Angst

Living on the edge

of the mind’s frontier,

led close to the edge

of my capacity to fear.

~~~~~

Inculcated, by his design

without a firm foothold;

nor, a steadfast ensign

to lift up so bold.

~~~~~

Rather, these meetings

between myself and he,

will inevitably singe

all my efforts “to be.”

~~~~~

Yet, a very present help in time of need,

appeared to me to lead me out

of this darkness that had encompassed me,

glistening in shimmering white.

~~~~~

He foretold of my departure,

and guided me along the way

to freedom in the midst

of existential angst.

Chiaroscuro in Pixels

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
– Hemmingway, The Torrents of Spring (1926)

Like a canvas, a tabla rasa, a fertile void,

I sit in front of the screen with a blank document.

The contents of my personal past, impressions,

stored in long term memory, surface upon reflection.

The neocortex bears its fruit, when searched at will,

for the pieces, fragments, and shattered images.

What is actually “recalled” may be newly formed,

especially if semantic memories mix with episodic.

In placing any of these reflections upon a blank page,

they are first filtered through perception.

Perhaps, an artist has more control with a brushstroke,

than a poet, taking liberty with shadows and light.

This is the question, how to present the puzzle,

in a way that best represents the truth?

Off the Tracks: Steam Engine & Soul

‘“Raw steel tracks vibrate as they run across concrete at crossings, forming geometric bliss.” 

The steam engine, bringing life to vast land areas, sparsely populated, after tracks laid down, stretching for miles. This entire continent – spanned from Los Angeles to New York City – through a network of railway tracks, connecting coast to coast. Each spike placed in the right place; every concrete slab supporting the means for train cars, pulled along by the locomotive (engine car) in front. The tracks serve their purpose, waiting in silence for the next train; supporting tons of steel as the train grinds steel against steel, sometimes sparks flying upwards.

Freud’s entire model of psychodynamics was inspired by the mechanics of the steam engine, as well as the laws of thermodynamics. Freud’s concept of psychic energy was derived in part from, and analogous to the steam that is used to power an engine. The first thermodynamic principle, “energy can neither be created nor destroyed” also played a role in the formation of the conceptual underpinnings of Freud’s theories. Like steam, one of the three forms of water, psychic energy can also manifest in different forms, including neuroses.

Yet, human beings are not machines; nor, are we computers, even though some psychological theories today are based upon a computer model. Rather, like the soulful stirrings of the horn being sounded by an engineer, as a train passes through city limits, the soul itself sounds out against the realities of the world, led by an unseen Engineer. Inasmuch that human beings preceded any invention made by human design, it is reasonable to view the psyche (soul) as part and parcel of the overall design from Above.

poem: Temperament

No sadness should hold sway over you;
no joy shall be diminished by the darkness.
All is foretold by the prophets of old;
peace will arise in your heart in due time.

Patience, forebearance, love, and tolerance;
if not now, when will you foster these qualities?
(In your heart, mind, soul and body,
with every ounce of character strength
that you have acquired).

Yet, an added measure of divine influence

is necessary to bring those qualities to light.