Archive for January, 2009

Inspiration dawns

January 3, 2009

The writer
The previous few posts were a burst of inspiration – poems long ago written, but only recently have I felt the courage to publish them. They are some of the musings I find myself in when confronted with life in all its glorious, riotous colours. I hope that any readers to this humble blog will find them thought provoking.

Friends

January 3, 2009

When you see a friend
Rushing towards an abyss
You call out!
You stop him!

But this perilous cliff
Is made of desire
For sex, drugs, and money,
That ol’ rock ‘n’ roll
For the soul.

You try to stop him,
To save his life,
His precious life
A human birth.

You try to stop him,
But he don’t understand.
He thinks
You just want to spoil
His fun,
His Russian roulette,
That ol’ rotting hole
For the soul.

The altar

January 3, 2009

I have sacrificed my life
On the altar of convenience.

Whatever I wanted
It had to be instant,
Too lazy to wait
Too busy to try,
I wanted
Fast food, fast music, fast sex.

Now it’s too late to change,
The quick hits
And slow traffic
Have shortened my life.

Death rears up,
He’s in my face,
Now there’s nowhere to go,
Couldn’t move if I tried.

I can no longer pretend
I didn’t comprehend
I was wasting my time
In fast food and worse wine.

Yet my friends still bleat
Over my dying breaths,
As if I’d treated myself
With a life of ease and debts,
They praise my determination
To waste every moment I had
In parties, cheap novels, and dull romance.

“Oh, how you sacrificed your life
On the altar of convenience!”

Authority

January 3, 2009

Love it or loath it,
Like it or not,
I need permission
For everything I do,
That dreadful word
Pervades my life,
That fearful word I hate:
“AUTHORITY”!

Every moment, every day
I turn to my fellow man to say
“Is this the right bus?
Am I in the right place?
Should I follow the map
Or the nose on my face?”

But if I detract
And become “free” of my fellows
I am lost to my mind,
That most singular muse,
Who directs and rejects
On the basis of passion,
A dubious friend
Blown by the winds
Of fashion.

Who loses?

January 3, 2009

Who am I to think?
Who am I to ponder?
Is it true or not
That life continues yonder?

Does life really end at death
As the secularists claim?
Or will I find a new beginning
With the end of this mortal frame?

My opinion, your opinion
Who is really “right”?
Better make sure your horse comes in
That it really does end in eternal night.

Mind the gap

January 3, 2009

There is a gap
Between where I am
And where I want to be,
A chasm of intention
Bridged only by desire.

My only hope is time,
My only friend, resolve.

This great ravine
Like a burning desert
Stretches out beneath my feet,
My heart is soaring to cross over,
To reach the other side.

Who is there to help me?
Who is there to save me?

There is a gap,
A gap in my heart.

The games of the devil, part 1

January 3, 2009

Wee beasty

The following is an extract from a book called “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. It recounts the mentoring of a junior devil (Wormwood) by a senior devil (Screwtape) on how to trap a particular soul.

In the book Lewis uses the diabolical point of view to describe the human condition—in relation to ourselves, to one another, and to God. He particularly focuses on the struggles that we go through in trying to become God conscious, but from the perspective of someone hell-bent on ruining our chances of spiritual success.

I liked the piece below since it deals with a particular aspect of relationships. It is a little long, but is an exquisite piece of writing.

Personally I could certainly relate to the ideas he discusses and I hope that others will find it interesting. Let me know what you think! 

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My dear Wormwood,

I am very pleased by what you tell me about this man’s relations with his mother. But you must press your advantage…

1. Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion [to Christianity] is something inside him and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the states of his own mind…

You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.

2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very “spiritual”, that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism.

Two advantages follow.

In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining.

In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother—the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table.

In time, you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s “soul” to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm.

3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face which are almost unendurably irritating to the other. Work on that.

Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother’s eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy—if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbability of the assumption.

And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.

4. In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face.

To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother’s utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention.

She must be encouraged to do the same to him.

Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of thing: “I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.”

Once this habit is well established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offence is taken…

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape