This is the setting: I am at a coffee shop hunched over my journal while writing out my internal world. I was discreetly mouthing some of the words that appeared from my pen. A man, wearing a perfect suit that looked like armor, sits in the booth across from me. He appeared confident and competent. His eyes were upon me. And I felt embarrassed. I looked at him not as another human being. I saw him like he was a puppet of the oppressors, and a hater of those that appear to be different.
Here’s what I was thinking as I rehearsed talking to that man.
Our world is twisting apart.The very fabric of compassion or truth or integrity is ripped and shredded.No more loving nature.No shelters for the poor.No food for the hungry.No justice for those under the pall of hatred, war and pollution.The pontificators live in big houseswith blazing hearths of electrons beaming with empty truths.The pundits say that there is no global warming,that there is a recovery,that the rich will provide all that is needed,that non-technical education is pointless andthat kindness is a curse of the sentimental.Sure, the world is flat and the true believers are the prize of God’s universe along with all the other religionists. Right?I say that the world is round.I say that I am poor but alive.I say I want peace in a time of war.
Then I stepped back
from my internal rehearsal at life.
I was grateful that I kept my arguments to myself.
I am free, aren’t I?
What will I recall when it’s over,
the warring or the aliveness?
The man across the coffee shop stared at me with a downward curl to his lips.
He sipped his long cold coffee as if it still had steam and heat.
He never let his eyes flicker or fall off from the drilling scrutiny of my flying pen.
I think most of us live like we’re alone.
We live alone in our thoughts and fears.
And the end is near…
And the world is a circle.
So is my heart.
I go back to the moment in the coffee shop and look at the man again.
The man is really staring right through me.
It’s like I’m not even there.
He appears lost in his some reverie or perhaps indifference.
He may or may not be judging me.
He is not radiating hate like I thought.
Rather he seems to be blank as a page unwritten.
Who’s scrutinizing here?
And who is crazy and afraid with judgment?
My experience is that I write and dream while people seem to look right through me.
I sometimes feel like the awful stranger, like the traveler in a gypsy wagon, a person who dreams and gives his life away to spirits that other fear. I feel like the one who is chided in the market place for muttering to his hallucinations.
My hallucination is that I am alone and need phantoms of thought to keep me company.
Alienation is our world’s disease right now.
The bible relates how the curse of Adam and Eve is a sense of separation from the divine. What a loss this is for all of us. And yet we have free will to choose another way.
O Great One, let me remember who I am and who that man is. Let me be aware of where these words are coming from and what effect they may have before the end really does come like an angel with his scythe.
(c) Copyright on words and image Rick Sievers, 2/2012