Road to Redemption

He wanted to escape things that he did not want or need. Society as he knew it was sick and consisted of false security, material excesses, judgment, and control, all distractions that kept people from the truth of existence. Money and power was an illusion. Careerism and money seemed only to embolden blindness. His over indulgence in personal desires to find truth enticed him, with swift decision, to sever all current ties just as precisely and deliberately as a newborn infant is cut from its umbilical cord.

For nearly two years Christopher Johnson McCandless, AKA Alexander Super Tramp, lived a footloose life. He had escaped to absolute freedom. He reveled in his newfound ability to get by without depending on much of anything. His days were more exciting when hew as penniless. This was not an aimless journey for Alex however, what he wanted more than anything, “… than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness…” he sought truth. To him “it is important in life, not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once; to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind death stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” This belief may explain why he never attempted to contact his family during his journey. His strong need to do this completely on his own kept him isolated from those who would undoubtedly, and forcefully, lend a helping a hand. And that in itself was the last thing he wanted.

Away from the falseness of society Alexander Super Tramp greatly contributed to the society he so despised, probably without even realizing it. Along his road to the wild he encountered several people who truly benefited from meeting him. While he disowned his own family and his own name, he was a surrogate son and brother to others who had also been separated from their loved ones. His momentary presence in their lives brought to them joy and forgiveness. Perhaps Alexander Super Tramp was so blinded by his own quest to save himself that he was unable to see he was a savior to many along the way.

Li Po: Drunken Tongues

Drunken tongues untie brainy knots. With a loosened grip the mind is free to wonder about. Traditional paths of thought are devoid of reason. Present are keyed doors unlocked. Ready they are to be opened – to rooms with panes that have yet to be broken. What one may encounter depends on the time of day and the season. Li Po’s roommate is most often the moon, and sometimes his shadow. With a glow of melancholy and a twinkling of humor, his drinking induces a whimsical prose that I am led to dreamily follow.

Like Li Po I too have been the lonely one. “No close friends here…” but a bottle of wine there, not much in it – leave none to spare! (Lawall, 1383) Oh, the warm glow one gets before sweet intoxication; that is where I long to be! I too, “sing” and “dance” and feel my spirit expand past the boundaries of my skin. Yearning to escape and “… travel beyond human feelings” (Ibid). The darkest night brings no fear, “… unaware of darkness growing” I am empowered to take steps further into the forest where I too have “… step[ped] on the moon in the creek” (Ibid).

To All My Exes… Hugs and Kisses

It started when Stevie Nicks sang subtly in my ear… suddenly there I was, reminiscing over past loves. My beating organ pumped lively as I pondered each, one by one. A strangely pure, radiant rush of love for all, regardless if they had held me up or let me fall. Thankful for every little bit of themselves they offered me. From the sweet things that bored into my soul to last forever, and the sour things too that forged me anew. Today I feel gracious for the pieces of us that made us uniquely two for out of that union came a better you-know-who. To all of my exes… hugs and kisses.

Exes...Hugs and Kisses

Wing-clipped and Caged

Do the pressures to comply with irrational traditions have you feeling a bit crazy? Watch “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. This film was most certainly adeptly written and directed to, in a nutshell, portray the absurdly, blatant hypocrisy of conformity and how the relentless obsession to be in the position of control can cause one to not only fly over the Cuckoo’s nest but directly into a thick pane of glass. This story is undoubtedly relevant toIndiana Roosterday. And for so long as we humans insist on having control and power over one another, manipulating or forcing upon the masses arbitrary rules of conformity, the story will remain relevant.

By voicing his own opinions, Randal Patrick Murphy frustrated his superiors. Due to his lack of willingness to conform to the flock and fly in an orderly fashion, he was labeled “belligerent”. He was sent for a mental evaluation simply because he “talked when not authorized, [had a] resentful attitude towards work and in general, [for being] lazy”. During his evaluation period he attempted to coexist with the set rules; he tried exercising his democratic rights that were granted, but to no avail. His sane trials of compromise repeatedly met unabated resistance. His continuous display of sanity devoid of obedience ultimately led to his mental demise. Those in control were unable to sway his mind into agreeable conformity. Rather than acknowledge their inability to control, they plundered his mind and irrevocably rendered him forever flightless.

The movie is a truthful predicative tale of how those who are self-willed can be wing-clipped, caged, and successfully suppressed in ways that are most detrimental to the human spirit. The sad fable even demonstrates that even democracy, at its simplest ideal, cannot be upheld if those in power disagree. The sane, which do not conform, can easily be deemed crazy or tagged dangerous; thus pigeonholed into a role of a person in need of help. What a sad realization it is to connect this entertaining Hollywood movie to the simple, basic plight of man’s ongoing desire to be individualistic and free.

Freedom of Speech Unmuffled

Frustrated from conditional restraint,

Constitution says you are free but you ain’t.

What good are words for when no one listens?

The day our stand prevails our freedom glistens.

Emotions are free to flow through our veins,

Now in words our desires spread like flames.

Beware of the freedom and for what it entails,

Imminently your words may lead you to jails.

With purity of cause and rights of voice,

Peacefully we stand for the rights of choice.

“To get our rights we’ll have to shout” (Mandel)

Know your truth and let it out!

“A self which does not transcend itself is dead” (Boyle)

Choose your own direction and don’t be led.

Tomorrow’s path is still unknown,

Poets’ prose of past to us they have shown,

“Poetry is for the people and it should represent the people” (Boyle)

Therefore, summon upon the spitfire found deep in your essence,

Let your voice be heard for it solidifies your presence.

And So it Goes

Rise before the sun shines, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Brew the perfect cup of coffee and enjoy sipping it while birds sing their songs welcoming morning. The sky is blue decorated with white, fluffy clouds hanging daintily from its ceiling like ornaments. Outside the earth accepts the sun’s rays and happily molds the golden light into shiny, shimmers of hope for all the world’s inhabitants. We pause for a brief moment to stand by the open window and inhale the day’s promise deep into our lungs, an attempt to fill our presence with enough of this virtuous essence to last until tomorrow. Man’s clock doesn’t stop however. We are programmed to step in time with it. Only minutes left before we must begin another man-made day made just like yesterday. Turn on the tube for the most recent news; teen robbers, domestic shootings, kidnapping of family members, flooded communities, casualties of war, nuclear contamination, and White House stale-mate stories quickly crowd our hope-filled souls. Silently and without awareness of it, the weight of man’s decisions are upon us. These burdens covertly settle inside our thoughts like a talcum powder atop a fleeting memory. Unknowingly we traverse through our universe appalled by what we continue to witness feeling helpless to make a difference. We bury our guilt and customarily put on our best happy face before we head out. And so it goes.

We are running late. Driving to point B with a blinding focus that dangerously hinders our mindfulness, we rush into work questioning to ourselves, “Was that light green or red?” and “How did I get here?” 4,380 days have gone by rushing into this place and you think they would remember the first day you stepped foot into their building. The sacrifices you have made; lost time with your family, missed reunions, passed up vacations, and most importantly – your willingness to continue choosing them over you. Today you arrive to find it the same as yesterday; nothing has changed. Well, except the people maybe, but the positions, the titles, the cubicles, the offices, and the duties remain the same. Your anniversary feels more like a sentence without a chance of parole, but you press forward refraining from pondering your childhood dreams – afraid to take inventory because you fear discovering yourself empty and hollow – devoid of any unique aspirations belonging solely to yourself. Childhood dreams and goals are long gone and mostly forgotten. You regularly rise and partake in man’s reality, which is not reality at all but merely a projection of what many think it should be. You are unsatisfied and unhappy but you cannot be true to yourself, for to do so would mean disappointing so many others; like your Boss, Co-Workers, Partner, Parents, and Children. They count on your bi-weekly monetary contribution to have and live the way they feel they must. In order to be successful in their eyes, you proceed to live a dead life while the lively one you possess inside slowly dies. And so it goes.

The pink slip you receive is detrimental to your family’s financial livelihood. Without your income your worth lessens. No longer considered an asset to those around you, your value is reduced to a burden. Your spouse alone cannot support the lifestyle the family has become accustom to. Unable to remove society’s veil he is wired to keep his possessions by whatever means possible and at whatever cost. His foundation for life is fragile for it was built with man-made materials and not earthly values. Lacking the strength to uphold moral codes the mortar crumbles. He sweeps up crumbs of the concrete casa and seeks refuge in another’s seemingly safe haven. In time your children want the material things that only he can provide. Lost are your chances to instill in them humanly attributes that will build them up enough to withstand our man-made society full of arbitrary goals and unnecessary pressures. What will they do when it collapses as it did around you? Without a strong sense of what is most important they will continue to thirst and chase the mirage. And so it goes.

Material possessions and rose-colored glasses removed you are blessed with the sight of youth, seeing the same old things with rejuvenated eyes. No longer blinded by superficial gains but driven by spiritual needs. Life slows down giving you more time to discover your higher self. Lost spirits looking for man-made constructs continue to pass you up; another blessing. Time is now your friend. Life is quaint as you listen to the birds outside your window. You are no longer devastated by the loss of what so many feel is necessary because you have found what many may never find, sight into a world of hope, innocence, and promise that goes beyond a day; beyond false perspectives of success. Today’s gift is the present. The feeling of love for yourself, the world, and all its inhabitants is so grand that as your heart expands to envelop all that it is, your eyes weep with the love that overflows. Your wish is to embrace each soul on earth and lift the veil for each and every one. But this newfound awareness cannot be conveyed by words alone. It must be discovered by the individual himself by the choices that are made, which places them in the self-created predicaments we find ourselves in. One man-made day will render us with no other alternative but to see the truth in the world as it really is and as it should be. And so it goes.