Monday, November 17, 2008

Story of my life (and death)

There are things you learn only in retrospect. But at my 29th year I knew some things right away. For one I know I'm the luckiest man I've ever met, and that all the things that made me who I am, good and bad, were just shadows of what are to come.

People who don't know me, when they read something like this, they'd think that I've probably had it easy, and that this is how I define lucky. I would admit that I have been very good at concealing my inner life even from those very close to me, so that only very few who know me can construct my life story from all the pieces of the puzzle.

They say when a life is lived to the fullest, it overflows and changes others. But my experience of life so far is just the opposite. I seem to have been made a chalice rather than a vase. What's poured into me tends to get distilled so much there just isn't enough to spill over. If you were never intent on tipping me upside down you would never have tasted the last drop of life that's hidden at the bottom of the cup—that's how unnoticeable I designed my life to be... since I first discovered the want for romantic love.

Something tremendous happened the month leading up to my 29th year that converged all efforts and struggles of mine for love in a most unavailing confrontation that led to a climax most unbearable there wasn't an existing category to name it under. It was, to borrow from old idioms, a baptism of fire that could only be described as a sort of death... and rebirth.

For the first time in love I was betrayed. The betrayal brought about death that seemingly must be and most strangely with it, a resurrection from hope. Though it killed me, it gave me at the same time a new name to bear for the rest of my life. And that name I couldn't utter in any language even if I want to. It was made up of certain sounds, but mostly psalms and lamentations, a lifetime of keen questions and deep answers, honors and humiliations, faces, words, visions, terrors, light, and secrets.

So what after all do I mean by being lucky? There is only one reason behind my celebration of this life after death. And that is a pain-filled life is the only life worth living. I do not say this lightly. Every day countless out there suffer more severely than I did. But no one ever suffered needlessly. That is to say, people have without doubt suffered unjustly but no suffering was or ever will be undergone without its rewards. The human soul seems to be just the kind of thing that thrives on hope the more it goes without, and that's all I'm saying.

I'm lucky because I died.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Answers (And More Questions) From The Lover"

Kind Sir, you would not have asked me such things
If you have yourself in the Valley parched;
But my burdens were fastened on saintly wings
When all my eyes could see were dead souls that marched.


If I were a Knight who gallantly slays,
My deeds would have been told—no, I've seen my days
Through the baptism of utmost Betrayal
From heartbreak of death that drank wine from gall!


And what of my service before comrades and lords?
If love summons, would you not die by blade or quill
(You may not find courage now, but then you will)—
To meet lies with Truth with no thought of rewards?


I bear no secret that has not been revealed—
Unless streams can return to brooks they flow wherefrom!
Do you still suspect I have a pouch concealed?
Hear now: Joy may wane and Love bereave; Hope will come.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

"Questions To A Lover"

Dear Poet, you are not a sonneteer by trade,
But by the way you love you might as well be;
Your love is hidden in the swift Everglade,
Away from fading eyes that are not meant to see.


Do you want to tell the world how you worshipped,
Of the distance you travelled just true love to taste?
But the world is not prepared for a love so chaste
And a bedtime story in such sorrow dipped.


How did you do it?—tirelessly you seemed to rise
From culminating deaths that attacked by night,
When food and spirit were ever low in supplies—
This cannot be, but are you also a Knight?


Was there a lost secret we do not know of
That kept you in the battlefield and the king's court?
Tell us now, even of a haven thereof;
Have your eyes seen the city of gold?—love's Free Port!

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