It seems that I cannot decide on a blog topic for this month, despite several aborted attempts, a lost document, and a struggle finding available dedicated time.
I have tried to avoid feeding into the emotional roller coaster offered daily by the political stage, both here and in Great Britain.
Then, after the stabbing on London bridge and the bombing in Manchester, I became numb and despondent; the horror brought back memories of the 1970’s and the Provisional IRA bombings in Belfast, London, Guilford,to name a few…, and a friend who was killed by a bomb blast in Harrods, bringing the reality of terrorism up close and personal.
And the killing continues.
This year alone there have been umpteen terror attacks killing innocent men, women and children all over the world. The car bomb in Aleppo killing 126 people, 60 of them children; the Camp Shaheen attack by the Taliban killing 256; the car bombing in Kabul, killing 150 and injuring 413.
Now the shooting in Alexandria…its all terrorism to me.
Killing for political or ideological reasons. An attempt to bully and use fear to change the freedom of thought, the freedom to believe what we believe in.
Yesterday, the comatose and broken body of a student sent home from North Korea, brutalized and brain damaged from anoxia. A victim of barbaric, draconian punishment.
We cannot escape this agonizing truth that humankind is capable of such evil.
“Sometimes I think,
I need a spare heart to feel
all the things I feel.”
― Sanober Khan, A Thousand Flamingos
I often turn to poetry to quench my thirst for something meaningful to express the way I feel. I write. I dream. Sometimes I am obsessed with certain thoughts until they spill out on paper.
Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night with a line of a poem, or a thought for a blog subject, and it churns, over and over. Cerebral rumination.
With my photography I enjoy seeing things that perhaps others will not immediately see. But I have to turn off the outside world and point my heart in the right direction.
Feeding my creativity is not always easy.
I work. I have responsibilities. I have obligations. Never enough time.
I have to steal the time.
Get up too early on a weekend, and sit, with a cup of tea. Read. Search. Look at #Instagram at my favorite photographers, and find my muse.
That is what I have done today.. stirring from my bed to let the dogs out, and wrap up in a warm blanket on the couch. Stealing time like a naughty girl, feeling guilty about leaving my partner in bed. He is still snoring.
Gathering my thoughts as I begin to wake up, it is easy to get distracted, to surf away into loose associations.
In order to blog effectively, I have to consciously focus and decide on a subject that excites me, or I feel passionate about. But this month it has been difficult. I feel like I have been kicked in the solar plexus and had the wind knocked out of me.
I feel dried up.
So I turn to poetry :
forces of nature.
they are destruction.
they are nourishment.
they are flesh.
they are water.
they are flowers
they burn. they cleanse
they erase. they etch.
they can either
― Sanober Khan
Poetry feeds the soul more than fear.
Fear eats the soul.
The daily acts of violence and terror in the world are a heavy reminder that our path feels out of our control. Some people turn to religion, and assume that because they are safe, it has something to do with God. But what if you become a victim of violence, or terrorism, or crime?
Is that something to do with God, or are you going to blame it on the “Devil’s work”?
People tend to think within the “"world view” of their cultural upbringing, and within the bubble of their belief system.
I tend to think that the Human race is like a great collective organism. Within that organism there can be self destructive traits and disease. It can effect one person, or it can effect many.
I also believe that if we harness the power of LOVE, whether through Christ or through Buddha’s teaching, or any moral framework, compassion and caring will prevail, and we shall eventually find peace.
But it is a long journey, and I do not think it will happen in my life time.
The general tone of rhetoric amongst our fellow man must be healed before we can even think about influencing the kinds of draconian regimes like North Korea.
We have to recognize the “"mote in our own eye” before we can bring about change in other people, let alone other countries.
Think about the election, and the disrespectful and hostile tone between Trump supporters, and Clinton supporters. Think about the ways Obama was treated by the congress, and how uncooperative and downright obstructive Republicans were to the legislative process.
Think about the tweets and jibes by our President, who is supposed to represent the voice of the American people. How do we look to others in the world?
Do we rule by example?
Every time I hear a Trump spokesperson defend a faux pas or deliberate insult made by President Trump, I think of the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
As the Emperor strode down the parade, wearing his “ new and wonderful “garments made by the Taylor, (at great expense), everyone can see he is completely naked, but are afraid to say, lest they lose their own head.
It takes a little child in the crowd to innocently cry out…
“"Look! He doesn't have any clothes on! “ for the people to hear the truth!
As Donald Trump parades in front of the crowds he says extraordinary things. He contradicts himself. He acts like a bully. But his admirers say,
“Isn’t he wonderful! He didn't mean this,....he meant that! “
So in my mind, I suddenly have appreciation on an old tale, that meant nothing to me as a child.
Changing myself, working on my own questions about life, and carving out the time to stop, think, listen and learn is something that I am having to learn all over again.
Since I was 18, I have worked, slept, travelled, married, had children, divorced, rediscovered love, and continued to work. It was not until I had back surgery a few years ago, at age 60, I was forced to get off the life train, and rediscovered my love of poetry. I was filled with the passion of creativity, and wrote my audio book with illustrations using my photography and clip art. I embraced relatively new technology to help me with recording my poems, and composing background music etc., using nothing but my iPad, my computer, and #Book creator.
For me it was cathartic. I realized that I had something that stirred inside; something that had nothing to do with my career as a nurse, nothing to do with my everyday life.
I discovered a part of me that had been percolating for a long time.
I realized that despite my codependency, despite previous abusive relationships, I had control. I was the master of my soul.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
As I watch the world's stage unfurl, I am reminded of the serenity prayer...
"The Power to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.".
I am the captain of my soul, and so are YOU !
“...so i will greet you
in a way
all loved things
are meant to be greeted
with a tear in my heart
and a poem in my eye.”
― Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence
“Whatever you get out of poetry - take it. take it. take it.
Words are better off felt than understood.”
― Sanober Khan