Pursuit of Happiness

It’s not the best of times; it’s not the worst of times. At least, in my own personal life. Out there in the world, it’s the best of times for some, and the worst for others. A few months ago, I read The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome, by Michael Parenti. It depressed me. I had to keep setting it down, take a break from it, read something else. It took me over a month to get through it.

It’s always the best of times for few, and the worst for many. Sometimes I hear people use the expression, “The powers that be,” referring to those assholes who get to call all the shots, who hold all the bread and power. They are NOT  powers that be. They are powers that are allowed: they are elected, selected, and protected. The only powers that be are the Creator and the Spirits. If you are an atheist, then there are no powers that be at all. Intelligence, you assume. The educated and the uneducated. The competent and the incompetent. Motivation, discipline, and determination. Sprinkle in luck of the draw. Oh, it’s not all that simple. It’s fucking complicated. The psychological nature of humanity is a major determining factor in how the world is as it is. It’s crazy. It’s sick. It’s disgusting. It’s sad, very sad.

I feel like the whole fucking world is down on me. Is it my fault? Is it her fault? Is it his fault? Is it their fault? Is it it’s fault? Am I not praying enough? How many fucking dues am I supposed to fucking pay? What else do I need to do? How do I do it? I haven’t figured it out yet. So, I write. And I read. And I listen to music.

All the isms are alive and well, isms creating schisms. You need me to spell them out? Ok: sexism, racism, classism, ageism. They always will be. I don’t want to argue. Let it be. I see. I know. Let it go.  

I’m learning how to work this blogging machinery as I go along. Every time I figure out something new, I feel good. It makes me so happy. It makes me unhappy that it takes me so long to figure things out, only to discover how easy it was in the first place. It’s like, Oh, man, is that all? Today I learned how to insert a custom character. Watch — ♥. Whee! a little heart. Inevitably, I discovered what the “kitchen sink” icon is for. 🙂 “Kitchen sink”. 🙂 Isn’t that cute? Everything you need to write your blog, including the kitchen sink. 

Sometimes I hear people say, “I love a challenge.” It recently dawned on me that I don’t. Why? Because I’m a weenie. I’m working on it, though. Overcoming my fears and insecurities. It isn’t easy. But that’s a challenge I do take on.

Reprogramming one’s psyche is no easy task. That’s why it’s a challenge most people don’t take. If they did, it’d be a far better world, instead of this sick, nasty mess that it actually is. Denial is what keeps everyone and everything going. That’s not altogether a bad thing. But waking up and smelling the coffee is the only way people can make this a better world. That’s not going to happen any time soon. Ain’t shit I can do about that.

“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” (Colette) That’s not always easy either. Like when I get treated like shit, or some fuckhead tries to pull one over on me, or some asshole insults me. I have to be cool, just get the fuck away from them, take a detour, exit ← stage left.

I had a dream last week: My daughter drove me somewhere for a job interview. I walk into some office, and there are two men behind a desk. They smile, greet me, and one gestures with his hand toward a chair where I’m to sit. Then one of the men tells me that there’s an article in the paper. They had both been looking at. It’s related to whatever the hell this business is about. (I have no idea what that was. It was an office job, is all I know.) The guy throws the paper in front of me, not the section with the article, but the whole paper, several sections, and wants me to look at the article, without telling me what or where it is. I know he’s testing me to see if I know what he’s looking at. I look at a couple of the sections, and I scan the pages, but I don’t see anything. I have no idea what they are talking about. Then one guy points to it, and I look it over quickly, nod my head, but I’m not excited about what I’m looking at. I don’t care. It doesn’t fucking interest me. Then the other guy says my working there isn’t going to work out. Not because I can’t do the job, but because I’m not like them. (Oh, I know, because we aren’t on the same page. This just occurs to me.) I stand up and tell the guys off. I tell them I can do the job, that I’m qualified and capable, but that isn’t what they are interested in. I leave. My daughter is in the car waiting for me. She gets mad at me because I didn’t get the job. She gets mad at me because I’m not like her. This, in her eyes, makes me a failure, a fuck-up, a loser. She’s totally disgusted and disappointed in me.

That’s when I woke up. The dream made me feel so depressed.

I’m listening to music on Last.fm. The streaming is Native musicians and singers: Joy Harjo, Buddy Red Bow, Keith Secola, Pura Fe, Annie Humphrey, and so many other awesome musicians and singers. At the moment, Jim Boyd is singing A Million Miles Away, one of my faves. I love his voice, his songs. I love Native American musicians and singers. It makes me feel happy. Some years ago, I went to see Joanne Shenandoah, Rita Coolidge, and Mary Youngblood in concert. Oh, man, they were great. It was the second time I’d seen Mary Youngblood. And just like the first time I heard her play and sing Feed the Fire, tears fell from my eyes. That song is so painfully beautiful, so beautifully painful. When I’m alone and I listen to it, I don’t hold back, I break down and sob.

He was Shoshone. I left him. The love never ended. We just couldn’t be together. We each were meant to follow a different road. That’s all.

Wherever you are, love, my heart is still yours. We never said, “Good-bye.” The love didn’t end. Just our time together. I told you, “Forever.” That hasn’t changed. You said, “Forever is a long time. ” Yes, it is. It sure is.

Here’s a poem about insecurity and self-sabotage. I wrote it a few years ago hoping it would help me exorcise the demons.

Slash

Slash, slash, slash!
Crash!
Smash, smash, smash!
Trash!

Click, clip, cut!
Goddamned insecurity!
Goddamned self-doubt!
I gut myself out!

Goddamn, goddamn,
goddamn!

Then I get mad, mad,
mad!
At you!
At myself!
But mainly you, you,
you!

Because you’re stupid,
but you’re still the winner.
Wiener. Weenie.
Think you some hotdog.
Think you the mustard,
the custard, the cut.
Bastard! Dastard!

“I’m nobody! Who are
you?

Are you nobody, too?”

Then there’s two of us.
A pair. Nowhere.
Somewhere.

Over there! Behind the
door!
You the public frog.

In the bog.
Croak, joke. Joker!
Eye-poker!

You so chill.
You kill me.
Killer.
Murderer.

How dreary.
Drab crab.

Boar! Bore!

“Go and catch
a falling star!”
Fuck a root!
“Who cleft the Devil’s
foot?”

Was it you? Was it you?
Was it you?

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About Poet Dressed In Black

Poet living in San Francisco. I like telling stories too. I'm an introvert, and I like, need, solitude. I find that depth is a rare quality. Someone once said to me, "You're a very deep person. It must be really hard living like that. Most people aren't that deep." I said, "Yeah. It is hard. It really is."
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