“Magic is a state of mind. Magic has no true definition.” JSM
The Poet Tree
Lots to discuss today and it centers around an ancient relic.
Well, not really an ancient relic. It’s not a golden mask or a chipped and weathered arrow head or a tarnished coin, but more along the lines of something found at the bottom of an old filing cabinet I keep stored in my basement. Happened across it while looking for something else.
Long ago, before I adopted the role of full time parent, I was bereft of purpose. I only existed in this life. Searching for meaning (but didn’t really care), and trying to find my place in the world and fit in (again, not truly caring).
I had ideas of what I wanted. Those wants usually included another drink, a party pad to crash at or an alternate substance to alleviate stress. Often I thought about goals and ambitions, but at that age and time I had no ambition or tangible goals. Work, pay out, party, plod along, play, pass out and repeat.
Then I became a parent and everything changed.
I know for a fact my singular purpose in life is to be the best parent I can be. No gray area there. Nothing can sway me otherwise as I’m fully aware it’s my sole purpose for being. My personal universe revolves around them.
Before I took on the role of parent, the worst that occurred in life was breaking up with a girlfriend, or arguing with a buddy who’s upset because I couldn’t come over and hang out for the day. Which couch was I crashing on this time? Hope the boss doesn’t call me in on Saturday. I’ve already worked my thirty hours this week. They’re starting to cut into my social time. I hope they take me from the back of the warehouse and put me on cash someday. It sucks back there.
Academically and grade wise I sailed through my education. I did all my homework at the school, finished above average with all areas except math (hate math) and the second I moved out of my parents and “became my own man” I turned down an opportunity to attend a technical college. That continued education would have allowed me to settle into a trade I enjoyed.
Instead, I decided it was then time to experiment with the darker side of life.
And that’s just what I did.
I’ve done my stint for king and country. I’ve survived the mandatory prisons and all my obligations and it’s now time to explore.
My explorations guided me through some rough and rocky terrain but along those travels, someone in the party group named a location off the beaten trail, “The Poet Tree.”
A fallen oak, down a steep embankment. Perfectly level and wedged between two other trees to form an enormous chair. Thick enough to sit underneath and lounge in the shade, or walk along the top and have access to easy climbing.
Maybe some poetry was written.
Typically though, it was a place to hide from the public and plow down some beers and generate a ruckus or two.
As I wandered this leg of the journey, I carried a backpack. Packed with snacks and drinks and among my possessions I kept a composition notebook. Usually I would draw, or doodle or create strange little designs, but one time after a “bad day” I returned to the Poet Tree alone.
Lost in my own little world, and oblivious to everything outside my field of vision, it was here I managed to write my first poem.
Mind you… I was quite out of my head, had more than likely ingested something I should have avoided, and while I regret my actions, I learned from the experience.
I was nineteen and going through a “bad spell”.
While rummaging through the clutter in the basement recently, I stumbled across some old drawings among other objects and polaroid pictures within the bowels of a filing cabinet, and within the pages of an old notebook I retrieved my poem scribbled so long ago. An ancient relic of my old life.
“Star date unknown. Maybe midday. Impossible to convey what I wish to portray. A handful of colors, no blue, no gray. Among the peace of the ruins I desire to stay.
Crystalline twinkles through the branches creep. The trees come to life and begin to weep. Sway side to side, roots buried deep. My eyes, wide in awe, puts them back to sleep.
I believe my thoughts are losing focus. What I need is a dash of hocus pocus. The daylight will fade when night encroaches. The dark of the mind, an image approaches.
I say to myself it’s a chemical reaction. My cloudy subconscious projects the distraction. Withdrawn and alone, no satisfaction. A need, not greed for human compassion.
The wizard will say it’s all in your head. We all have something to fear. It’s good to explore and strive for more and allow those sights to appear. The mind is a maze with unlimited doors, some marked but most unclear. We need to open them wide and step inside no matter how severe.
To control the wild is the greatest gift, a concentration strong. We search for a voice or the obvious choice and ache to get along. They say silence is golden, but today it rings, and sings it’s evil song. This state of mind, this place to hide, I know I don’t belong.
The pain, it fades, and the wizard smiles. Always rubbing it in. Imagine a movie screen over the eyes and the reel begins to spin. When life gets you down, just reach high above and don’t be afraid to sin. We can all come together, no matter the weather, and strive for the ultimate win.
The dancing stars, these wandering lights, point the way back home.
Only me at my side, this endless ride, alone I’ll continue to roam.”