With apologies to Max Ehrmann as initially I was only trying to remember the Desiderata

I don’t know you, but we refuse to go placidly amid the noise, which is good. For once, the haste is ours. I warn you, however, this is familiar; how I bring joy. You’ve crawled into my life smiling with a whimper and the promise of bang, both unexpected, and I find myself bound to your responsibilities because I like you in spite of them. Unexpected is understatement. You steal what I steal and replace it with truth spoken quietly with affection. We avoid the loud and the aggressive, and violence escapes us, vexations to the spirit, except in our hands clutching at each others hair. That knowledge is comforting to me. If you don’t look to force your religious opinions or your political surfeits upon others, than I will keep respect in my heart warm and welcoming and stand with you as far as possible without surrender. As long as those traps remain empty, it is not my business how you continue your life apart from me. As long as there is love there, I need not concern myself. If you choose to adopt a child and raise it, you have my utmost respect. My concerns will remain with myself and I will offer as placid a pool as possible and attempt to rinse myself of my frustrations. If you choose to raise that child into a specific lifestyle, that’s fine, as long as religion is not an excuse for intolerance. You are already braver than I. (When half a million people led by their religious leaders gather in a 21st century city to protest a law that gives opportunity for two people who love each other to raise a child, it gives me pause as to whether this is a world that I would ever want to introduce a child to.)

I am usually complicit in the world, not comparing myself to others, for there are always be greater persons than myself in my estimation, and I make every effort to know as diverse a group of people as I possibly can. Diversity brings the new, insights and experiences that I would never have discovered had I remained wrapped in my own existence. But fundamentally, I don’t know why you like me. My mien’s been trampled, there are only a fistful of similarities left; we are on good terms with most people, we find good humour in the world, we listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. My skeleton is not made of such fine stuff as yours, it was spun messily and without comfort. I feel outdistanced.

My employment leaves much to be desired, but I do my best when I am present, however much I would wish to be elsewhere. When I leave, I wish to leave a positive impression and a place where I remain accepted. The world is a frequently hostile place, I want to have as little negative impact as possible. If I am to raise my voice, it should be to combat intolerance and promote distinctiveness. It is my own blindness to virtue that gives me discomfort where I’m positioned, not a lack in the striving industry of local friends. I want that as clear as the happiness in your eyes when you see me smiling back at you, granting without cynicism that you are not enough for me to stay as much as I am not enough for you to leave. In my adoration is hard knowledge sharpened on ‘I should have known better’ that states with great clarity that there can always be another human being to capture me, that there are enough souls alive to capture you as well, that we can’t find ourselves alone unless we choose to be, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. I was not raised to be a child, though I had a right to be, instead I was raised to be strong in spirit. It may yet save me, but not from you. You are a piece of the universe unfolding the same way I am. It would be a gift to let go of everything I hold so tightly, but I don’t know how.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

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