Incense with Flaws

I allow myself to live in confusion, where air becomes water and water becomes soil and soil refuses to permit one to breathe without struggling to understand and embrace chaos. I posted, earlier this evening, a rather rambling piece on Facebook that I wrote explicitly for this blog. How I managed to post it on Facebook, instead, is beyond me. I was operating in automaton mode, functioning as a robot without the luxury of thought.

The Facebook audience is far greater (though not particularly large), and to some extent, less engaged than the small cadre of people who follow my posts here. Regardless of my intent, I posted on Facebook.  Because of the immediate responses to FB, I could not in good conscience simply delete it and start over. But it troubles me. It bothers me that I made such a mistake; is it a sign of declining mental capacity; is it an indication of the inevitable decay of my intellect? I don’t know; I have no answers. Only questions and fears. Regardless, I intended to post my comments here, and so I shall. Here is my post, verbatim, from Facebook:

cone_of_incenseAnd so here it is, a cone of incense burning atop the light table, with the reflection of the sky in the window pane expressing ennui in the clearest way possible. If you were by my side, you would see a bottle of Shiner Bock beer awaiting its demise, which will occur as it slides down my throat. I look out the window at signs that summer is in its death throes. I have wished I were a poet since I was in high school. What I did not realize at the time was that I am and always have been a poet, just an inferior one whose works will be relegated to the dustbins of literature. None of us make the differences we could make if only we treated our time on earth as our only chance to make a difference. If humanity had taken full advantage of its capacity from the start, we would live on peaceful planets in peaceful galaxies in places of plentiful love. Instead, we remain fixed on a deathstar of our own making, screaming at the demons we created, with pleas for salvation that could have come if only we had acted a thousand generations ago.

I was genuinely surprised to get a comment or two that spoke in glowing (or, at least, positive) terms of my poetry. Generally, though, it didn’t prompt any responses of note. But I wasn’t after comments. I was after revealing myself as the impostor I am, a characteristic I share with most others, I’m afraid. Yet here we are, sitting and wondering whether compliments matter, whether they are simply antiseptic bandages  sent our way to minimize the likelihood that wounds will fester and become infected.

My view of life is jaundiced. I realize that. I just wonder why. What happened to me that I don’t remember what turned me into the man I am? How did a flaw of such exceptional proportions get introduced into me, a defect that turned me into who I have become?

Don’t get me wrong. I do not identify myself entirely as a flawed human being. I have positive attributes. Certain elements of my personality contain admirable qualities. It’s just that flaws catch my attention and distract me away from the essential work one ought to undertake to feed and nourish those better qualities so that they grown and flourish.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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