It’s supposed to be fun, I return exhausted
To a pile of work not done
And no extra time to do it
With a wallet that’s empty
And experiences I could live without.
I had a verse inside my head,
But left without a pen,
It floated there a fleeting moment,
And now it’s lost and dead.
A twittering echos through the air
Singing the music of spring
As a new generation steps to embark
On the journey of all living things
Stop, I'm told, and smell a rose.
Pause and take a break.
So I comply.
The smell offends my nose.
Why don't you do what others do?
I'm asked without words.
But I'm not them.
Must I pretend to be like you?
What's wrong with loving work?
Both the process and results?
Rest is wearying.
But labor refreshes and refuels.
I'm told it'd be better and cost less,
If I hired the experts to do it.
They reason true.
My time's too costly for stuff like this,
I should just pay someone else.
Again, they're right.
But money and time aren't the point,
I do it myself 'cause I can.
Joy has value.
The rumble of wheels on gravel
I prick my ears and take position
For years I've tried diligently but failed
Today is the day -- I will catch it today
I launch with all the power in me
It draws near and I lengthen my stride
Barking fiercely and closing the gap
A mouthful of rubber -- thrill of success
Then searing pain and darkness close in
As I ask myself why I wanted this.
I... Wanted... THIS!!!
I wanted this...
I... wanted this?
I wanted this???
Once fed by melting white snow
Tumbling quickly with great energy
Living rock yielded to the potent push
As it carved deeper and built strength
Life's elements careening down stream
Then dreadfully harnessed and tapped
To suit the intent of designers
Pounding and frothing for naught
As twist upon turn changed the course
Sapping the potential and power
Till an inch deep and two miles wide
Sluggishly creeping along the way
Stagnantly pooling, nearly halting
Releasing what was suspended
All is lost by expanding too wide
An afternoon unallocated
Retreat to the shop, pick something up
"Dad!" -- A call for my help
It can wait... I whisper to myself
As I answer the call of a child
An evening to write -- maybe a chapter
Open the draft and read what I wrote
Memory refreshed, prepared to compose
A knock at the door draws my attention
A neighbor needs help
The story will be there tomorrow I guess
The oil needs changing -- maintenance deferred
A banging noise calls for investigation
It'll only take an afternoon or so
Maybe I should just pay someone else
But I'll find some time I promise myself
Hoping that noise isn't dangerous
What will you ponder
When providence calls
And you must answer soon --
Passing beyond mortal life
And leaving all else behind
Concern for loved-ones remaining?
Freedom from sorrow and longing?
Fear that there's yet more to come?
Hope for what is yet to come?
Regret for things left undone?
Satisfaction in successes hard won?
Hot anger and spite?
Or calmness and quiet?