

by some societal demand.

Each day,

from morning he began

to try to find answers

inside his own head.

 

The throbbing

always until night’s end,

wanting resolve,

wishing solution,

medicating blues

begging forgiveness

for strange ideals

he would never

readily realize.

 

Watching people

walk the same streets

always vigilant,

a constant

recognition,

perhaps a look in our eyes

that would tell

anyone nearby

we all feel

the same

anxiety

who, wanting

to know.

 

We live life

always

wishing redemption

once.

Our Spectacular Being

I can feel you,

crossing a path,

planting my feet in

the morning mud,

last night’s rainfall,

making apparent

the day ahead would

not carry the same weight

in a sunny afternoon.

 

I think about aging sometimes,

more than some would like,

I imagine those days,

suggesting,

if I could …

all over again.

 

I wonder what might happen,

would there be other

faults

to replace the ones

having beckoned

my mind for

a half century.

 

Would awareness allow me

to feel right in my dreams,

or how long might it be

that I come to terms,

with this new life,

no longer carrying

the reminder of the old.

 

I read a book today

about ‘letting go’

a scary reality

when there are those matters

we wish to hang onto

all of our lonely lives.

 

Yet, the takeaway

today,

was not that we could never

look back,

instead we might

find a way,

always

love the reality

of our time.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Days Beyond Surgery

Ok, so I will begin and acknowledge a heavy dose of narcotics did prevent me from writing for days. Tonight, I am sitting a week away from surgery and there has been a story I wanted to tell, just haven’t found the right words. This procedure I experienced has had a major impact on my life, more so than major heart surgery seven years ago.

When I first imagined this surgery I looked at it as rather simple, an in and out of the operating room and back to my world. I even planned to return to work two days later. Much to my chagrin my doctors and family both disagreed, and suggested I take the week off. As it turns out, they were all quite right, and tonight I’m sitting a week later preparing to return to my job after the weekend. What interests me the most though is how much I took rest seriously, rather than taking it for granted and soldiering forward, a preference of mine on previous occasions.

In my head, I figured this hospitalization would be routine. So what is it about this experience that has changed my thinking? I cannot think otherwise, beyond the notion I am aging, and now more than ever I need to actively take care of my body, and my state of mind.

This summer I experienced a great deal of lows, times where I felt exhausted, and seriously wondered how I might endure the next 30 years of my life. I certainly contemplated justifying my desire to not live out those years, imagining that people would be better off, after exhausting those I am closest to with all of my trivialities, my personal demons, my neediness. Those were dark moments in my life, I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, though I know we all have had our times. I chalked it to having too much time on my hands, and figured the school year would quickly bury all that vague ambivalence I walked around with every day. There are people I am close to that helped me work through some of those personal fears, and to them I will be forever grateful.

So, now I look at aging and my second major surgery in less than ten years. I am walking away from this one realizing there is a purpose to continuing to find care with my physical needs. This event in my life was not life-threatening, beyond perhaps complications down the road if I hadn’t gone through with it. So why am I so impacted? Only one reason.  I continue to have a purpose in my life.

I received excellent care when I was in the hospital. I’m always rather embarrassed to be in the hospital. I don’t want to be defined as somatic, or having needless medical care. When I really feel that I convince myself I’m taking someone’s bed that needs it more than I do. My diagnosing Doctor told me he disagreed on Friday morning. He said there wasn’t anything somatic about an enflamed gallbladder, and I did the right thing coming in. Suffice it to say walking around with pain for the last six weeks convinced me to be seen, and rather than finding a mass in my abdomen they found something tangible. They removed it, and now I go forward. But my perception is different.

The self-persecution seems much less relevant, and the need to live my life in as positive a manner as possible is now my goal as I move forward. Like I said earlier, my experience with the medical staff was incredible. They all were filled with compassion. In fact, I encountered three of my graduated students and I looked at them and their positive energy, and I truly believe they were brought into my life for a reason.

That reason at this writing is only to suggest we have a lot more ahead of us. All of us.

Are We All The Same

Do we feel pain

rather simple agony

stepping upon cracks

forgetting  what is civility.

 

Sitting in another quiet

century

last one

got away from me.

 

Wandering in my mind

his heart became

a wonder

just how far our lives –

 

Could we see

the light of day

when the birds own

the world with melody.

 

Might we all see the truth

in love

rather than the pain

in inherent  with difference?

 

Walk away from deceit,

rather knowing life is a feat.

 

Breaking Apart Wrath

This communication

a desire to know,

to understand

a device inside a spectacular mind,

drowned in the circumstance of vice

each community

drawn by memory

responsive to a quiet solace,

always drawn by the tension

the human condition

a societal mandate,

how would you respond

to a crying appeal,

we want what feels right

rather than the circumstance

of indecions

and disparaging commentary,

so while away

the coming day

or decide upon a travail

a sojourn toward

peach of mind.

In Respect to Anger

A friend of mine

told me the truth today,

said in a matter of fact way,

you are too angry man,

life is too short.

I paused,

put away my defenses

began to wonder about my

starting words,

and came to the conclusion,

I’m always

this or that or why or because or they

yet somehow I’m never too me.

 

Life is too short,

life is too sweet

life is a carnival

and yet we never quite

make it to the

presidential suite

 

Instead we look for someone else

to take the blame,

and so standing in the parking lot

tonight,

I felt my eyes did well with tears

realized my exhaustion has a purpose

allows me to come to terms

with who I am what time I have

life is a carnival after all,

we should remember just how to

enjoy the ride.

My Personal Insomnia

Step into my world

a man

frazzled yet still

a remarkable breather

able to stand

to negotiate

appreciate some aspect

of life.

 

Not perhaps until the day

for tonight,

his life remains behind

invisible bars

that only allow him

to remind,

to replay,

to re-evaluate

and always the same thing

every time

no solution,

only another night,

he won’t sleep

he might rather weep.

 

The insomniac on so many

levels,

this one though has a simple

solution,

stop checking for the same outcome

the clicking, the wandering, the wishing,

an inevitable drain

in the human psyche

 

until finally he might realize

tomorrow is another day,

oh my

life really is a sad cliche.