Sunday, September 12, 2010

Long Enough to Know

If our purpose is to communicate, if what we wish most is to touch and be touched and by our touching to learn and grow, that wish demands we set aside our pose. If I am a poet, I must first be human. If I write and draw to make my presence known, if I offer my work as proof of what I think I know, it is as a human that I reach out, and as a human that I succeed and fail.

The longer we hide behind who we’ve contrived to be ourselves, the greater the distance between us. If we worship ourselves in the dim light of our own egos, the incense we burn will choke us all.

I’ve been here long enough to know I can’t go on; and yet the joy of setting out, the astonishment of each new hope, drives me to seek in others what in others is yearning for itself: that bright moment we die freely into life through sorrow shared and health, through breath and word and smile.

If I seem poor, it’s because, as a human, I am.

If wealth is the impression I give, it’s because, as a human, so many riches have come my way.

My life is a waterfall. It knows its seasons, and seizes and thaws in its own good time.

If I seem famous or well known, it’s because, as a human, you long to know yourself.

If I am no one, and I am, it’s because my voice sings the anonymity of ashes and graves.

If I am everyone, and we are, it’s because we’ve inhaled the cosmos.

If I am not enough, what, then, of my dearth? What will you do or say to raise me up?


all ways 11 o'clock said...

William - I have just written about this in my own abstract obscure way with a diptych attached. Our responsibility is to be open, to draw from others and share until we are back to the earth. Your strength and humbleness is a gift to me I take with great appreciation.


William Michaelian said...

Robert, your entry is wonderful, and not obscure at all. And it, along with your kind response here, answers my question at the end.

The feeling goes both ways. Thank you.

Anthony Duce said...

Your perspective as well as humility is expressed very well in this. The issues, many I have been thinking about lately too. They are clearer in your words here than they have been in my head. It is interesting how much has to be let go of to be able to get to the truth; so easily buried in long held beliefs about ourselves. Thanks …

William Michaelian said...

Anthony, as always, I appreciate your considerate, attentive reading. Letting go does seem to be the key. And yet there’s danger, even, in clinging to that idea. Thank you.

diipo said...

This is great tho' my little brain did not capture the entire meaning the little I got, I learned from and love.

Lorenzo said...

Oh, William, this is so powerful and chimes loudly in my mind long after the words run out. What can we do to raise you up, to raise each other, any and all of us up? I think it can only be by responding in kind to this post, by stripping away our poses and speaking with all the vehemence of an unfettered heart as you do so forcefully here. A challenging path and you set the bar high, but is there any other?

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Diipo. I feel the same way each day about the world around us.

Lorenzo, at this moment, what amazes me is the conversation between us, that we’ve somehow managed to bridge the distance of all these miles, across continents, cultures, daily lives, as if places and names on a map — Canada, Nigeria, Oregon, Michigan, Spain — fit neatly in the palm of one’s hand, freeing the tongue, creating music in the mind, our thoughts keeping time. And yet even this gift can be taken for granted, wasted, squandered, abused. We simply must not let that happen.

Thanks for your beautiful response.