It Took Forty Years

It took forty years for me to realize what I knew long ago just by walking across the Mexican streets of two countries separated by a river that divided the dreams of the poor into slices of soggy bread that the lamb then joined together as the spirit flew beyond the boundaries of human worth

It took forty years for me to realize that all the groggy mornings spent navigating road rage asphalt painted with a future that had no end or any purpose only to confront ego-infested waters of furniture that smiles and cabinets full of lies was for their glory as they always came first

It took forty years for me to realize that everything I had ever done was recorded only in the negative and every smile to a stranger or a beautiful girl or every twenty dollar bill I gave to Jesus standing on the corner was erased because what is known about man is his sinful nature

It took forty years for me to realize that freedom loving intellectuals who abhorred conformity and group think in fact trust the all-powerful central authority to manage our thought and speech patterns in the name of freedom of choice and lifestyle

It took forty years for me to realize that words do hurt as much as sticks and stones when used as a weapon to destroy the core being of one who deviates so far from the norm that they can only pray at night that they be released from times of their life that are considered glory years by others

It took forty years for me to realize every vapid minded pretty girl who poses every waking minute of her life is either the bait, the hook, the fisherman or the entire alluring mess that fails to realize the fish will either eat her or be eaten by her and when her pretty little face fails her she will be forced to eat from a can

It took forty years for me to realize the mass hysteria surrounding a number on a jersey is in fact a form of emotional immaturity in search of vicarious pleasure derived from the exploits of total strangers many of whom would be considered inferior because of the color of their skin if not for their school colors

It took forty years for me to realize the foolishness in my heart to chirp like a bird around a man who had seen death and had killed in our name only to return to a frivolous nation that can’t even remember why they fought the war or if their government has forsaken those who survived

It took forty years for me to realize the courage needed to look a truly crazy man in the eye and become the object of his nature to unnerve those around him while he drives shirtless covered in tattoos waving his arms as the wheels on his Mercedes seemed to be the only sane thing about him

It took forty years for me to realize the insignificant moments that pass like a flash of a poor man on the street in my periphery and to carry his image in my mind wondering what led him to that corner and to my consciousness as I remembered it was my life that has to pass before I die

It took forty years for me to realize that while invention is the true skill of the human mind that mass distribution and manufacturing is a destroyer of souls and is nothing of caring, kindness, nurturing, love or empathy and that those who excel in endeavors that do not promote self-reliance and instead foster reliance and fear of loss are not to be admired or emulated

It took forty years for me to realize how many mistakes I made spoken and unspoken because every woman I was attracted to was to beautiful and mysterious for me to be myself and while I confused her with my aloof presence I recorded her presence in my life like a scar from a knife that never really hurt

It took forty years for me to realize that the only thing that matters is my children and to believe in them and to pretend that what awaits them in the coming years has meaning when instead it will be a journey to a place where nothing matters except their own children

It took forty years for me to realize that no man can tell me about God because what is inside of me is not inside of them and how I choose to worship is part of the plan and the information that continues to spout forth is not enough about peace and love but instead about obeying a human who cannot walk on water

It took forty years for me to realize that the feelings of a violent man are inside all of us and that the sexual desires of one person are as much a part of this world as any other sin and that to assume it is so easy for them to do what is written is to assume that it is easy for me

It took forty years to realize that to live like a human being is the most difficult task of my life and that the many people I made feel less than adequate are what awaits me as I will be forced to answer for each one by one in front of the burning bush that will reveal its displeasure to my adolescent mind


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Comments 16 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Truly outstanding writing of your thoughts. Hopefully your understanding includes forgiveness. Up and sharing.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 3 years ago from Texas

Amen, brother! You piece here speaks with a depth of intelligence and observation that will evade most people in their lives. If nothing else comes from life, what you express here represents the value and truth in living it and living it for the right reasons. Many people are dead and gone today for nothing more than insignificance that occurred in the path of their own journey. Be thankful for those forty years and know the next forty can be just as insightful but sadly...few will care that you know that. ~WB


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Forty years to become a pessimist? Nice confession, hope it helped, although, as you proclaim, man's nature is not good, so you are, by birthright, sunk. Moving along, way to realize the foolishness proclaimed by politicians ,e.t al., yet you trade selling your soul(belief system) from one to the next! Religion is death politics! Please search INSIDE of YOU; only answer is THERE! Bless you and good hunting, Man.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Such an impressive creation and one which I vote up without a doubt. Thank you for sharing and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Though there is all this sham and drudgery...it is still a beautiful world. I refer to "Desirada" (may have that spelling wrong), which was written centuries ago...and applies still. Your Hub is awesome and thought-provoking. Shared!

So all this worry about stats? Inconsequential. :)


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Like that poem( was theme of my freshman year, as a female senior was victim of an auto accident at start); what stats are you speaking of, with attached worry, as I missed them. Thank you. :-)


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Not here...sorry...just making a comment in general to all those worriers on the site about stats on HubPages lately.

This reminded me of how inconsequential that sort of worry is...in the big picture :) It was off the cuff and I did not reference it properly :)


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Scribenet; I would like to thank you for responding and clarifying that statement! I agree. Now I am speechless; fine response, thank you very much.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

From such astute observation, self-inspection, realization, reality-looking and intense searching steps forth the man I've always suspected you to be, Mark. The pain of knowing much, yet not fully knowing enough permeates it. But those are the seeds of maturity and wisdom into and through which you're moving. Very well written, too!

Hugs. . . Nellieanna (from 40 x 2 +1 - :-)


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 3 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank all of you for your kind remarks. It's a confession of sorts; possibly a new level of consciousness but the wisdom if any is heavily flavored by perception. So what I "realize" is not necessarily the whole story or even accurate coming from someone else's perspective. I'm trying to grow and shed old thoughts that are either harmful or false.

As for looking within, yes, I agree with that. I use Christian references but whatever it is that I actually believe (and I can't say that I believe anything with true conviction) does not form the basis of any religion or link me with any particular group/sect. I'm just trying to do what's right and in most cases I think we know what that is.....love thy neighbor is a good place to start regardless of what you believe about the Bible.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

The "within" to which I refer is oneself, one's experiences and perceptions which are actually always in dynamic flow, if one is fully alive. The principles of most religions attempt to give guidelines and counsel for those, because it's in them (souls, for a better word) that whatever 'faith' (I resist the idea of 'belief' because it implies deciding on something, too often ruling out all else, as such 'conviction' seems to demand) - can develop and matter.

What matters, IMHO, is being fully alive and growing (hopefully for the better) while on this earth, which does present itself as 'reality'. I have no preconceptions about any other reality which is possible but not necessarily so or as sometimes proclaimed to be by those who also do not know - , because that, again, limits it to deciding and limiting what it may or may not really be - if anything. That is the opposite of 'faith' INHO. How much 'faith' actually matters is unknown, but to me, trusting in what IS, which I do know that I don't know much about, other than what traditions may have pictured it and I might imagine it. If it IS - in fact what it IS perhaps will be known. Either way, if it IS, it IS and is not dependent on my 'belief'. My life here does depend on my choices and upward growth.

Meantime, here and now is enough to handle, as you say - loving my neighbor is a reality place in which to pour my attention.


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Real comprehensive comment, Nellieanna! I agree with your rationale, and find the conclusions wise; for what all that may be worth. Glad that you took the time to explain yourself, as clarity won.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 3 years ago from TEXAS

PS - I should have clarified in my above comment "The 'within' to which I frequently refer is oneself," - because, though I didn't refer to it in my initial comment here, it's vital to all else I mean and I say and think it whether or not it's verbalized.

Oh - I just saw the comment from you, JPBo756! I'm not contentious, but I feel as I've tried to explain. Glad if it clarified. Never hurts to be correctly perceived! :-) Thank you for that.


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Thanks very much for adding an epilogue to your work, as it certainly clarifies any perceived ambiguity which may have been inferred; nice touch, too. I agree with your motives and ethics(difference?). I am confident that you will attain your goal(s), I see all the best for you. Your neighbor is a fine start. :-D And ty, Nellieanna, as remarks here were for author.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 3 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Nellieanna - As usual I am always rewarded for what I write by your wonderfully insightful responses. I wish we could publish all your comments; you wouldn't have to write another poem because they would tell the whole world about your heart.

@JPB0756 - Sometimes things we write that are clear to us need a bit of explaining to someone who doesn't know the path or the intent of the writer. I'm glad we are on the same page.


JPB0756 profile image

JPB0756 3 years ago

Your skill as a writer has removed any ambiguity, and what you have said is true and helpful; great way of sharing pertinent knowledge of both people and writing, I am sated! Thanks for your personal touch, too. Glad, also, to be clear. :-)

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