White Vision

Apply myself, I’ve just got to learn to

apply myself – as if I do things just

to stab my name through them like a thumbtack

on a wall of accomplishments, proclaiming

it the world, the girl who applied herself.

I don’t want to do things, I want things

to be done to me, to leap up and grab my wrists

and hurtle me into the deepest, darkest of trenches,

I don’t want to lead – I want to be led,

down the emptiest of corridors, I want

not to fill, but to be filled, with all that space

and I want to be whispered to, when we’re

down there, in the quiet, and I want to be told

that it matters, even in these spots of the world

where nothing can hear but is still heard,

that there was a reason, that there is still a reason

to me, to the soldier, to the drinkers, to the woman

staring in the mirror hating herself and the man

staring into a cubicle hating his life, and the reason

is that there is no reason except that it matters

to us, the storytellers, whose business it is

to chronicle these human sufferings and this

all-too-human love, and to take it and hand it off

to the next person who cares, and this – this

is how we go on, and it is both beautiful

and monstrous, but I love it so so much,

love it enough to apply myself to every

moment of it, to let it own me the way

I can never own it, and hold me the

same way I hold this pen – with white vision,

and with meaningless purpose.

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14 thoughts on “White Vision

  1. “I don’t want to do things, I want things

    to be done to me, to leap up and grab my wrists

    and hurtle me into the deepest, darkest of trenches,

    I don’t want to lead – I want to be led,

    down the emptiest of corridors, I want

    not to fill, but to be filled, with all that space

    and I want to be whispered to, when we’re

    down there, in the quiet, and I want to be told

    that it matters”

    This is a complete and deeply felt poem within the longer poem. This is the part that grabs a fistful of my heart and squeezes without letting go.

    “Apply myself, I’ve just got to learn to apply myself” This sounds like the nagging nattering parroting teachers I had who blamed the lacks in the misguided vacuum of education on the trapped victims. ((SIGH)) Still today, no doubt.

    Thanks for writing.

    Alice

    PS: Of course. It ALL matters.

    1. Alice, as always, my dearest reader! I’m glad this one spoke to you. As to the “apply yourself” part, that was more or less directed towards a pair of grandparents who are upset I want to be (am?) a writer. My teachers, on the other hand, are some of my most inspiring friends. (Specifically, my English teachers. They tend to encourage writing more than anything else 😉 ) Thanks again, Alice. Your feedback is gold.

      P.S. Thanks for the reassurance. I seem to be in constant need of it.

      1. I’m glad to hear you have fine teachers encouraging you to write.

        Teachers are like this. They encourage others to do what they do. In medical school, the neurologists thought I should be a neurologist, the internists thought I should be an internist and the psychiatrists thought I should be a psychiatrist. None of them thought I should quit my profession and become a writer or an artist.

        But here I am.

        I suppose your grandparents want to be sure you can support yourself in the big mean world.Writing rarely does this.

        Yes. You already “are” a writer. Even if you never wrote another word, there’s no changing this part. Van Gogh hasn’t painted in a long time, but he’s still an artist.

        Warm regards,
        Alice

        PS I need reassurance from time to time. You, too. C’est normal

  2. Wow, Natalie, I thought you had said you weren’t producing… Well you are producing, and what productions! I can so relate to the “apply yourself” maxims — I was once told that music was a nice hobby, dear. You go girl, that’s all I can say, You have talent and drive and you have found what lights you up. Don’t let anyone flip that switch.

    1. This definitely made me crack a smile – and on a Monday afternoon, that’s very hard to do. Thanks Marya! I’ll stand near that lightswitch and slap anyone who comes near it. I hope you do the same 😉

Thoughts? I love those.

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