If I Were A Weapon

It can take a lifetime to find love, joy, contentment. But it takes a heartbeat to feel beaten, disconsolate or without hope. These days we’ve been seeing the disfigured face of injustice and malfeasance so often, that it’s difficult not to think of him as part of the family. We operate on standby, on autopilot; each day our lung capacity pushed to the limit as we struggle to breathe beneath the deluge. Sometimes the only thing giving us strength is the man saying “God will never place on your shoulders a burden you can’t carry”, and the many ways we imagine torturing the smug bastard with a bottle cap and an elastic band.

Yes, there are good days. And some of us, for reasons we’ll never understand, have more of them than we deserve. But for the most part, it’s as if those days have been wandering in the desert, and by the time they finally reach their destination, they barely have the energy to hang around for longer than a few days. And whether it’s the fallout of a relationship ended, the difficulties of being a single parent or the indentation in your forehead from a door that is constantly being slammed shut in your face, there is an endless supply of sage advice. Everyone who has never had to endure the same, has an answer. In the avalanche of self-help books and talk-show hosts, we lift our hands in supplication and cry out “Alright, alright! I’m cured! Whoopdedo!”, not because we are, but because no one likes to fail and maybe it will get them to shut up for a few hours. Universal Truths and Spiritual Awakenings and Catchy Slogans. We’re quick to point out that we are all individuals, yet our problems are generalized and dissected into neat little segments. It’s our abusive fathers or our absent mothers; as soon as we can box the problem, we can then apply our neatly packaged answers. PYSCH101, if patient reveals having witnessed mother kill father after father hit mother, refer to Chapter 23, Subsection 2.3, Paragraph 4. Thank you, have a nice day.

Universal Truths. Anyone able to give me an example of one not based in cynicism? How about Love Conquers All? Funny, all I seem to remember is that love hurts worse than a thousand fires from hell. But who the hell am I? What right do I have to disagree with doctors and psychiatrists and, well, let’s throw Oprah in that list (we all know she’s dying to be there) too? We are all unique, and so are the thousands of issues that we all have to deal with on a daily basis. And we all deserve to have our problems recognised on an individual basis. And perhaps, just maybe, if we take the time to deal with each other on a personal level, without expectations or ulterior motives, and above all things with compassion, we may find that the idiot going on about God and his burdens has left out one important piece of information. God will never place on your shoulders a burden that we can’t carry, together.

If you feel helpless in the travesty that is a Minister of Health engaged in a blind campaign that can only lead to the deaths of thousands. If you feel exasperated in the absurdity of governments and presidents insistent on bathing in the blood of their people. If you woke up this morning and the shadow of the day to come had its fingers around your throat. If you are facing anything that seems so much larger than you, I offer this as encouragement.

Excuse me

If I may
Turn your attention
My way
One moment
I won’t plead
It isn’t much
It’s what I need

And what’s so small to you
Is so large to me
If it’s the last thing I do
I’ll make you see

If you turn from me
You darken my sun
You snap that thin thread
I call my horizon
And I’d like to remind you
Of something small
That the rock in this pocket
Could cause your fall

And what’s so small to you
Is so large to me
If it’s the last thing I do
I’ll make you see

I might be out like a light
Extinguished in the throw
But I’ll hit my mark
And you’ll know
Because I’m really well acquainted
With the span of your brow
And if you didn’t know me then
You’ll know me now
You’ll know me now

So small to you
And so large to me
If it’s the last thing I do
I’ll make you see
Make you see
Make you see

Here’s hoping your rock flies true.

Suzanne Vega – Rock In This Pocket (Song of David)

~ by tenmiles on August 21, 2006.

8 Responses to “If I Were A Weapon”

  1. Oh wow, yes we ARE psychic hey?
    “If you woke up this morning and the shadow of the day to come had its fingers around your throat. ”
    Bloody ‘el.

  2. The neatly packaged answers make me envision a snack vending machine of sorts where you put in your money and select D4 or L2. Out tumbles your little answer. But it’s not like that. We don’t know the how’s or why’s of it but two people can suffer the same experience and come away with something entirely different. It would be prudent to keep in mind that we really, truly don’t know what’s going on with any one person at any given time. You know, hold back on snap judgements. In an ideal world. Me? I’m still banging on the vending machine glass becase my little package has gotten stuck on some M&Ms.

  3. Wow, powerful if not depressing thoughts. My first response of course is to wonder if all is well with you personally as I hope that it is. As terrible as the grand conditions of the world are it is always much worse when someone you know, even if its just barely through this medium, is in pain. If you are I will of course dispense with any trite sayings and just tell you that you are in my thoughts.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone. How to explain this, hmmmm. This does originate from things in my personal life, but more in terms of what I see in the lives of friends and in the governments of both this country and others. I am one of those who seems to have blindly stumbled across a run of good days, which has perhaps given me a perspective I’ve previously had difficulty in seeing. My intentions were more hopeful then they seem to have come across, and for that I apologise. I hope those who have yet to read it take more from the closing then they do from the first paragraphs.

  5. Good days definitely can give one perspective…I just hope that you don’t feel you have gotten yours undeservedly and that you are enjoying and reveling in them as they pass all too quickly. Its been awhile (I think) since we’ve gotten a baby update, etc. and I just was hoping bad things weren’t happening to you eventhough I don’t wish bad things on your friends or the world for that matter.

  6. Oh, Carl, that’s exactly what I was thinking and I’m so glad you expressed it so thoughtfully so FM could set our minds at rest a bit!

    FM, I really didn’t want to have to add you to the list of people who have bad shit going on in their live at the moment. 🙂 So I’m glad you’re more hopeful than it seemed! All good wishes for you and yours. xxx

    PS you tomosexual bastard. 😉

  7. What exactly is this health minister’s campaign?

    I agree that the Dr. Phils of the world are a tedious burden for people like me who recognize that cookie-cutter solutions tend not to fit the problems of real individuals with unique dilemmas and uniquely valuable lives. I’ve had to reject offers of self-help books and seminars from more people that I can count.

    But…I actually stopped by to salute South Africa for heading in a pretty positive direction with gay marriage.

    It impresses me that a nation with so many social problems could be so progressive. I’m not getting my hopes up, but I do think it’s a step in the right direction.

  8. Would this have any connection to the question I posed Friday and which you so neatly side-stepped? Just wondering ….

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