- Mental Health
Whispering Breeze over Poet's Grave
After every sunset has buried those unfulfilled promises of sunrise, comes the time again for a poet to make that heavy touchdown of his pen - to make the paper cry, laugh, sing, and otherwise echo the sentiment welling up from his chest.
Strange to himself, and even stranger to those around him, those words coming out with labor pains of a genius of heart never completely doing justice to that feeling. Like a sneeze that can't happen and merely announcing itself in a silly grimace, those verses are hopelessly following one another, with so many tears yet left uncried, so many laughs left unlaughed.
A loneliness creeps in, that unwanted but so loyal shadow that he seems to have been born with, now giving a fuel to his inspiration.
Inspirations Born out of Rude Realities
Between every two of those creative episodes, he merely goes through the motions of work, and all those other prosaic, or even crude necessities and chores of survival, often experiencing them as ordeals that he is not quite equipped to deal with.
Like a caterpillar impatiently waiting in its cocoon is he longing for that blessed moment of being revamped into a butterfly again, while dreaming of that lonely hour, that bottle of wine, that gentle violin nocturne in the background of the sound of his pen scraping against the paper, and maybe with a full moon sliced by his window shades to keep him a nonintrusive company.
From time to time he can't help but laugh at the great paradox of his life where that very prose aspect of it actually breeds the poetic one.
Wishing to Divorce His Muse
Not that he never got that sudden wish to escape from that orbiting around his muse. Not that he never got desperate while experiencing a mental block and glancing at that pile of crunched papers lying around the basket which seemed to reject every piece of that literary crap.
How many times he wished he could be like that neighbor of his, bringing in different giggling girls every time, maybe just loyal to a same brand of wine that's peeking from under his armpit. Then, how could he but not envy those simple-minded co-workers blessed with their ignorance, having fun over something shallow, while making him feel so phony for his clumsy attempts to join them.
That Unfriendly Freud
Yes, our bohemian poet would readily diagnose himself with something like a schizoid depressive living a virtual reality of his own make - if his poetry didn't feel so forgiving and reassuring, almost divine.
After all, he would rationalize, that was his artistic privilege to be a little outta whack. When in a particularly good mood - like when by accident kicking that empty wine bottle and scaring the cat - he could even go somewhat vain, giving himself a pat on the shoulder.
In some other moods, however, he might remember Freud's unfriendly theorizing about his poetry as stemming out of an unexpressed sexual desire and being an artistic sublimation of it. How can you not hate that Freud, that spoiler of those best moments of life!
Not One of Them - Merely Empathizing
So, what poet am I talking about? Does it matter? For there may be one in every city, village, farm, or penitentiary. Am I one? No, but being a spiritual dude of a free mind and an individualist thinking out-of-box, I may share with our poet that sense of separation from the mainstream population.
However, I am a way too prosaic type with my insistence on some almost cruel realities of human nature, and what I am putting on paper is oftentimes a challenge to a reader to take an honest look in the mirror.
Back in my distant past I did a few poems that were praised by friends as "deep" - but then I somehow grew out of it, and life certainly helped me with that, not to mention my mental discipline and a sort of a studious passion to get into the texture itself of the human nature, mine in particular.
The Sound of a Whispering Breeze
In a strictly metaphoric sense, our poet is "dead" to the realm of ordinary social roles. All until a gentle breeze over that grave whispers a call again for his resurrection, to seize the wings of the first butterfly hovering around and make it to a place in his restarting heart where he only feels at home.
Then it's hard to be a father, a husband, an employee, or a concerned citizen when his muse calls, when that whispering breeze is spelling the password into another realm. It's hard to be torn between two realities, each with its unique demands and claims on his mind and heart.
But then again, it's those very pains of prosaic existence that breed those inspirations. The world that he is so gladly escaping from is the one that gives all charm to the place of escape.
Resurrecting the Poetic Spirit
While most of the folks are spending their life with a relative ease of blending with its simplicity, to a poet nothing is simple, his soul painting his world into a myriad of colors and shapes. He could be said to keep resurrecting between every two prosaic episodes of sub-existence in which he is not expressing his only true identity.
I happen to know a very productive musical composer who must have put together hundreds of songs, hardly any ever published; but that's truly his life, his biggest passion. Poets, just like composers - especially of a bohemian type are a special breed of people. Nowhere else does the pathos of life mix with the joy of it like in the noble heart of a poet.
At Mercy of Public Critical Eye
And yet, some poets find enough inner flexibility to build a bridge connecting those two distinct worlds. Those are the ones who publicly succeed with their poetry, their name being mentioned with respect and admiration.
Nevertheless, sharing his poetic heart with the world is not without its secret pain. For now he is wondering - with how much genuine and deep sentiment are his literary babies being treated?
While he was writing for his eyes only, reading them provided a mirror of understanding. But now, are there some heartless critics out there who may sneer at his spilling his heart in those verses?
Is the world kind enough to at least try to understand? These and similar questions may haunt the accomplished poet, while he is picturing his delicate creations as merely a "stock on the culture market".
An Answered Prayer
Moments of nostalgic thoughts are bound to come, with those sweetly painful memories of times when his poetry used to be just a reflection of his soul being its own purpose, not a printed matter possibly butchered and bisected by some critical and non-empathic minds out there.
Funny, the muse is not visiting as often as she used to, and now he feels half-dead again, having betrayed those most sacred moments of intimate joy giving a noble meaning to those sleepless nights.
As he lays his tired body down, his poetic spirit empty like an empty shell on the beach splashed over by those salty tears of the tide, a silent prayer for one more resurrection moves his lips like a lullaby.
Then some hours may pass before those sheers move a little, disturbed by a gentle breeze just like the grey strands of his hair - awakening the poet inside, whispering another resurrection into his dream. For a dream is all that his delicate soul could possibly afford. A dream vivid just enough to replace reality. His, poet's version of it anyway.