Monthly Archives: May 2014

And This is Now

This is the second part of a series entitled Then and Now. See this post for the story behind this series.
Lord Byron said “Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey”.
Love has found a way.

 

As I look outside my window
the wind blows the trees,
time stands still
and I am more connected
to the world
than I have ever been.

Love is so near
I can feel its breath
in my ear as it whispers
“You are loved
and we will be here
forever”

© 2014 Stephen Boothe

 


That Was Then

This is the first part of a series entitled Then and Now. See this post for how this series came to be.

 

 

Black…

Darkness envelops my perception

I cannot see

I cannot feel

I breathe…

I taste dirt as I slowly become aware
leaving dreamspeak behind

…with great regret.

A cold hard ground has become my bed
replacing those clouds upon which I had so recently flown.

Where am I?

Who am I?

A veiled identity looms darkly beyond my reach
laughing with bitter tease.

Breathe…

Memory slowly approaches on decrepit legs
extending a vaguely familiar hand…

…with a growing awareness of a doubted reality
biting closely at his heels.

I cannot move

I do not feel my body

My leaden limbs will not respond
to my ever increasingly frantic mind.

Breathe…

I turn my mind from darkness to light
and renew my effort to rise.

Breathe…

A warm and loving light breaks through
this fog of rising fear and despair.

I feel…

I am alive.

My sleeping spirit has now awakened.

Now my long journey begins…

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


Then and Now

I have recently completed a two part series of poems entitled ‘Then and Now’. It relates to a journey I began roughly sixteen years and which is not yet complete. It continues to be written in my life but I have reached a point where I am ready to tell how it was then and how it is now.

The first part of the series is about my experience sixteen years ago when, due to an accident, I fractured three vertebrae in my neck. It has been a long road back to a semblance of normalcy and I can say that it changed my life forever although it took a while for me to realize how much I had been changed by that singular event.

The second part of the series is about where I am today in my life and what my life has become. It is short but to the point.

Look for Pt.1 and Pt.2 in my following posts.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe

 


Breaking Down the Barriers Pt.1

Although I don’t always show it, I am an emotional person. Earlier in my life, I seldom if ever showed my emotions but felt them none the less. I am empathic. I feel the emotions of others.

Ever since a young age, probably early teens, I have had a self imposed filter; actually one of many, but that’s another story. Let’s call this one the ‘Male Identity’ filter. It was always on guard against my natural emotional reaction to the input or thoughts in my life, careful to screen for what were not considered normal ‘Male’ reactions. Any emotional responses not in the realm of maleness were not allowed to get out lest anyone think I was not sufficiently male. A product of my upbringing? The typical gender-centric guidance that occurs in Western society? Probably a bit of both. But I knew at some point that operating in this manner stifled my natural responses and ultimately warped the being I was and was intended to be.

So one day I said ‘Fuck that!’

I knew I had lived that way long enough. I had suffered under a yoke of self-imposed repression for so long that I had developed a difficulty in feeling my emotions at all. They lay smothered under a blanket of guilt and fear of what others would think. My life was truly governed by people to whom I gave over all control.

And so I changed. I began to allow myself the freedom to experience my feelings and responses. I explored the emotions I felt and dared to venture into areas I had previously automatically shunned as a matter of course. It was extremely frightening in the beginning and I would fret for hours after letting even the smallest part of myself show through to the outside world for fear of non-acceptance.

Is it easy to change that type of thinking? Of course not. It comes little by little and a day at a time. But slowly the fear began to recede and to be less and less important. I knew that I had not only a right to my emotions but I had an obligation to myself to be the person I truly was. This thought kept me on the path I currently continue to travel.

This filter is almost entirely gone now. I feel comfortable in expressing my true self; at least the true state at which I current reside. It constantly evolves. I don’t know that there is a true me in the sense of an unchanging self but rather I exist as a changing, evolving being that is now capable of living my life as I experience it with no barriers, no filters, and no fears.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


Modern Existence

Death is but a bridge
that we seek
as we blunder through
trouble and woe
while masked with visions
of life’s sweet promise.
A lie adorned with
glitter and shame,
enticing in its naiveté,
forever compelling us
towards false hopes and dreams.

Death leads us to that
which redeems us,
to that which transforms us,
to that which saves us
from the rotting that occurs
in this facade we accept
as everlasting life.
There is no form
beyond what we imagine
in our twisted vision
of corporeal existence.

We are not real.
We are imagined lives
in an imaginary world
created by our minds
to abate the madness
which exists in us all.
We are one;
all of the same consciousness.
We exist in a unity
that we are determined
to deny.

There is no singularity.

There is no life.

There is only existence.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


night, Mother

Over 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy. Its physical effects are far reaching and can even cause death. It affects many more than that in the families, friends, and loved ones of those with the disease. New treatments and therapies are being discovered every day. Please help, please get involved. To help, go to The Epilepsy Foundation at http://epilepsy.com

I attended a rehearsal of ‘night, Mother’ just recently at The Apex Theatre. It is a 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Marsha Norman about a daughter, Jessie, and her mother, Thelma, which deals with the consequences of epilepsy. This production is a collaboration of Felicity Enas and Hannah Morris with a portion of the proceeds going to The Epilepsy Foundation. The play will run from May 16th through May 24th.

The entire scene takes place in a living room/kitchen of a typical middle class home. The relationship between Thelma and Jessie is set from the very first scene and we get a sense of the roles each character has assumed as a result, we are to learn, of the effects of epilepsy in their lives.

Throughout the play an interesting dynamic evolves as a result of the course that Jesse has chosen. There is a stripping away of the façade each character has built up over the years as a defense against the stress of living and coping with such a life altering disease. It is a lesson in humility, it is a lesson in relationships, it is a lesson in love.

Although the ultimate ending is announced fairly early in the play, the evolution of the characters as portrayed by Felicity Enas and Hannah Morris will keep you engaged throughout. Their performance is so empathic that one cannot feel anything but compassion for the love, the misery, and the burden they share.

If you see but one play this year, you must see ‘night, Mother’ playing at the Apex Theatre May 16th through May 24th.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


Hate

If I can kill with a word
would you accept me?

If I join the hate-filled spree
I will truly belong
won’t I?

If I partake
of the acceptable destruction
of both my own and another’s self-esteem,
will I still be whole?

Acceptance is the goal
for my hatred
and for my disdain.

We are one and we hate.

If your thoughts do not match our thoughts
we will not accept you;
we will demean you;
we will destroy you.

Though, inside, we know
that you are a part of us all.
Because ultimately,
we hate ourselves.

We feed upon our own souls
and we hunger for more.
No longer desiring the love
we all once knew.

No longer seeing
that which lifts us
but rather we dive willingly
into our own psychic demise.

Is this wise?
Maybe this is a function
of moral decay
or just another day

in life at the peak of evolution.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


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