Sunday, February 5, 2012

Makes Me Me

Makes Me Me

My life is counted in more than coffee spoons,
But in memory of times, places, and people,
Each though they themselves may change
Are forever sealed upon my heart as they were,
And since they are as they were, I go on,
And their changes become new times, new places,
New people, new faces, and life goes on,
And so, too, must I, and do I, and can I,
For each of my senses experience in itself
At the same time the it and its connected
Tissue of memory. For the mountain I see
With my eyes, reminds me of others I still see
In my mind, and that fills me. In the holly
I see, I am reminded of the Red and Green
Of a Christmas celebration, and though
It’s Groundhog Day, and there are to be six
More weeks of winter, my heart is warmed.
At the same time though, too, I see in the holly
The red of the blood that pricked my finger,
Or that stuck me as I walked through its briars,
So at the same time one sight, holds more
Than one memory, but two and completely
Different therein, and more by far than come
To mind at present, will come tomorrow
When I shall behold the holly again. Nothing
Is as simple as I’d like it to be, thank God,
The wondrous world is filled with more.
And to people, their faces ingrained.
In these students, I can’t help but see others
Who have sat where they are sitting,
And they too, were searching for more,
Thirsting for more, but not knowing where
To look. They wonder, “What is truth?
Do my parents hold the answers, my teachers?
My friends seem to offer an easier truth,
And so we gather together without challenge,
And we all fall in line.” I don’t hear their voices,
But their actions are just like the others,
And like me, how can I help, show them,
But they have to find it on their own,
So not show, invite, show them the doors,
Ask them to knock, they may or not,
The ones that do and have, stand out
In my memory, the rest are faceless,
Manifestations of sameness, forgotten.
So what makes memory? Sameness,
Monotony, coffee spoons, habit, death,
Or is life about something else? It’s funny
What I remember, and what I don’t.
Did I know at the time, “Hey! Pay attention!
You’ll remember this!” I don’t think I did,
I just do, but there seems to be a pattern
And that pattern breaks the pattern,
Times that are remembered are unique
Just like people who are remembered
Distinguish themselves. What about the holly
Then or the mountain? They are just there.
There is something majestic though in their
Mere presence. So maybe there is something
Memorable in all those forgotten faces,
And things and places that I have missed,
But maybe they were there for someone else,
For the world is bigger than me, it’s cool
To think that nothing is useless, even though
In them I hold no need, for, too, maybe I
Have a value to give that I know not
Nor do I control; the thought of that sustains me,
Always, and makes me, me, and so me matters.
                                            ~ Peter T. Atkinson