Category Archives: Art of the Found
It’s been really icy here in Chicago lately. I’ve spent quite a bit of time sliding along in shoes-as-skates trying not to fall. I was talking to my chiropractor, Dr. Johnson, today and he said “The best way to maintain your balance is to be dedicated to your direction.”
After a moment I said “You know, that’s actually a wonderful metaphor.” He told me he hadn’t thought of it that way–and he didn’t really seem to think that way even after I mentioned it. I think he deals more in the actual than the metaphor, which is probably a salutary thing for a doctor. I, however, am a poet, and a mathematician, and an artist, and all deal greatly with metaphor.
Many people ask me– especially now in my unemployed state, and at other times when I was looking to move into something new–“What do you want to do?” And, you know, I rarely can answer that question with a vocation or even a specific job. My 22 year old idealism is still active at 44, and I want to do interesting, creative, and challenging work, with interesting and creative people, that makes a positive contribution to people’s lives or the world.
That doesn’t narrow things down much, and, as you may remember from a few posts back, I don’t want to define myself by “not”s, either essentially or experientially. So obviously I was slipping around a lot on the icy option-laden surface my life, having a heck of a time trying to maintain some balance.
Last year, as my most recent vocational struggle was beginning, my friend David Rapier told me, “Backup plans are called backup plans because they may you back up.” So I detached the tether and I am now taking the time I need to sync with my internal compass, choose a direction–be it in process or destination–and move forward.
“Liberals hate it”
shouts the red-white-blue billboard,
Talk radio claiming fame
for who’s not listening.
“Anybody but “Bush”
chants the red-white-blue electorate
Elections fought solely on
who should not lead.
Liberals as non-conservatives
Conservatives as non-liberals
Independents as neither-nors
All swim in their own
Being this, makes me not that,
yin makes me not yang.
This binary world,
forsakes polynomious “ands”
for monomaniacal “ors.”
Lost in Zeno’s paradox
We stand for
standing for standing for standing for . . .
something infinitely removed
from collective conscience,
something long-corrupted to self-survival
in a zero-sum world.
Even as “This I believe”
is resurrected for NPR,
to parse the pervasive logical “not”
for singular statements of conviction,
some still spurn the positive and declare
what does not exist.
Even as my world
seems an abyss of what is “not right.”
I search for something dimly there
to help fire my soul to be:
and find I at least believe