A place for word pictures- Be it short fiction, idle musings, serious contemplation, descriptions of my life, someone else’s life, or no one’s real life, or perhaps the life I want or even the life that I dread. There will be a bit of original verse interspersed as I am, I fear, a rather amateurish amateur poet. Anything to create a mood and, hopefully, be evocative. I consider it psychic ambience. Please feel free to comment.
Outside of commercially manufactured adrenaline rushes, the emotional toe-dipping lust for hot new skinny jeans or the fastest phone exists our increasingly rare genuine human experience. I sometimes struggle to remember that while life lives episodic, it is based on eternal themes. I hope that you are entertained by my exploration of this apparent dichotomy.
spit, dissipate to
sharp cracks, rude bangs, farther
down spread a buffeting BOOM.
Oiled steel concussion meets, match
the beat within.
Overloaded senses seek instruments that
Comfort and sometimes something
more dark sure
and unsettling, spread
behind a sharp line.
Move, reach, caress
Wander beyond that line drift
dark silhouettes, armless
Walk transparent through
invisible flow, copper
coated soft centered, True
from dark death
to light life.
A poke a pull a heat ripple
free finding flight.
SITUATION: Assume that two men are born on the same day, one in the United States and one in Great Britain. They come from equally happy homes and grow into equally successful men. Both enjoy good careers and long happy marriages. They both raise beautiful children that grow into content and responsible adults. They both die on the same day.
Now assume that one did all the right things because he lived according to the dictates of his conscience or his God. His concern was simply doing the right thing.Assume the other did all the right things because he wanted to insure that he was remembered fondly. His concern was his legacy.
QUESTION: Are their lives of equal worth?
ANSWER: I don’t know.
To say yes is to acknowledge the equal importance of the contributions made by these two imaginary men to their families, communities and the world in general. To say no is to deny the importance of intention.
One man’s intention was to provide the people in his world with the things that he, as a man, believed they needed. To him, the ends and the means were one in the same. The other man’s intention was to leave his mark- if in no other way than through his children. To him, the means were a function of the ends.
I ask this question because I recently met a man that was in the process of starting a blog. I’ve no idea whether or not he ever carried through with his plan and it was a fairly brief encounter. But the conversation has stayed with me for quite some time.
He wanted to write about the issue of what it means to be a man in today’s world. I was immediately interested because I’ve often pondered a man’s changing role in a changing world. It’s a much bigger question than it seems at first glance. It covers the gamut from whether or not to hold doors for a lady, to friendships, to family responsibilities, to personal conduct and beyond. (Side Note: The best fictional exploration of this question I’ve ever found is in Jim Harrison’s novella Legends of the Fall. The movie is also quite good.)
I read one of his pieces, an essay really. It dealt with the issue of personal legacy. He stated that most people are forgotten within two generations of death. I’ve no idea where he got this statistic but it may well be true. I see no problem with this, but he seemed uncomfortable with the implacability of time. Hence, the idea of personal legacy.
You should know that his professed purpose for this concern with legacy was his two young sons. If they are to be his legacy, he reasons, he wants to make sure that it’s a good one. I gathered from our conversation that he is in the process of raising two fine young men. Sounds reasonable, does it not? Maybe even admirable.
But I was left with questions. I acknowledge that on the holistic level, all men’s lives are of equal value. Good balances evil, love balances hate and peace balances violence- often in the same life. But on an individual level? Is there not that gut response, that innate repugnance, at the idea that these two men are equal?
Do we not know intuitively that intention matters? And perhaps the answer is right there. Perhaps these two men’s lives are equally valued while not of equal value.