Monday, August 07, 2006

Processing Life
By Don Iannone

Shattered minds--
the sort therapists love
...and the sort driving
average normal people crazy.
What do I know about average normal?
Who even cares!
I think...it's not even worth the effort
...to strive to be normal.
Why strive for anything?
Of course, if you stop striving
...people will say you're not normal.
I say...you're crazy if you do strive.
Look at the normal people you know.
What are they all about anyway?
I suppose they fit the bell-shaped curve.
You know...that statistical aberration
everybody uses to point to mediocrity.
Cut to the chase.
How did you grow up?
Did you have an average shot
...at being normal as a child?
Were you normal
...like the other kids at Elm School
...or did you have a different take on life?
Forget normal.
Fuck it!
I hope you had
...a better than average chance
...of making it as a kid
...because all this unfinished business
...has a way of building up
...to a breaking point
the older you get...
a point beyond
...what the average normal person can bear.
What do you bear in life?
Normal or not
...we all have crosses to bear.
We under-estimate
...the weight of the cross
...most people bear in life.
Think about it.
I look at mine.
While it's growing smaller
...than it used to be
...it's still there.
It always will be
...in one way, shape, or form.
At least my cross
is coming into view.
For a long time, I couldn't see it.
I just felt heavy all the time.
I see yours
...because mine is in better focus
...and it makes mine look small.
While there are no scales to weigh
...the crosses bourne by any of us
...our hearts know the burden
...they lug around day in and out.
It's not worth weighing these things.
That's not why we're here.
Again, being normal isn't the point either.
The only thing that really matters
...is whether you find yourself
...amidst life's comings and goings
...and in so doing
...you find yourself.

25 comments:

samuru999 said...

"The only thing that matters
is whether you find yourself
admidst life's coming and goings
and in so doing
you find yourself"

All of your poem was amazing Don!
But, those last lines say it all!
I don't know how you do it?
Very insightful!
I wish I could write like that!
Take care!

Don Iannone said...

Margie...thank you, and what a nice think to say.

Your poetry reflects who you are. Be that and allow your poetry to reflect you. It's beautiful, and continues to advance. Feel happy with your poetry. It's you at the deepest level.

A friend, who has seen 100 times the pain I have seen in my life, asked if I, for a moment, would trade places with her. No way. I can't imagine. But what I can imagine is the need for all of us to stick together and give voice to peace and love in this world we share.

BLESSINGS.

samuru999 said...

Don~
Thank you for those kind words!
I do enjoy my poetry, and love to write it!
Yes, we all should give voice to peace and love in this world!!
Thank you for being you!

Poetry by Kai said...

good one

Frida said...

What is normal? A mask you slip on and off, the warm smile you give to the neighbors when you really just want to slam doors and kick puppies. Normal is an unobtainable idea which popular culture uses as a reason to kick themselves. “Gee, I wish I were normal.” Those who usually spout this phrase are usually perfectly usual, the only problem is stagnation has set in and they have only lost their excitement.

Does your cross grow smaller because time has given you distance? How long ago was the cross given to you? What did you learn from it once the pain began to recede?

My impressions on this poem... Rough day at the office?

Kathleen said...

it does always come down to that doesn't it...! :)

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

Wonderful! You laid it out, didn't you?

Stacey said...

Don, you just get it.

Rob said...

This poem is probably my favourite so far.
It gets right to the point and is nicely phrased as well.

Don Iannone said...

Margie...yes. that's it. Thank you for being out there.

Kai...thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you're well.

Frida...thank you. I like your expression "usually perfectly usual." To your questions:

1. Time in part has healed me,but the larger difference has been made by my willingness to look at my own inner ugliness and role played by many kind and understanding people who have loved me no matter what.

2. How long has my cross been with me? From the beginning. My cross is who I am and not something separate from me or something that can be separated from me. Not an aspect of me. It is all aspects of me. All combinations of me. It is me. See 3 below to put this in context.

3. I learned that I am not separate from everything else in the universe. I learned that I am not who I think I am. I learned that not only do I pass through life but that also life passes through me.

4. Rough day at the office? In part, but more so feeling frustrated by my own small-mindedness at times.

Kathleen...thanks and yes it does come down to "that."

Andrew...thanks. Tried to lay it out. Poetry is often just us talking to us. You know that, right?

Stacey...thanks. Some times I do and some times I don't. That point does argue that we need others to act as reality checks for us.

Rob...thanks. Glad you liked it. Now I will have to work even harder to write a poem that tops this one. Can't have you resting your favorite too long on this poem. LOL

afp763389 said...

:) sounds like cermon... and since no talk makes wisdom 'could only wish lots of best lines along this promising beggining...

take care & great day

Gangadhar said...

I'm always in my way to find myself..It looks abnormal to some persons...but..i won't bother about it...

nice post,Don

take care

Don Iannone said...

afp763389...thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, talk can at best point to truth and wisdom, which grows from truth. Poetry used properly can help people find their way inward and there they find their own wisdom.

Gangadhar...thank you and all of us get in our own way. Our ideas about what is normal or abnormal can create barriers to finding true nature. All of us are in a learning mode concerning these things. Peace.

Dan said...

Another one for your next book, Don. Thanks!

Don Iannone said...

Thanks Da. Yep another for the next book.

Jon Cox said...

O WOW!!!! Very GREAT! :o)
Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate it a lot! :o)

Don Iannone said...

Jon...thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

dumbdodi said...

So Powerful and a 'F' Word. You really were talking there!!!
I am thinking, my life seems ok so far,some ups and downs like everybody else,somethings waiting to be worked out and stuff. But I feel more weight than what really is. Amidst this I am trying to 'find myself'.This message will keep bringing me back, have to keep reading it to keep focus.
Thanks a ton

Don Iannone said...

Dumbdodi...thanks. We're all in the same boat in life. We're blessed beyond belief but we suffer because we always think ther's more. That's not blind acceptance rather a statement of how never allow ourselves to be satisfied.

Yes, the "F" word. Don't use it often but sometimes it's called for to get my own attention. Made me laugh on that one.

You're in the driver's seat. Remember that and there will never be any question about who you are.

Blessings!

polona said...

oh, wow! powerful! a wonderful rant about the meaning of life (my take, anyway)!
i can relate to many of these lines... have never considered myself quite normal... never wanted to be, really (yeah, what's normal anyway - mediocrity?)

Don Iannone said...

Polona...thanks. I guess it is a self-rant if there is such a thing. Not aiming at anyone out there--just me. Enjoying being who you are. In Buddhism, there is no permanent or fixed personality, self, or soul. That uncomplicates the "who am I" question considerably. Of course, you have to break yourself of thinking of your self in the old "dualistic" terms. That's the trick.

serenity said...

Don,
What a stunningly beautiful poem you have written. It strikes me that we are all required from the time we are children to comform, to be domesticated, to fit into a certain mold of normal. I wonder how many of us have been so smashed into our little boxes that our ability to dream, to fly, to offer the world all that we can in our uniqueness and beauty that we forget who we really are underneath it all. Blessings to you for being a mover and a shaker and for sharing your gifts. I am inspired by your words.

Don Iannone said...

Serenity...thank you and your words mean a lot. Reading your words freed this small expression in me: "Be lifted." Blessings to you.

Imemine said...

I prefer to forget myself and not worry about it.

Don Iannone said...

Imemine...thanks and I understand what you're saying.

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