Sunday, February 26, 2006

Open Letter to E____ D________

I am not a good person.

Confession should be beneath us. And this isn't about sympathy. But suffice it to say: I try to live up to high principles, and fail in the worst way.

I don't use the word lightly. I know what the worst is.

It is that I appear to live--and do not. That I focus on what people think, knowing that there are more significant ways to fail than in the opinions of others. Making every effort to make a good impression, and no effort whatsoever to cultivate inward nobility. Preaching kindness and indulging in all manner of selfishness. Talking of Chastity and Respect, as debasing fantasies run rampant.

Even worse: I claim to love Music, but pay her no hommage of practice or serious study. I claim to love the books that gather dust on my shelf. I proclaim a love of words, and worship them in sheltered privacy, then go on to speak in the slack jawed terms of quotidian adequacy. My pen barely ever touches the page.

Lower than beasts is the hypocrite. Only when we are true to ourselves--no, to the best in ourselves--do we actually live. The inside has to match the out. A public self that differs from the private self is a cancer.

So, I am not a poet. Because Art demands a sacrifice that I cannot separated from my shell long enough to make. I have settled for being a wordsmith, a player of games. Respected--maybe--but a respected charlatan is a charlatan still.
My mouth says serenity, but my restless heart wants everything. I reach out as I crave withdrawal, and withdraw when I should extend my hand.

That same unworthy hand I would extend to you--you who were not unworthy of your principles--reaching out across an expanse of hypocrisy and conceit. Because whatever I lack, you never dim your beacon. I point my boat in your general direction, and hope the waves and the currents subscribe for a moment to the notion that I will not wallow in myself forever, and accept the tiny offering of my admission of guilt--and see fit to deposit me on your shore.

If not, then let us hope I'll find the strength to leave this husk behind-- a sacrifice to the deep--and find beneath a lighter, stronger self who can strive against the conspiring sea. And realize:
I am alone, and not alone. I am myself, and my potential. The waves, the shore, and--in some unthinkable way--you.
And if tribulation worketh patience, and patience hope--then I'll perch, and sing the song withtout the words. And never stop.

2 Comments:

Blogger s.k.namanny said...

no comments

7:15 PM  
Blogger kirstie said...

Wow Scott. . . the stuggles of all humankind (those who give a damn anyway) very poetically put.

Please, you put pen to paper and pay hommage to music and delight others -- with Smooot of course. You clever devil.

Oh, I am sorry, I did not mean "devil," I meant devil . . . in the highest regard.

5:33 PM  

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