This poem again reflects my themes of Challenge, Love, Awareness and Perseverance. Even though this is a very simplified initiative, I think that these elements when reinforced can help a person get through life, and could be used in counselling.
From day to day, it can be difficult to find a mood with stable optimism. Optimism can be like a breath of fresh air that arrives with good news or also with the determination to be confident. This mood can become a habit that one can revert to even during or after stressful events. It helps to be able to fall back on resources such as a social network, and definitely to have adequate shelter, food, clothing and hopefully some other comforts too. Sometimes we cannot rely on this. When these resources are low – physical and mental health can be most vulnerable. I believe that it is important in life to be able to rely on oneself to find optimism and strength from within. While it is possible to live at times with basic needs filled; hard work is necessary – sometimes working with pain. This becomes very difficult without a social-network that can understand our way of thinking or drive to balance certain complex personal problems. Often by maintaining spirituality and having a greater awareness of the world – people can find that inner-strength.
Sometimes I may awake, and enter into a more clear state of consciousness. A few days ago I wrote this poem, just having awoken from a vivid dream. I had been dreaming of putting up artwork and restoring the walls of the home where I grew up. When I woke up – I had these words in my mind from a Shakespearean soliloquy: ‘Whether tis nobler…’ (Hamlet Act III). The unusual thing is that I had no real memory of the entire soliloquy, although my father had memorized it and at times would recite it in a humorous sort of way. I quickly found out that this is perhaps the most famous passage in Shakespeare, regarding, ‘To be or not to be’. It is important in many ways, and discusses how one may carry on in life.
The poem that I wrote addresses my dream, and also the quote. I try to take it a step further to identify important parts of life, including the joy and the ability to bring joy. Maybe ‘joy’ only happens once in a blue moon, but this is to me: incentive to carry on through all the other stresses. In my poem, I discuss my home like a cathedral, but really the entire world – and all those I love: everyone. Everyone has humanity, and beauty, no matter how deep. After we conquer and divide, or have fear and are lonesome: the strength to share love, or have hope may require great effort. This can be found through a greater awareness, or a perspective change that allows one to construe observations positively and find optimism. One may stretch too far to achieve this optimism, but perhaps with experience, even training: it may be possible to find realistic optimism through the shift to perception of the macrocosm, a broader vision of our world, or an effective perspective change in a specific case. For example, it may be possible to take on a more distanced view of a conflict, and be able to find ways to cope with the problem or even lessen the suffering caused by the problem, by having found solutions from the different perspective. Even just facing the world with a different attitude, can loosen the stress that may otherwise be constricting, painful or monotonous. In this way, I find challenging our awareness, finding love and persevering to yield over-all stability and resilience after faltering.
This night I awoke with artistic vision, memories to restore,
Really renovate the house of my childhood, where I had once before,
Written symbols, and designs of fair religion,
and cherished goals for dearest family,
Now family passed,
wondering of mortality and my present loves:
Driving my every need,
This was our favourite room for so long,
a retreat, a centre for warmth, friends and frivolity,
Beyond that really, a great many places,
The sprawling cathedral of the world
Everything within to be cherished,
Have we conquered and divided?
Do we fear and are we lonesome?
These are not the words I ask,
I summon my strength, ask for more to share the glory with all those I love…
All are fair,
And it is the words on my lips as I awake: ‘whether tis nobler ‘….
To endure and dream, fight, yell scream,
or submit to the weary boredom of suffering,
And die never having known true love of life and the expression,
Or the joy we find in bringing joy to be