“Take From Me This Need to Flee”

When she looks away from me, my heart’s encased in ice
The moment her gaze returns to me, I’d take her worst advice
This dependence forms a bed of coals, it walls me off from her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The fire within, it needs a way out, and so I write these words
To find the way, I need to be led, at least that’s what I’ve heard
I’ve got no new solution, all my problems, they always recur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

I always see her from across the street, walking the other way
She always pretends I don’t exist, to my undying dismay
Today I swore I would enjoy my time, the entire day was a blur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Far I traveled to a lonely isle, to leave all my troubles behind
All I found was a mermaid lover to caress me then rob me blind
My friends they tell me to take it easy, and man I wish that could occur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

She’s never so alone, she told me, as when she’s out in a crowd
Her soul is pure, she rarely speaks; to be true she cannot be loud
I think of her from time to time, and can feel my heartstrings stir
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The thirst for liquor is a thirst for spirit, this I know deep in my blood
On thorn-filled trails I’ve tripped and stumbled till my face was caked with mud
I’ve drank away my share of days, like Kerouac at Big Sur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Other people: that’s hell, wrote a man skilled at expressing his own
On many days I agree with him, and wish I were miles from a phone
But I know I’m slipping when I start thinking that others can only deter
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Well, the snare was set, and I walked in, thinking the trap a boon
The one I love she loves another, though in my arms she once did swoon
I’ve walked the sands, I’ve been to sea, every shore falls short of her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

“Down The Road of Struggle and Desire”

I walk down the road of struggle and desire
Each morning I strain to rekindle the fire
I want too much; I want nothing at all
I want to climb and then watch myself fall

What could I give you that I can call my own?
The scientists make theories, nothing is known
I know I feel too much, that’s abundantly clear
Will I ever recover? Will I ever be here?

My mind and my love, they’re ten thousand miles away
My rucksack is packed, you and I know I can’t stay
Got nowhere to go, that’s never stopped me before
My soul is on fire, blazing the path to the door

Now the door is open, time to sing Whitman’s song
Afoot and light-hearted, no journey is too long
For these rugged feet and this restless heart
That seeks to go beyond what tears it apart

Everyone’s got their own life to live
Some people take, some people give
Taken me years to know I don’t know my own name
Life’s just fear and loathing when you’re possessed of no aim

So much stays in utero, hidden and indistinct
On the day when it surfaces you begin to go extinct
Your real self exists in the unfathomable deep
The truth rests in the unseen; the seen rests asleep

I weep on the surface, in the depths I rejoice
In speech I am silent, so my soul finds its voice
One day I’ll be old and decrepit, on the sands lost and alone
Seeking solace in the sea’s power, my hand gripping a stone

No matter my age, my yearning will not leave me
Lovers will leave, and friends will deceive me
This yearning will remain with me ‘till the end
If everyone else abandons me, on her I can depend

On the gentle sands of relentless time
I stand stranded, in what I’m told is my prime
Youth is unkind when you don’t know your own name
And life is suffering when you are possessed of no aim

As dusk collapses into starless night
Everyone goes out, seeking some light
I’m already gone, don’t look for me there
To go backward is sinful, to move on is my prayer

There’s an angel and a devil in every soul on earth
To discover the former requires rebirth
The devil may be strong, but the angel is always stronger
The devil’s at the fingertips, to find the other takes longer

Am I more alone, or do I feel my aloneness more acutely?
I will endure what I must, and I will endure it resolutely
I will find what eludes me in the cities and the towns
I will keep firm on the trail, my ears alert for all sounds

As I walk down the road of struggle and desire
This town is pitch-black, this house is on fire
I go out into the night, to remember my own name
I go out, never to return, I will blow this ember into flame

“I Walked The Streets at Midnight”

I walked the streets at midnight
I knew that you were near
I can walk these streets till I die of thirst
I know you will never appear
Everyone tells me to settle down
But I know I must persevere
I will walk this endless road forever
As a lonesome pioneer

So when it’s Saturday night in the city
And you sit there all alone
And the tears stream down your lovely face
I pray you don’t pick up the phone
To try and reach me in your hunger
From your opulent penthouse throne
In the center of 5th and Broadway
Never again will I hear you moan

Now all the noise in the world
Could never take me away
From my purpose and vital passion
Where to succeed is to be led astray
I stay true to the work of wandering
And my torn shoes are my resume
I submit them to the proper authorities
Who send me on my way

But loneliness comes around again
And some nights it will not leave
The morning will come but in too long
On these nights I cannot believe
In God or Man or in myself
All I’ve lost I will never retrieve
The lonely heart is a hunter of yearning
It does not need permission to grieve

I get up and walk the streets at midnight
And there’s nowhere I need to go
Nowhere is as good a place as any
I’ve been there before, I would know
I will not stop; no, I will not rest
‘Till Truth rests deep in my marrow
With an empty wallet and an empty heart
I walk on the way rivers flow

Writer Anais Nin as an Enneagram 4

“Enneatype IV individuals, as a result of these dynamic factors and also of a basic emotional disposition are not only sensitive, intense, passionate, and romantic, but tend to suffer from loneliness and may harbor a tragic sense of their life or life in general.” (p. 113, Character and Neurosis: An Integrative View, Claudio Naranjo)

Previously on this blog, I wrote two essays on Bob Dylan as an Enneagram 4 with a 5 wing. Recently I came across the writings of another clear 4, Anais Nin, famous primarily for the many published volumes of her diaries, the reading of which would take years. Even more than Dylan perhaps, her writing exhibits all of the qualities of the Enneagram 4, which I will explore in depth here. The diary I am reading now is The Early Diary of Anais Nin: Volume Three. I will stick to this diary in this post for the sake of simplicity, as well as because there is more than enough evidence in the first ten pages of this diary to make the point that Nin was an Enneagram 4. The fact that Nin preferred to express herself in the form of a journal already begins to suggest her 4-ness. Although other types can choose this form of expression, the intensely personal focus of a diary suits well the 4 qualities of self-preoccupation and self-awareness. The self-aware 4 only becomes more self-aware through the keeping of a journal. A journal allows for the 4 to express herself authentically, writing for only herself and not for an audience. Looking back through the journal, the 4 can see the changes she has undergone, and in the writing of a journal the 4 can attempt to find some solid identity, to literally create herself through her words.

Now let’s go into the Diary of Anais Nin. She writes: “Turn these pages and see whether one spirit pervades them all or whether a different mood each time has left the trace of its passage on a soul which sings and weeps by turn and never truly knows itself in this confusion.” Sandra Maitri, in Finding The Way Home: The Enneagram of Passion and Virtues, writes that the 4’s “inner atmosphere is one of turmoil and turbulence,” an atmosphere that leads the 4 to live with a “soul which sings and weeps by turn.” Look again at the last phrase: “never truly knows itself in this confusion.” The 4 desires to know herself. Richard Rohr, in his book Discovering the Enneagram, writes, “FOURs have to catch your eye. It’s as if they thought, ‘I don’t know who I am if I’m like all the others. I have to stand out and in any case be different.’” A diary is a way to be different, a way to express one’s differentness and individuality. That Anais Nin feels she is different from others is unquestionable. About her disappointment in social life, Nin writes, “I am too capricious, too different, I don’t know what, but I tire quickly of insipid talk, or of a lot of talk.”

Nin expresses her disappointment in herself and in others often, and in the depth of that disappointment one perceives the 4 quality of never being satisfied. Sandra Maitri writes in The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram: “Unsatisfied, ungratified, and displeased, nothing is ever quite right to a Four. What she has or procures always loses its shine, and the longing shifts to what is just out of reach. Things could always be a little different, a little better, more of this or that, and then perhaps, just perhaps, she could be happy at last.” Nin could have written these lines, though she would have written them in the first person, without knowledge of the Enneagram. Before she writes the lines I just quoted, while on her way from American to France, Nin writes, “Everything disappoints me. I had dreamed of this trip and have many things that are beautiful about it, but today, the social side of it palled on me. I have shut myself up in the cabin, feeling utterly wretched…I had resolved to take part in the social life, but at the first taste of it I felt alone again, and unhappy. I should say rather that I disappoint myself in everything—that is more exact.”

This disappointment the 4 experiences in herself comes from her “vicious superego that is constantly measuring [her] up against an idealized picture of how and what [she] ought to be, and tearing [her] apart for not making the grade.” But the 4 also experiences disappointment in others. In close relationship, the 4 has a tendency to idealize the other, and then to devalue the other when she finds some imperfection in him. Nin goes through this pattern. She writes of her then-husband Hugh, “Once my sight of him is blurred (and I will not look too long), that, to me, the wavering of a perfect thing, is the beginning of the end. No one can show himself in the guise I dislike, even for a moment, without leaving a painful impression, and no one can say to me: ‘Forgive and forget,’ for though I forgive, the disappointment is eternal, it has passed through my spirit, like a false note, and the echo of it never leaves me.” The hyper-sensitivity of the 4 is present here, as well as her difficulty in dealing with imperfection, and her tendency to despair. Nin, at another point and in another mood, writes that she despairs when Hugh, her husband, is not with her: “When I lose myself in despair, as I do sometimes in these pages, it is because he is not here. When he comes home and puts his arms around me, instantly I am soothed and strong again.” (63)

Here 4’s expectation that love will save her is evident. Claudio Naranjo, the originator or the founder of the Enneagram, writes of type 4: “Erotic love lures this type as the supreme fulfillment. Love must and does appear as the ticket to paradise, where all woe ends: no more loneliness, no more feeling lost, guilty or unworthy; no more responsibility for self; no more struggle with a harsh world for which he feels hopelessly unequipped. Instead love seems to promise protection, support, affection, encouragement, sympathy, understanding. It will give him a feeling of worth, it will give meaning to his life, it will be salvation and redemption.” Look again at Nin’s lines: “When he comes home and puts his arms around me, instantly I am soothed and strong again.” Love for Nin promised protection and support, the end of woe, the end of loneliness and despair. She is no longer weak. She is strengthened in embrace. She is no longer isolated; she is connected to another, once and forever. And yet before she had said that seeing some imperfection in her husband was the beginning of the end, and so the extreme moods of the 4 come through here, the idealization and the devaluation.

As I mentioned, the 4 is self-preoccupied, and so the form of the diary suits the 4’s natural state. In My Best Self: Using the Enneagram to Free The Soul, the authors write of how the 4’s “inward idealization causes them to be sensitive to their own feelings and needs first and only then to other people’s.” Nin writes in a similar vein: “There is no one on earth truthfully interested in others’ work if he is himself a creator—no one. I am more interested in my own writing than in other people’s.” She writes that “no one on earth” is interested in another’s work, but in Enneagram terms it would be more accurate to say that it is a rare 4 who is more interested in another creator’s work than in her own, and that the 4 is interested in the other’s work only insofar as it reflects on her own, in order to compare it to her own, or in order to improve her own through careful reading of the other’s. So a 4 attempting to write her own journal might peruse another diarist with a unique writing style in order to create a unique writing style for herself, similar to the other’s only in that it is similarly individual.

And that is enough for the time being. Much more to come. An entire book could be written on Anais Nin as a 4 just as it could be written on Dylan as a 4. Maybe one day down the road, the book will be written. For now, I am content, or not quite content, as befits my nature, with these posts.

Now, a couple songs by Dylan that express the 4’s idealization and subsequent devaluation of a romantic partner: “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” and “Idiot Wind” two songs most likely written about the same woman, Dylan’s one-time wife, Sara Lownds.

“Tears in the Desert”

I.

Tears in the desert, streaming down
To fall onto the dry ground,
They will not be dried.
I could lie and say they are a fluke,
Because they come from nowhere
I can perceive. How can I see
What exists within me, invisibly?

When I smile, I seem to smile, or so it seems.
When I weep, my tears are real, or so I believe.
The cold day threatening rain feels more real
Than the cloudless day of sunshine in springtime.
I could try to align my tears
With the gnarled juniper bark I lean my back against.
I could try to make sense of what I sense,
What I know, is true, but knowing its truth is enough.
Not understanding, but knowing, is all I know.

The wind comes and makes me shiver,
It moves the leaves on the tree above me.
I sit below and look to the cloud to know
Myself, and in knowing myself I bestow
This knowledge, this tragic knowledge,
Onto the dry ground.
I close my eyes and feel the wind.

How to feel the reality of each day, in each moment?
How to be in touch with what is real,
And in that touch, in that moment of connection,
To feel oneself to be no less real
Than what one touches?
How to touch what cannot be touched?
To feel what cannot be seen?

I look up at night to the stars,
I cannot touch their cold magnificence,
I lie firmly on the sandy desert ground
And wonder about the limits of sound and vision.
I wonder about limits as I wander
Through a land without them.
I wonder about fragility as I ride
Through a land both fragile and hostile.
I wonder and I wander and I ride,
Searching for what is and what has always been,
What has never been limited by its mystery.

This morning the sun shines again in the desert,
The tears of the sky fell last night,
And the dry desert ground received the gift:
The gift of rain like the difficult gift of pain,
Difficult to receive, difficult to perceive
As a gift, creating a rift
Between who we are and who we wish to be.
Do we wish to be beyond
What forces us to go within?
Above what we need to see
The confusing forces that lie below?

II.

Some days I walk the streets of nameless towns,
Not remembering how I got there,
And all I see is unacknowledged suffering,
Clouds of pain that hover just beyond awareness.
The clouds can neither recede to admit
The light of the sun nor open to relinquish their gift,
Until they are seen, acknowledged, even praised.

In my mind’s eye, I raise my hands to the sky
To give praise to the clouds that give me pain,
To the storm in my soul that unsettles me,
Forces me to seek shelter.
Can I find that shelter or must it find me?
Even when I find it, or find what I think it could be,
Temporarily, I find myself unsatisfied still, still
Aching without just cause, bereft
Of any physical, visible wound.

As the day warms up, the stillness intensifies.
The clouds remain motionless,
The storm has passed, for now.
Warmth again overtakes the world.
There is no wind to force me to shiver,
No dark clouds I am forced to struggle with of against.
There is only my bare chest facing the sun,
And the force of this pen pressing into this page, a force
Necessary and indispensable or irrelevant and excessive?
Is it a force to be reckoned with and recognized for,
Or is like the force of an axe that only divides further?
The divided wood, split into thin pieces,
Helps to start the fire, but once the fire begins to blaze
The split wood gives off less warmth than wood undivided.

Voices drift up from below to the hill I sit and write on.
Divided souls seeking unity, the voices
Beckon me to come off the hill, come closer.
Why is it that the closer I come to the drifting voices,
The more divided I feel? What is it in me
That divides me when I am with others?
What in me stays in one piece as the axe
Continues without sympathy to split me
Into uneven pieces?
Is it clear now why I cannot rest?

The sky is mainly clear now, the clouds have drifted
To the outskirts of my vision. We made a decision,
They tell me, after we came to believe.
‘Yes, I believe,’ someone once said,
‘Help my unbelief.’ Yes, I grieve, I told her,
And as I look to the clarity of the sky
I can find no reason as to why.
Someone has died, and someone still lives,
And I grieve for all the gifts I will never give.
Yes, I grieve. Help me grieve more deeply.

III.

As I again wandered through the town
That had lost its name in some long-ago season
Of forgetting, I felt like I was exploring a deep well.
I did not know where the bottom was,
Or what spring the water came from.
I asked one woman whose steely blue eyes
I mistook for the source of the water
I was searching for, to help me be honest.
She looked at me and her eyes turned raven black,
And she turned her back on me
And disappeared without a word.
I did not know if she meant for me to follow her,
Or if she meant anything at all.
I made a decision to follow her,
Believing I might come through her to the spring,
By following the eyes that had turned on me.

After a long and fruitless day,
I returned to the now-empty town square,
And a raven in a cottonwood tree
Did not fly away upon my arrival.
There were no clouds or stars in the sky,
And the moon had not yet risen.
I did not understand why the town had no streetlights,
And the one car I saw went through the broken stoplight
Without headlights. I wondered how the driver could see.

Distraught with my failure to find the source
Of the water, weak with thirst, angry at myself
For losing the track of the woman whose eyes
Had turned to black, I lay on my back
And stared at the blackness of night. I looked up,
Hoping to find there what the day had kept from me.
A well this deep could not be empty.
Was my search preemptive? Did I begin too early?
Darkness enveloped me, and I lost my faith
That the moon would rise and shine
Its light on this strange and nameless town.

As I left, I wondered about the raven
In the cottonwood tree, and why the tree
Was so far from water.
I left to walk with my thirst,
At times finding small pools filled with rain water,
But never finding flowing water, never water
I could follow to discover its source.
I returned to the desert, to a land
Where what I was searching for was scarce.
I hoped to find gratitude amidst scarcity,
Fulfillment within the emptiness.
I ceased my endless struggle, for a moment,
And sat, and waited, and listened,

The wind seemed to be battling the stillness,
Or else its intensity was an integral part of that stillness.
All the human power in the world
Could never stop the spring wind,
And all the human knowledge and technology
Could never penetrate the mystery
At the heart of the stillness.

I heard a plane soaring overhead,
Heard a car on some nearby road,
Heard a human whistling to a dog,
And decided it was time to move on. I packed
What I had left of what I no longer called my own
Into a rucksack, and set off south,
Towards what I hoped was a deeper emptiness,
A more real and alive nothingness,
A richer poverty.

I walked with my thirst, and often it seemed
To walk ahead of me. Led by my thirst,
I walked south, the sun beating on my back
Like a silent drum. I walked south, and felt my feet
On the ground beneath me; I walked south,
Seeking the source that would give meaning to my thirst.
When I grew weary with walking, I sat
For a day or a week, and waited,
Immobile like a rock in the sand.
When I grew weary with sitting I began again
To walk, awaiting the day when neither
Walking not sitting would exhaust me,
The day when what I sought would find me.

This day I sit, and wait, and listen
For the silence that no one can speak of.
What can I speak that can point
To what cannot be spoken?

This day I sit, and wait, and listen
For the sound that will still my speechless cries.
How long must I wait before
What I cry for finds me at peace?

This day I sit, and wait, and listen
In the space between silence and sound,
Between tears and laughter,
Between hatred and love.

If I listen for long enough in that space,
Will I find what I am searching for?
If I listen in the space between self and other,
And hear what I am searching for in that space,
Will I have come to the end of my journey
Or the beginning of my true pilgrimage.

This day I sit, and wait, and listen.
I close my eyes and feel the wind.

“Heartsick”: A Rap

Chewing on a toothpick,
I knew I’d end up heartsick,
the final death of the candle wick,
The light that burned out long ago,
The night I said I had to go,
I was mad as hell, you were high on blow,
How was I s’posed to show you my love
When you couldn’t catch my heat with a major league glove,
You stood above, on your throne, wooden and golden,
In your regal zone while I sat there foldin’
In on myself, like a gin-soaked elf,
Wishing I had another fifth o’ whiskey from the top shelf,
If I did this for my health, I would’ve quit before I began.
Step up to the stand and I’ll declare your rights,
You have a right to clam up, a right to dance all night,
You know I’ll choose the latter cuz it restores my sight
That you took from me, like a blind man at sea,
Like a runner without knees
I stumble off the trail, mumble to these trees,
Seekin’ to seize some sense
From their staunch presence,
Launch myself from myself and into descent,
But the deeper I go the more that I moan,
Moan for you to be near, and this lostness of soul.

Looking into the eyes of no one,
Cuz your eyes are nowhere to be seen,
Blinding my eyes with the distant sun,
Not knowing what anything means;
Now I look into the eyes of no one,
Cuz your eyes are nowhere to be seen,
Now I blind my eyes with the distant sun,
I don’t know what anything means.

Sitting here with eyes closed,
Thinking ’bout what I chose,
And back to all the shows we performed together,
Back to all the storms we endured and weathered,
You shed me then, like a bird her feathers,
And now I can’t soar, like I’m trapped and tethered,
I sit below on the ground, hopelessly lonely
Now I sink and I drown, before you controlled me
You still do from afar, and nothing consoles me,
Friends try hard to cajole me, to restore the soul of me
But nothing they can do could fill this hole, you see,
You left me; nothing can change that fact
It ends finally in rejection, in the final act
Best to reject first, before gettin’ stabbed in the back
If I tracked you now, I’d find you scheming your next attack,
Getting your mask ready, putting on a happy face,
Doin’ the tasks necessary, to give the new man a taste
Of what you are capable of, you’re like a treasure encased
And your grip is inescapable, your lust for power insatiable.
Once under your thumb, chance of escape is negligible
I was born susceptible to Beauty and Passion
And I’ve searched for them both, in my personal fashion
What I thought I found in you turned to entrapment
Now I wander the shores, and the sea is my master,
Ripped asunder by ‘the more’, closing in on disaster,
I’ve lost the ‘before’, and I don’t know what comes after,
Except for this war, remorseless, and my mind my captor.

Looking into the eyes of no one,
Cuz your eyes are nowhere to be seen,
Blinding my eyes with the distant sun,
Not knowing what anything means;
Now I look into the eyes of no one,
Cuz your eyes are nowhere to be seen,
Now I blind my eyes with the distant sun,
I don’t know what anything means.

Well, so that’s the sad view
It don’t negate the glad view
I look up at the blue sky above the canyon wild
I want to explore it all with the instinct of a child
Lost in the roadless miles, i recall your angelic smile,
But I came here to forget that, and I’ve come to resent that
I so seldom saw that smile towards the end,
Ed Abbey’s Seldom Seen could be around this next bend,
Right around where Ruess disappeared and why pretend
I connect more with these two solitaires of the desert
Than I ever did with you and the torn sweatshirt
Of our love, how much more could I get hurt
And still find some meaning before the hearse,
Hope your purse is full, and you’ve found a way to pull
Your own onerous weight, great is the wool
You’d need to pull over your own eyes not to see
Just how much suffering you’ve inflicted upon me
But I’ll let it be, it’s in the past, no need to flee
What’s already behind me, now I’m back on the grind,
And work will be my new love, I’m only at the rind,
And who knows the sweetness I could well find?
No need to remind me of what I never forgot,
My mind is taut, and I’ll teach myself, reach
For what all that can’t be touched by hand,
You understand? I stand alone under the bridge
That separates ridge from river, and yes I shiver
You were the giver, and I received too much
I perceive too much, and it pains the brain
What do I gain by a mirror stained by time?
Is it not plain that I must do more than rhyme?
Fine, clear enough, but here’s where it gets tough,
For I want–I want–I want, but what I want I cannot say,
I wanted you, and look where that’s got me today,
Getting too old to play these games, seek this fame
That doesn’t mean anything anyways. It’s all the same
Only the names are changed, and I’d gladly exchange
This lust I feel now for the love I felt then,
But without that love’s end I wouldn’t be holding this pen,
If it weren’t for that den of lions, I know I’d still be dyin’,
But now I’m living, now I’m getting out on the road,
The world I thought you held, now I get to see it unfold.

Now I look into the eye of the storm,
And I listen for what cannot be seen;
Now I look for the formless in form,
I will listen to the silence to discover what it means

“Mystery wraps me in her infinite embrace”

I sit and I wait for the music to enter
I listen to the water; my eyes are closed, and the sun is on me
I search in the day for the unnamable center
And the night comes like the dawn, singing

The song never ends, but few are the ears that hear it
I came upon a blind beggar, and saw that he was rich
The path ahead is unclear, but why should I fear it?
I climbed out of the hole and found the world my niche

Mystery wraps me in her infinite embrace
While what I can’t see traps me, and I search for an escape
I’ve been discovered by Beauty
I’ve been loved by the sea
Those who talk to me of my duty
I see they are far from free

The pond glints and sparkles in the morning sun
In its daily dance with the clouds where neither wins out
I will write till the last, I will never be done
I will write with my longing, I will write with my doubt

Mystery wraps me in her infinite embrace
While what is in me traps me, as I search for some place
To be discovered by Beauty
To love the ever-restless sea
To find what is my unique duty
To sing and dance till I am free

Let the current take me home, wherever that may be
Let the Light rising over the mountains rise also from in me
Let the road remain open; let the words stay unspoken
Let the souls that seek to be whole admit that they are broken

I prayed without words; in my rhythmic waiting I prayed
I waited like a deep pond waits, reflecting the world above
Below me was the unseen, what in me I had not made
I looked to the pond and my gaze fell upon a rising dove

And I felt Mystery wrap me in her infinite embrace
As I remembered a strange young woman with an ancient face
Who had not discovered her own Beauty
But yet she found it in the sea
Who felt that to fall was her duty
But only by rising could see be set free

The stillness disintegrated, rose away like the mist
I saw the reflection but the Truth itself was evasive
She disappeared like a gypsy with a brief, fleeting kiss
My heart moaned to the moon, its sorrow pervasive

And I let mystery wrap me in her infinite embrace
And I felt floods of compassion for the human race
Whose cruel ugly acts conceal a deeper Beauty
Yet ugly or beautiful, it all returns to the sea
A race loving to talk of patriotism and duty
Talking so much of freedom, so never breaking free

Time plays its symphony on the timelessly still waters
And like an athlete I strengthen myself, determined not to be destroyed
But Time is ruthless, it has seen fall many martyrs
Fall like pebbles, like raindrops, made vague by fog, into the void

The vogue now is to ignore rather than face the implacable
But I must face it, I must taste for myself what kills and what gives life
With my pen and my restless feet, I will track the intractable
I will cut through to the eternal with this finite ink knife

And I will love Mystery as she wraps me in her infinite embrace
I will let her trap me, if only to see her face
I will walk with purpose towards Beauty
I will ebb and flow with the sea
To discern the true from the false will be my duty
To see through Time’s unending march, and so from it break free

On Departures

Departures are a kind of death. One who has departed many times, and has seen many depart, is closer to accepting his own death than one who has never departed anywhere, who has never truly strayed from the place he mistakenly calls home. Death is the great departure, but it is only great if you have prepared yourself through prior, smaller, less great departures. The traveler knows death a little more intimately, while never knowing it fully, each time he leaves a place. He is closer to death with each breath, in an active sense, and thereby more connected with life. His departure is not only a cutting of ties; it is also a joining of the ties between life and death, between sorrow and joy, between departure and arrival. He departs one place knowing he will arrive in another. There is freedom in departing. When no place or person holds you, all places and people are open to you. When I leave a place, my heart opens finally to loving the place I had been. When I leave a person, my love for that person grows as the distance between us grows. The traveler, the one who departs, knows without a doubt that closeness and distance are not separate.