I want for nothing.
A phrase often misunderstood--mistaken to be a good thing. It is reserved for the wealthy and content, for they are the only with the luxury for such a phrase.
I am not wealthy and I am not content. Perhaps, in large part, this is because I truly want for nothing.
Not fame. Not fortune. Not even love.
A small part of me feels envy for those with drive and passion. They reach out steadfast for their dreams. They drag them inward, toward them.
I have no dreams. I want for nothing.
And so, I stand within the world with all it's wonders just beyond my grasp.
I never feel the urge to reach.
I let them remain beyond me.
There is a certain hollowness to realizing one's own insignificance. I would so very much like to one day speak to my creator. There's a question that lingers on the edge of my mind that I'd very much like to ask them:
What is the reason for my existence?
It is a question I would never speak out loud, for it would be misunderstood. They'd call me suicidal, which I am not. I do not wish to die. Just as I do not wish to live. I merely exist, an empty vessel ambling through this world.
I Don’t Know
I am a background character in my own life, just waiting for a moment of my own
Tell me what you need, and I will get it done
Are you upset? Hurt? In need?
I will buy you lunch, I will drive you wherever, I will watch as you shine, the star of your own life, and fly away from here
You will not take me with you, even though you say you will
I will be left behind, as I was always meant to be
Tell me what you need
Take every favor I have ever done, everything I have ever tried to become and throw it away for me
Tell me what you need
Can I help you stop hurting? Can I help you?
Because that is my purpose, that is all I know
I only know how to fade away, unknown, alone
And finally, just
And when I am no longer needed by you, then I cease to exist
Because isn’t that what I’m here for?
solitude’s not always profound
yes, you should watch tree canopies
sway awake before snoozing back
to a deep-rooted slumber, or
gawk at whatever’s in front of you
as a whole - unlabeled and unformed -
like your feet’s by the edge of a pit
bearing an infinite expanse.
but it doesn’t matter much without
what’s my purpose?
rattled my brain with that for a while.
18 characters bearing a labyrinth
on the valleys of w’s
making you run circles around o’s
before it’s guillotined by ?
go back. retrace steps.
then do it all over again
until you take the phrase
as your lover to warm the bed
18 me thought psychedelics were the answer.
guzzle down whatever’s on hand and wait
till outlines wave sine, and
“oh wow, I’m inside the carpet.”
then a psychic meat grinder churns me through
till death makes me sign the contract, and
“oh fuck, yeah I really shit the bed this time.”
then I’m back, staring at a world made of
thread and wool, with more questions
things don’t stay the same.
they never will.
I wasn’t the same 5 lines
and a couple of rereads ago.
but what I wrote doesn’t matter much without
yes, in each one of us lies an innate
need to leave a mark - graffiti on walls
of gas station bathroom stalls that say
“Joa was here.” or quotes from books
decorated in fingerprints of ghosts
because we don’t want to think about
how small we really are and because we’re
and we say “Fuck off” and brute force
and jam our own shin bone in a 5D
rubix cube to solve it because we’re
but this whole thing doesn’t matter much without
what’s that philosophical tree?
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
“If someone writes a poem and no one is around to read it, does it even matter?”
maybe. maybe it does for that someone.
I wasn’t the same an hour ago.
this whole life thing doesn’t matter much without
to be kind. to leave a mark on the walls
of brain folds - good or bad,
better than a void, better than being
a ghost of a ghost.
that’s my purpose.
or maybe not.
I wasn’t the same two days ago.
The book with the answer.
The answer to your question.
What is my purpose? You asked. You said, "What is my purpose?"
It is already written.
You mean you don't see it?
Sorry. I suppose the book is unavailable to you at the present time.
Ask yourself. From what I was told everything including your destiny is in there, but you must be patient, so stop asking the question and pay attention. If you can't see it you are not ready to read it. When the book becomes available you will read the answer in that book, but by that time, something tells me you will have
already written it...
the pride (the pain) of weening
What is this life? This empty pew?
What is this thing - Not what - But who?
Whose eyes shine up, bewildered, new?
Who is our cause, per day, per year?
Whose silence wracks our hearts with fear?
Whose gentle breath has hence proclaimed
A salve on anguish; kept it tamed?
Though purposes are found by men;
Are won; are saught; are reasoned,
Parenthood has topped their ken.
It’s instincts weathered; seasoned.
What is this thing, this purpose clear?
Who is this creature, ours to rear?
It’s you, dear child. Hush, we’re here.
Your fingers clasp all meaning.
Imagine if I was…
I was warm.
But maybe I felt warm
because everything else looked cold?
I was young.
But maybe I felt young
because everyone else seemed old?
I was enlightened.
But maybe I felt enlightened
because everything else appeared unclear?
I was courageous.
But maybe I felt courageous
because everyone else showed fear?
I was at ease.
But maybe I felt at ease
because everything else seemed unsure?
I was rich.
But maybe I felt rich
because everyone else looked poor?
I was inspired.
But maybe I felt inspired
because everything else seemed bleak?
I was strong.
But maybe I felt strong
because everyone else looked weak?
And I wonder if I really was,
or if I came to be
through the detriment of others.
If so, does that make… me?
I am here to feel, and let others feel, love.
I believe love is the driving force of life and I want to feel every kind of love there is to feel and, in turn, give that love to others so they can also feel it.
I know that may seem cliché or too simple, but if I can think of exactly one thing I want out of life, that is it.
I want to feel passionate about someone, and I would also like it if someone felt passionate about me.
My purpose and plan is to simply give and receive love.
My Purpose (And A Collective One Too)
This is what I believe is the purpose for the life I have been given:
- Continue to seek God's Will for my life, and follow through to glorify Him.
- Love my wife and kids, and teach my children how to be respectable adults, how to embrace their passions, how to value life, and what they should seek in a life partner.
- Make an impact that outlasts my own life. This could be teaching postive life lessons to my children and my students, it could be creating art through acting and writing, it could be as simple as building someone up so they can make a difference with their life.
All of us have purposes in our lives, and we all matter. I think one purpose we all share is to read and write as a community on Prose. I love writing on here, and I love to read your work too. So thank you for sharing some of your purposes by being present - you are awesome!
The Root of the Word
The root of my current suffering lies in casual yoga class banter regarding this convoluted word. What is my purpose? I am mixed up like the cake batter I swear I won't eat.
"The root of the word dharma is “dhri”, which means “to support, hold, or bear”. It is the thing that regulates the course of change by not participating in change, but that principle which remains constant."*
Everything is boring. I live my life not on the edge, but on a precipice. I wonder when my life will pick up speed, or if I will ever overcome depression and be able to find my true purpose: live a well-rounded, accomplished life. Whatever that even means.
When I slammed a door and opened a portal to a more difficult, sad world without my sister, I took in her words: but like everything that is said to me, a milky film covers the meaning. She said I play the victim in my own life. She told me, "you just let things happen to you." The next day, I booked a flight home to the east coast. I was not trying to prove her wrong, and I knew that I would never have that initiative again.
The milky film seems to shade in my retinas. I can't see, but not for lack of trying. I will myself to do yoga, so I am one with my body. Maybe if I feel emotion through physical activity, I will feel something - anything - in other aspects of my life.
I go to bed at night and dream about pina coladas. I hate the feeling of being out of control, but it's a comfort I love. Writing is a similar stimulant, and likewise depressant. I just want to be known. But when the attention turns to me, I shy away; I am stuck wondering if my writing submissions are too much, too much drama. But in my everyday life, nothing is dramatic, and I simply exist.
My dharma alludes me.
But in a sense, don't we all dream about alcohol, and wonder at what the next hangover of despair will inspire us to change?
*Wikipedia, Dharma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma
More Amanda Gorman
We need more Amanda Gorman in the world. Her energy is exactly what we need to turn this train around. Her performance has covered my heart in hope. Hope that I did not think was possible. I have lost count on how many times I have watched it. Each time I am left in awe at her God given talent and beauty.
I pray daily for a sign to hang on for just one more day and that prayer has been answered in a dramatic and profound fashion. Witnessing her greatness enriches my dehydrated soul. The election year from hell mixed with covidays and unbelievable personal crap has me mentally exhausted. At the risk of sounding melodramatic - Amanda Gorman has saved my life. Listening to her interviews is intoxicating. I find myself energized and less frantic about the future after hearing her speak. Clearly her purpose is unfolding in high definition right before us.
This euphoria must be similar to how Trumpers reacted to his speeches. I have tried to understand how my friends could succumb to the brainwashing of Faux news. Perhaps his message resonated with them in a personal way just as Gorman has me. I just hope they watched her. The optics of this narrative are priceless. The young black woman from a single parent home who overcame a speech impediment illuminates the world as the old white man shuffles off stage with his head hanging low.
What a blessing to witness the shift in focus to the positivity and unity that we all desperately need.
Thank you Amanda Gorman.