Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 16: Happenstance


Just as the African violet unfolds
another deep purple flower, anonymous, unseen,
I am caught between my last breath
and the next, my past, constructed reality,
and the future, unknown, I build words across
the abyss, a world without meaning. At any moment
we face whimsy or tragedy:
Someone makes a left turn instead of a right turn
and another car plows into yours.
Happenstance it is you rather than me,
or me rather than you who suffers.
I strive to write poetry that sings
some sense of order, harmony,
each day a quilt of many blocks,
Sisyphus stitching yet another day.

Which side am I on? Hot or cold, am
I in the middle? Heartsick at suffering,
too hungry for beauty, unable to let go of joy?
Even when I fear the consequences of any action or inaction,
even if there were no meaning at all to this round of days,
I can still choose.
I breathe in another moment, another choice,
I choose to not exist in the middle.
I am free to choose.

Today's poetry prompt at Octpowrimo asks if we are in the middle, either/or, yes or no. And I thought of the existentialists, an awareness whether or not we believe in a God, that we shape our own futures with our choices. In fact, we cannot blame our past for what we choose to do today. Consciousness. Today's acts lead to who we will become. Accountability. If I am caught in the middle, I need to work to synthesis, and trust in the inherent common values we affirm. I will not say that life is 'nasty, brutish, and short' but rather, each day we have the responsibillity to re-invent ourselves and work for the good in ways small and large. May it be so. 

Photo African Violet (Wikipedia).