Yesterday, after a three hour hospice training session full of death and dying, I had a good talk with a friend, a spiritual man. He understood my bipolar depression but could not relate to the degree of it. In telling our stories to each other and hearing of his spiritual path, I got a tiny dose of hope.
When I went through my two-year depression, previously recorded on this blog, I told my psychiatrist that the one thing he did during that time was not lose hope for me. It was so important that he held hope for me. We must hope for the hopeless as they cannot do it themselves.
There's a group that meets at my friend's house on Thursdays working through "The Course in Miracles," which, as I understand it, is mainly based on Pauline positional theology--that is, we are already made whole and resurrected with Christ, whatever our earthly experience. I have never had the faith to make such theology work, but I hope that the example of others will help guide me.
I quickly dashed off three sonnets this morning, only one of which may be construed as dark, below. I also wrote a villanelle of some merit that I'll save for another post. It's about scattering he ashes of my late daughter, Rachel.
Is poetry for the ego of the poet?
Could there be another kind of verse
Meant for the reader? If so would we know it
Or call it “Hallmark sentiment” or worse?
Suppose I said to you, “I am in love
But helpless as I watch my loved one suffer.”
Do I need fancy metaphor to prove
My feelings as through a stylistic buffer?
Here is my heart, it’s just like yours, you know.
More often we are separate in mind.
Inside the ring of hearts our spirits grow
Through one true gardener into one true vine.
Love is the answer, so the Beatles sang,
Still we kowtow to the mind's harangue.
For Ron II
There is a little cottage by a meadow
Cedar-shingled, straw-thatched and tiny.
At night white light beams from its windows
And trees bathe in its glory. All the shiny
Leaves of maple, beech, birch and oak
Burn with a life greater than any sum.
The cottage door is open and the joke
Is that mankind is too afraid to come.
Sure, at the entry you must strip yourself
Of any notion of sufficiency.
Whatever you held onto as your wealth
Will only register deficiency.
God wills the world in, the world resists,
Still, beats the open door with bloody fists.
Touch me dying, feel the tenuous pulse
Of this remaindered life ebb into silence.
Death is much too feeble to repulse
Your love, and we’ve surrendered all our violence.
Sit beside me as my arm turns cold.
Mark the white around the pupils’ brown,
“Arcus senilis,” something that the old
Develop when tissues are breaking down.
Now I am gone. Do you feel lighter?
Do you feel anything at all?
I went so easily, I’m no prize fighter.
The bell rang, I stood up and took the fall.
Where am I now? A presence fills the room,
Invisible, a spirit I presume.
Thanks for reading.