Poem: My Heart Beats

Someday I’ll quit the race and listen to my heart,

someday my heart’s beat will silence my desires,

someday I’ll commit to myself,

someday I’ll move to the woods.

 

The patient rhythm of nature,

matches my own beating heart,

the warm blood, the warm rays,

the deep inhales of cool wind,

the red roses, the violet petals, the deep green grass blades,

no concrete gray,

the stars above, fresh dirt underneath, me in between,

a man, an animal, a combination of the two halves.

 

For now, amongst the honking sounds,

amongst the curses, amongst the hustle,

amongst the smoke, amongst the drunk,

amongst the paper, amongst the ego,

my heart beats softly, pleasantly,

knowing that its counterpart is out there,

like a lost lover,

knowing that someday it’ll be reunited,

waiting for common sense to seep into my mind and limbs,

until then, with patience, my heart beats.

 

Poem: Burning Bridges

In between chaos and order hangs a bridge made of old wood and old rope,

the planks creak and moan under the pressure of footsteps,

back-and-forth man walks,

hovering between the two possibilities.

 

Tipped towards the dark by forces outside of him,

the chaotic unfolds the center and he falls apart,

his world, his mind, his heart consumed by anarchy,

which turns to arson,

burning away the innocence,

burning away the old bridge,

its charred remains fall into the abyss,

the whites of mans eyes look out through the darkness that shrouds him,

the heart is lost,

the limbs move in an erratic manner,

striking whatever is in its way,

transferring the pain, the hate, the chaos to whatever he touches,

he goes from a being to a man, to an animal and now to an It.

 

Behind the eyes the embers of order burn,

less so than before,

they search for the savior, thinking that the savior is out there,

somewhere,

for the disturber of the balance was external,

mistaken in this belief, the lost are never found.

 

The Spiritus Mundi aimlessly walks inside of man,

waiting to be held, waiting to be guided, waiting to become the guide,

in this disorder, what is required isn’t logic,

reason doesn’t build the bridge again,

the beast with the lions body must be tamed and upon it,

the mans head is placed,

and through such a harmony, a fusion of man and beast, the bridge is remade,

through such surrender, balance is restored.

 

But it’s easier said than done, like all things,

no one wants to let go of chaos,

it serves as an out,

a way to let go of responsibility,

a way to blame,

a way to survive,

no one wants to admit that the darkness is comforting,

that those thoughts are pleasing,

happy in the emptiness,

lost in the chaos,

happy in the chaos,

why be born again?

why restore the order?

why go through the pain?

 

Senseless beasts roam around,

intelligent fetus’ crawl around,

erratic and thoughtful,

misery and miserable,

only see a few who are beings,

those few are constantly struggling to stay whole,

as all around them is fire,

burning bridges,

and the flame is so alluring.

 

 

Poem: Out of Sight

The flowers bloom out of sight,

the sun rises out of sight,

the sun sets out of sight,

the gathering clouds, the soft rain, the waving grass blades,

nature’s call,

out of sight, out of sight.

 

She sits by herself, her

shawl wrapped around her, comforting

cotton material, what

she needs is the comforting touch of her fellow being, but

pride is damming, also

the lack of awareness is prevalent, as

man goes about their day.

 

Men with diamonds around on their wrists,

women with diamonds around their necks,

her eyes avoiding her own reflection,

as people double click the pictures on injustice on their phones,

sipping on their drinks,

while she thirsts for aid.

 

Too many animals walking around, not

enough humans, too

many concerned about themselves, their

own looks, their own bank account, their own desires, not

enough who can empathize with the desperate others, even

though everyone knows the desperation, and

in their own time of desperation craved another’s compassion.

 

“How are you?”

“Are you okay?”

She talks to herself,

answering herself,

practicing a smile,

to match that of the surrounding people,

so she feels part of the crowd,

and not alone,

as she sits alone,

out of notice,

out of care,

out of sight,

wandering animals around her.

 

Poem: The Passage of Permanence

The passage of time,

The passage of worries,

The passage of sadness,

The passage of happiness,

The passage of love.

 

Nothing is permanent,

desires change, hopes change, I change,

some changes come with a hope of permanence,

this new me will stick around, hopefully,

other changes come with the hope of immediate change,

finding myself in lows of life,

hoping like the flip of a coin it can turn around,

thinking if I will even remember what I hold dear now.

 

The days go by and it’s the next year,

older I get the more desperate it seems,

desperate to become someone,

this never used to be a concern of mine but is now,

even this desperation will pass, when

I either succeed (even that will pass),

or when I fail (even that will pass),

either way, something new will take over for the time and that too shall pass.

 

Just like the good times with hearty laughs,

just like the bad times with teary eyes,

the passage is permanent,

I am not,

So, smile some, try some, love some, cry some, fail some,

and in the end, I know I’ll be alright,

for the next passage awaits.

 

Lessons From Stories: Unconditional Love Can Be A Bad Thing

Honore de Balzac wrote the novel Old Goriot in 1835, and he explored the social and cultural changes that were taking place in France at the time. There are several themes associated with this novel, but I’d like to focus on one in particular. The theme of parental love and family relationships, specifically the relationship between Goriot and his two daughters, Delphine and Anastasie. The lesson derived from this relationship is that there is such a thing as too much love. That, in fact, a parent’s unconditional love can have negative effects on their children.

(Obvious spoilers ahead)

To set the stage, at this time in France, one’s reputation was everything. This theme is largely explored through the lens of the character Rastignac. He is a young man with dreams of becoming rich and successful. In his story, he interacts with the elites of the Parisian society including both Delphine and Anastasie. The two daughters are married to successful men but the daughters constantly struggle with finances as they attempt to buy rich gowns and wear expensive jewelry in order to keep their high societal image.

It is in this struggle to stay relevant we see how unconditional parental love can be damaging.

But first, we must understand who Goriot is. Goriot is portrayed as the ideal father. He embodies the parenting view that it is the parent’s responsibility to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of their children. We meet Goriot living in an old boarding house along with several other characters. Soon after that, we are given background information about how once upon a time Goriot was a rich merchant and the reason why he went from living comfortably to now having to spend his old age by himself in a small room was because he gave his wealth to his two daughters in order to maintain their image of wealthy Parisian women so they can keep getting invitations to dinner parties and get-togethers.

This idea of Keeping Up with the Joneses is as relevant today as it was in that time period. As people attain more wealth they upgrade their living situations trying to maintain a certain image that they believe is associated with their income level. Goriot’s two daughters are no different than the people we see walking around now. Both of them find themselves in this rich sphere of influence and both constantly struggle to stay in that sphere. When our self-worth and our identity comes to be tied with our reputation and image, we can fail to see what really matters. Such as the love and care of people around us.

The daughters fall into this trap as well. They care little of how their father has downgraded in his living conditions over the years and how he’s had to sell what is precious to him in order to raise enough money to keep a steady flow of income which the daughters can use for material possessions. The daughters are too self-absorbed and here is where too much love and care can be a bad thing.

The overwhelming love Goriot had for his daughters stopped him from thinking rationally. Instead of teaching his daughters about self-worth or raising them to make their own wealth, he kept on feeding their addiction. Love clouded his logic to the point he was essentially causing self-harm in order to keep his daughters happy. His love for his daughters stopped him from putting proper boundaries which would allow the daughters to take on responsibility for themselves. He wasn’t able to raise independent human beings. Instead, even as adults his daughters relied on him to help them and because his love was boundless, he kept on loving and sacrificing until his final breath. Worse of all, the tragedy of the story, the father dies without either one of his daughters there to comfort him and even at his funeral, the daughters don’t come.

Often we hear how moderation in all things is the key to a successful life. When I think of moderation my mind automatically goes to bad habits and vices that we can practice and how we must be aware of such things in order to keep ourselves from overindulging in the bad. Old Goriot opened my eyes to a new perspective. Overindulgence in the good can also be harmful. Too much love, comfort, and support can rob someone’s possibility of being their own individual. The daughters never had to stand on their own two feet because Goriot was there to support and guide them the whole time. It is easy to identify when we are imbalanced due to our bad actions but much harder to pinpoint the imbalance when we are acting out of love and care. This story is a good reminder of the latter. Even our love and care must be disciplined and moderated. Especially if we are to raise proper human beings.