I hold the mountains if they were my own,
Losing a part of myself in the sunrise;
The cresting warmth against the moody cliffs,
Hugs the snow-capped peaks;
So high they could shake the hand of God,
I sink into the forgetfulness of urban life,
As I fall in love with places,
That I’ve never been.
The blue birds came,
And I wept for the tulips,
For their bloom died with serenity.
When I first began my mindfulness journey it was one of confusion and frustration. I was thinking, “you want me to sit here and just breathe and try not let my thoughts overwhelm me!?” That was my simplistic view of what Mindfulness was at the time. As a child I’ve had diagnosed ADD, which meant my mind raced and wandered all the time. The combination of childhood trauma also added a layer of difficulty when it comes to regulating my thoughts and emotions. I thought it was normal having these anxiety infused thoughts racing through my head every second. Since I could remember I had an anxiety about death. At any moment I thought I was going to die. It haunted me daily. I didn’t think this was abnormal, it was just the way it was. My mind was a labyrinth of different catastrophic thoughts and situations. Reflecting, it’s a miracle that I could function as highly as I could.
What mindfulness taught me was to observe my thoughts as thoughts. I could be curious with them, play around with them, observed how they began and ended, but most importantly I didn’t have to act on them nor did I have to believe these thoughts were reality. It allowed me to be an observer of my thoughts and feelings and not a participant. It gave me space. Space to evaluate, and act when it was necessary to act. I wasn’t driven so much by emotional impulse, but by observation and mindfulness.
I check the tone of my voice to see
If I’ve become a man, like Odysseus,
If my gait stood strong like a Trojan horse,
Deceptive, but a well planned opulence,
Lured by the sirens of my own perfection.
Before puberty, the squeak of my voice
Haunted me tirelessly and unafraid,
Longing to escape the burden of boyhood,
Masked by the tyranny of expectations,
Cursed by a conscious vanity:
When would I become a man?
My frailness became it’s own enemy,
Locked in a chasm of regret and allure,
Running towards validation,
Like a good infantryman towards gunfire,
The blaze of contempt for my own manhood,
Reduced me to a giant without the strength, might, or height,
As the sirens of conformity,
Drifted me to the shores of complacency.
As winter has gone on for far too long,
And the spring winds foreign from rusted chimes,
I check the tone of my voice to see
If I’ve become a man, like Odysseus.
I loved things that made my heart break,
Like annuals that bathe in the sun,
And withered away at the first frost,
I peeked my head outside the window,
To see if my friend would come back,
But dead leaves and snow marks its place,
I think of war as it has the same grace,
Those alluring moments that scares the hell out of us,
But continue to chase without a catch,
My lungs will never breath that deep again,
The sweat of my palms will never soak my gloves,
As metal meditation lulls the empty
Reservoir of youthful stupidity,
It’s cruel you know, to give young men that much life,
And cut it short with a plane ride home.
Hurry up and wait,
While she flies overhead;
Our chariot to the promise land,
Feather laughter conceals
Drink more water,
Stomachs lust for temptations,
Backs to backs,
Like a scab once removed;
A tank dances on pavement,
A pirouette of massive grace,
Metal and asphalt,
Commune in a torrent love affair,
Young and despondent,
An adolescent praise,
I thought I’d miss it,
The way youth burned my hands,
Our hearts fell in love with a cure,
That normalcy couldn’t endure,
Would write to you with inexbriant praises,
Between the Arabian desolation,
You’d forget my name,
Through western chaos,
I was once removed,
And came back with someone
I never knew.