Thursday, November 29, 2012

Charlie Brown
When the little tree falters and droops pathetically
under the weight of that innocent-looking
but fatal ornament, and Charlie Brown wails,
I’ve killed it, everything I touch gets ruined,
I feel for the guy: I know the sad prison
his heart’s doing time in. I know how it feels
to be King Midas’s evil twin,
Destructo-Man careening through the world,
smashing houses, reducing highways to rubble,
levelling whole cities with my evil-eye laser beams
and mega-grenades. If only I could hold
a cute little bunny without crushing the breath
out of it with my unrestrained strength, if only
I could embrace a woman without inspiring
in her the sudden desire to obtain
a restraining order or move to Cleveland.
I wish I could have a drink with Charlie
Brown — he must be old enough now,
he probably goes by Charles, or Chuck —
and tell him it gets better, Chuck, or, really,
it doesn’t, but you learn to live with it,
and you learn that what you destroy comes back
to you, not always, but sometimes, refreshed
and reassembled, almost as good
as new, and sometimes — sometimes — bearing
the willingness to forgive. And he’d take
a long, mad gulp of his vodka gimlet,
stare off into a world that only he
is tipsy and broken hearted enough
to see — some planar Midwestern town
with repeating trees and ink black night skies,
and, forgetting that I was there, he’d shake
that globe of a head and sigh and mutter,
You know, the truth is that Linus was right.
It really wasn’t such a bad little tree.

-Troy Jollimore

This is where I am.  Class is over.  After long nights of preparation--eagerness and optimism--I ended the class wanting to let out a whimper.  I think next week I will likely look back and say, "hey, it really wasn't such a bad class after all'--I have always needed outside affirmation to recognize something as good (with rare exceptions.)  I know that the mental energy that is being taken up with all this exaggerated thinking on my part is getting in the way of my doing those things that are most important to me.  There are those kids to love, there are friends to encourage, there are weeds of evil and laziness and complacency that need to be hacked back. There is a church to participate with... There are houses to clean and cats to cuddle with and dogs to walk.  There are husbands to romance.  There is a my Dad no further than a phone call away.  There is dinner and the laundry.  Papers to grade.

Yet most importantly there is a need to do all these things from a deep, grounded center.  To not always be reacting, in flux, carried away, catching up, hanging on. 

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