Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Extraordinary Burden of Being Human



author's note:

Up from the bottom
    of an old pond,
    that duckling
has seen something strange.
        -- Joso (trans. Beilenson/Behn)


THE EXTRAORDINARY BURDEN OF BEING HUMAN

In my fearful dreams I nearly drown
then wake to find
my sleep repeated
on the morning news:

the extraordinary burden
of being human
might sink us all.

I tried to avoid that weight
by becoming a skylark

but while rushing to
the high altitudes
   I lost my head
   I lost my feet--
I couldn’t control
my giddy uncertainty
and went into
a downward spin.

Now
in order to stabilize
this fledgling flight
I dive and dive into
a deep cave pool
and meet the secrets
of my fear:

down there in the darkness
I find a magnificent light--
a merciless light

that shows me the best and worst
of this human I am:

as I work to accept both
I also learn to accept
the flaws of our best

and better understand
the pain of our worst--yes
I'm learning to accept
the worst in us

and when my little man
rejects this wisdom
I remind myself:

the extraordinary burden
of being human
weighs down upon us all.



© 2015, Michael R. Patton
myth steps: the blog

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