I tire of seeing memes about having a positive attitude and choosing one’s feelings plastered social media. It is no surprise our young people are in the midst of a mental health crisis when constantly bombarded with messages telling them, in essence, “The only reason you are sad is because you are making the choice to be sad,” or, (one of my favorites for sabotaging anyone’s self esteem) “You have a choice to make your day wonderful or not.” While such simplistic messages are well meaning, I believe they are sometimes extremely toxic. After all, what if your parent died on that day? Did you make the choice to have a horrible day? What if you go home to a toxic abusive environment? How can you choose to make your day wonderful? So before reposting those wonderful positive messages on social media, let’s all take a step back and think about what we are really saying to someone who may be going through something or in an environment where there is no choice in the matter but to feel what he or she feels. Let’s send messages that say it’s okay to feel what you feel and acknowledge it and to take time to feel it all,so something can be gained from it—a lesson, a positive action taken, whatever it may be, so we know our suffering was not for naught. Hence, this piece.
Spring threatens to melt into us.
Summer follows soon enough.
Birds will return, seeking seeds and worms,
Building nests for the young to come.
Will the birds remember the songs they sing?
Songs of summer, songs to mate?
Flowers will emerge, warming their petals
And leaves under a brilliant sun.
Will they remember how to open
Will they remember how to dress themselves
In glorious color?
How can the birds or flowers remember
When the world walks a tightrope
Over the abyss
And sunflowers may never grow again
Tall enough to bow their heavy heads to God?
With ramshackle shards
Of heart, soul, self
Falling away like the browned petals
Of a long-wilted bouquet,
We create a riotous noise
In ramshackle attempts
To find some connection.
Lumbering, awkward attempts
At reaching out to touch once again,
To replace, to freshen
The brown wilted and missing parts
With new bouquets of spring
Whose stems sit in eternally
Fresh, clean waters.
We dream of a life lived
No longer ramshackle,
With no long-wilted bouquets
Of a past to haunt with falling petals,
But a life returning whole,
To move without noise
Through the world once again.
Of the earth, moon, orbits of planets,
Laws of time,
All we hold mighty and true,
Stop everything in its tracks,
Turn it all back
Before the start of any of it,
Marshaled from memory.
We thwart not the sun or the moon,
the movement of planets,
the coming of rains or drought.
We neither thwart
our birth nor death.
We try to thwart what our hearts feel
And the desires with which it plagues us,
But our hearts feel and desire still.
Even our tears cannot be thwarted--
though they may not fall,
the tears fall unseen.
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