Tug of war
(written 21 September 2012)
Since wordpress keeps removing my formatting, I will type the first line on each ”verse” in caps…
THERE’S A TUG OF WAR going on inside of me
the part that wants prosperity
vs the part that holds fear
Fear of feeling obliged to help
I don’t what to work hard to give it away
to someone I judge irresponsible perhaps.
IN MY HEAD I know I don’t have to.
In my head I know we are both creators.
So this is how I set it up for now.
If I have no money, then
I can’t feel guilty for saying no
when someone asks me for some.
THING IS, it doesn’t work
coz the guilt transforms into guilt for
not having any
not living up to expectations, mine and perceived others
and a hundred little unidentified
illusive fears that sneak around like dust
on stagnant water it festers and hatches like mosquitoes
then one by one they come for me.
NOT HAVING money can’t keep me ”safe”
any more than having money can
but it can keep me in fear – for now.
Fear of not having funds to go and see family,
to be unable to bail us out,
plus all the ones that come from not being
in a network of friends to catch a fall.
TO SOME it is real, to some it is a game
but at times the game does feel ever so real
no matter how much I remind and reassure my self.
When with all the skills we have accumulated between us
we can not find work and funds are low
coins rather than notes.
This is a place of contradictions
the well off live side by side with poverty
sometimes co-existing within the same family.
I am amazed. How do they do it so easefully?
I want to learn!
If you saw your nephews in rags and no shoes
would you not feel some sort of human obligation to help?
Instead get in your fancy car
leaving the aircon on while you go to work.
DO YOU REALLY think your brother/in law
who slaves away for 12 hours or more a day
is not working as hard as you
and deserves a break too?
Am I really the only one who’s head observes these things?
Of course, you are in no way obliged
but if you so easily could
how can you not want to?
I NEED TO LEARN from these people
learn to not feel like I want to help
because I’d want that hand if it were me.
I need to learn to let everyone have their experience
without wanting to change it.
Let the complexities just be what they are.
Respect the choices of others &
get on with my own.
Choose and choose again
choose a different experience to explore for myself
and let everyone else have theirs.
I’m having a hard time viewing poverty as a ”choice”.
IT IS NOT EXCLUSIVE to this place
it’s just that the extremes makes it more apparent.
The have and the have nots.
In England it’s behind closed doors
even if those doors are ever changing doors of a b&b or hostel.
OBLIGATIONS to help…..
It reminds me of other times…
looking after siblings
looking after parent and grand-parents
because it’s what the eldest/youngest/ugliest daughter did.
Love does not come into it.
It’s what you do.
No matter how much you begrudge
a chance at a life of your own
a family or a (”suitable”) job
teaching or nursing .
Through the centuries I hear the echoes
”why do you want to look after other people when
your brothers and sisters need caring for?”
Yeah. A little bit of freedom? Break from the unpaid labour (read slavery)?
An end to a working day rather than 24/7 thankless ”duty”.
WHY DO WE perpetuate the cycle?
Like the crabs in the crab bucket…
grab hold of anyone trying to climb out.
Any branching out
no matter how small
stirs the fears of all the others, whispering:-
Is it so simple as to—
Did I make the right choice?
IN MY MIND I can clearly see
a picture of me and the class of -83.
On one of the facets we’d just got back from a great adventure
a dream we’d nurtured for 2 years before coming to fruition.
In a mere week we’d grown
seen things, experienced so much
and changed irrevocably.
And here we are
asked to step back into the selves we were before.
Go back and fulfill the choices made before.
Before we grew, before we knew our selves
and the facts we now hold in our hands and heart.
I’m sure most didn’t give it much thought
lucky are those who can be content
doing what is expected of them
LIKE A caged bird
had flown around the room
and worry turned into jubilation,
now back in the cage you go.
But I’m different now!
I’ve seen an other world
and you want me to go back and be that small again?
I may not know what I want
but I still would like to reconsider.
Collect a few more facets of life
and my self
before I make my choice.
THE GIRL ON the lawn again;
I’m not sure about this anymore
but what else is there?
She does not want to cause a scene
she does not want to be rude
she does not want to cause trouble
But the question unformed
swirls around like a restless ghost.
It will follow her for years to come
What else is there?
Even when she finds the words,
then she becomes somehow invisible too.
Unsure if anyone can hear her
or if they are just ignoring the question.
Because they don’t know? Don’t comprehend?
She sets out to find her own answers.
IS HAVING a choice
even if it is an illusionary one
Is this introspection purely an introvert thing?
Or is it an indigo trait?
To see so much, think so much,
contemplate more angles of life
than a team of devils’ advocates?
SO THERE I am again
back outside the school on the lawn
in my dress with daisies on,
wishing I was thinner
with a flat belly and slender legs.
This is where our roads parted for college
where we get to start spending our days
in the company of those who have chosen to study
something we were supposedly interested in
rather than bundled together by age group.
I STILL SEE me on that lawn
the buses in the street
the break from all we’d known up til then.
Knowing there were other choices I’d rather make
but that were not available to me.
And a little voice whispered – unfair… isn’t it?
I hissed at it to shut up.
Keep your head down and get on with it.
Three more years and I’d be free.
Forget it feels like a prison sentence,
just get the darn qualifications
then I can choose where to go
and what to do.
Then I can LEARN TO FLY.