the only life worth living is one that is truthful to yourself
“Confront the dark parts of yourself,
work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.
Your willingness to wrestle with your demons
will cause your angels to sing.” (August Wilson)
a week before you broke up with me
you admitted your depression had reared up
making you withdrawn, distant
short-tempered and confused
you said you didn’t want to talk about it
because doing so made it real
as if you could make a chemical imbalance
cease to exist
simply by ignoring it
the weakest thing in the world is pretending.
the truth will set you free
i walk because
when i sit my thoughts go nowhere
they circle around and around
like flies to a carcass
questions flitting from one answer to the next
never landing on anything
never reaching a conclusion
when i walk they move with me
they reach somewhere
they leave me
my mind clears once again
the incessant barking to figure it out
questions that never leave
you said we werent on the same page and you were right
why would anyone want to be as miserable as you?
weird that you go after women
full of joy and life
you once called yourself a black hole
that might be the truest thing you ever said
you once said
“i’ve never felt this way about anyone before.
every other time i was in a relationship
it was just kinda like ‘ehhh i guess i’ll do this.’”
which at the time i thought was sweet
but is actually so incredibly shitty
how could you be so cavalier about other people’s feelings?
why would you do that to them?
or was that just
one of the lies you tell yourself
will you say that about me too?
it felt good
to throw your toothbrush away
listening to cocoon by milky chance
it’s not our song it’s mine.
you once said you were attracted to strong women
is that because we’re more fun to break?
The other day, I heard a little old lady tell a crowd of sexual assault victims, “You were not put on this earth to suffer.” It reminded me of a line from the book I’ve been reading, Strangers Drowning, about morality.
“Some think that suffering is pointless and wish it could be eliminated; others believe it makes compassion possible and is at the core of the human condition.”
I used to believe the former, used to wish no one had to endure the pain of suffering…I guess I still do, when I see it. But you can’t wish away suffering, it will always be, and if it breeds compassion, it is all worth it.
Jack Gilbert says it best:
A Brief For The Defense
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.