hopeful

Shadow demons stalked his room, mirroring the pain and anger rampaging in his mind.  They slithered from corner to corner and whispered their visions of despair.  The storm outside raged, seething darkness and destruction and he began to weep.  Such was the state of his exhaustion that he could no longer hold the worst of his emotions in check and delusions sprang from his spiraling thoughts.  Shadowy teeth snarled.  Sinister eyes flashed.  He knew all he had to do was close his eyes and sleep would save him from himself but his eyes refused to shut.  His monsters ruled the night.

Wind rattled the windows and screamed in frustration.  Of what, he did not know, did not care to guess.  The wind was something he had never understood anyway.  Its howling was not to be ignored, though.  It rose and fell in shrieks and moans, and seemed to give further voice, gnashing and menacing, to the shadow demons.  They pressed close now.  They would loom over him and then flit back to the corners when his eyes darted their direction.  Soon they would grow brash enough to stay even under his gaze.  They would learn that he was powerless against him and then they would pounce.

He longed for that, actually.  Since his eyes refused to shut and he had long before even stopped trying to controls the demons he had produced, letting them sink their teeth and rip his flesh would be an end to his torture of waiting, or watching the minutes tick by, or feelings his mind continue to unravel.  He almost called out to them, “What are you waiting for?”  But, his mouth was too dry to form the words.

It was only a matter of time.  He hoped.  They would come for him.  He hoped.  Then his eyes would close.  He hoped.

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stand

The world is on fire…

It isn’t the kind of fire you can grab a bucket and lend a hand.  It can’t be fought with traditional measures.  It isn’t the kind of fire that will burn itself out.  Its fuel is endless.

So what are we to do?

The world is on fire…

Who is to blame?  Who can we point the finger at?  Who is at fault for this madness, this tragedy, this unending pain and grief and blood, this shit storm?

It doesn’t matter.

The world is on fire…

I get it.  I’m angry too.  It’s a helpless rage and without a solution to pour my emotion into, casting blame becomes an easy fallback. It’s better than doing nothing.

And yet it amounts to the same thing.

The world is on fire…

We need to stop these worthless games, the name calling, the political jockeying, the finger pointing, the bickering and blithering rhetoric that gets us nowhere, that gets the people consumed in this fire nowhere but six feet under.  We need to form a line, hand in hand, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, and stand together before the flames.  Buckets won’t work.  Shovels won’t work.  Water won’t work.  It has to be us.  We have to risk it all together.

Will that stop its advance?

The world is on fire…

Yesterday it claimed some lives.  It does so most days.  Today my helpless rage has turned to sadness.  The streets lined with warriors, people who maybe don’t even realize that just showing up made them so, and tempered my angst with hope.  Some people get it, whether they realize it or not.  They are already out there, standing shoulder to shoulder.

We should join them on the streets, on the sidewalks, on the overpasses.  We should be out there every day, not just days where a hero is lost.  We should do more even if we think our actions won’t amount to change, even if they won’t.  We should be out there because it is our solidarity, our decision to raise our voices as one, to shout and sing and cry louder than the roar of the flames, that stands the best chance of winning not just this day but all the days of our future, all the days of children’s’ future.

I’m not preaching at you.  I’m yelling at myself.  I need to do more than sit behind this keyboard and type away my emotions.  I need to get up and walk out there and be part of the line I think we need to form.  How can I ask you do something I am not doing myself?

The world is on fire…

The world is on fire…

The world is on fire.

better

We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To make us feel like the hard decisions
Are made for the right reasons
Because that silver lining
Is often
The only
Highlight
Of
The
Day

We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To keep us from reflecting too deeply
On the unjustness of reality
Because life isn’t fair
And that truth
Always hurts
More
Than
Heals

We always have choices
Is a lie
Told to us
Sold to us
To give us the merest glimpse of hope
Of a world that could be better
Because there has to be
There should be
Something
Better
Than
This

they will come

After the soil is split by lava, dark and heavy with burning earth, they will come.  After the sky is darkened by plumes of ash and smoke, choking the air and blocking out the sun, they will come.  After the oceans spill over their shores to carry waves far and wide before freezing into sheets ice, jagged and broken by the wind, they will come.  After all is lost, forgotten amidst the chaos and passing of ages, they will come.

Hope remains always, of course, and they carry it like a torch when they come.  The fixers, the survivors, the ones who refused to bow to the ravages of nature, they will rise from the frozen tundra of dust and ash and rebuild.  It will not be what it had been before, but that doesn’t trouble their thoughts at all.  There is no time for nostalgia.  There is only work, the joy of creation, and the thrill of life.  Sometimes it is harsh and ugly but it is always magical.

high hopes

Image Credit: Xavier.edu

He lifts and presses his fingers in an intricate play of motion and sound, and creates a masterpiece of words in beautiful imagery.  The stories speak of pain and love, hard truths and beautiful fantasies, and he sends them into the world with high hopes.  He is proud of them.  They are like his children and he is setting them free to make their own way.

Perhaps his hopes, his expectations, were too high.

The current world is not kind to beautiful things.  Sometimes it breaks them up and tears them down.  Sometimes it merely laughs for all the wrong reasons.  Occasionally, and worst of all, the world turns its back on beauty, ignoring it and letting it wither away unto death.

“Such is the sad state of our times,” the talking heads cluck before giggling about the antics of the latest internet celebrity wearing a toilet seat necklace and upside-down pants.  “What can you do?  Pander to the lowest common denominator of popular culture or face the torturous agony of certain irrelevance.”

Though, in truth, the talking heads would never speak so eloquently.  This he knows just as he knows his words, his children, are going to struggle once they leave him.  That, however, doesn’t make it any less necessary for them to be set free.  There is risk, but only with risk is there the chance for greatest success.

Perhaps his hopes, his expectations, weren’t too high.

He lifts and presses his fingers in an intricate balance of characters and worlds, spun together for the entertainment of those brave enough to read more than the standard faire provided by the money driven words industry.  There was no profit formula.  There was no demand for demographics or tired plot lines.  But, there was plenty of hope.

After all, it costs nothing to hope.