Signal to Noise

In my dream-awake mode of composing poetry, almost anything can be made good use of. Interruptions from the day-world are not precisely welcome, but they can be incorporated into a story–sometimes. Other times, they come as hostile acts–perhaps directly from unkind human beings, perhaps from something more abstract and pervasive that deliberately inserts itself between pray-er and pray-ee, artist and inspiration. Anyone reading here already knows what I mean.

The work I have shared here comes readily if a few conditions are met. One of these is that the time before me be open-ended, so I can lose track and get lost in the work, should that happen. Another is that my environment must be quiet enough that I can stay focused. These are both a problem because a local business neighbor is extremely loud on a regular basis, doing something completely unnecessary to their success. My neighbors and I are trying to get them to stop. They did it again today, so we are not being listened to.

The daily needless disruption is serious and the attitude behind it is worse. To be shown, over and over, how unimportant and meaningless mere human lives are when a business is just operating as usual is a bitter lesson to learn again no matter how cynical one already was. Please understand–this is not a huge corporation; we all know each other. They would tell you they are progressive, community-minded people. A lot of life-force is being sapped from me by the anger this causes, even though I thought I knew how to protect myself. In story-lore, I’m up against the bare edge of something old and ugly that hates everything beautiful, and it has noticed my work and will stop me if it can. The current struggle over offensive noise is the real-life story behind some of the themes in the poems. We know all stories have dark passages and dangerous characters. This conflict is affecting my life and health too directly. What does it matter how many times I can sit down to compose and retrieve yet another presto-change-o happy ending, if the obstacle of needless noise that squats in my path will not go away? Will it continue until I am too ill to work? There’s no place to move to beyond the sound, and anyway, should I have to?

This sharing is part of the process of caring more directly and effectively for the quiet and peaceful folk of this world, the ones who still know their souls and what can happen when apparent separation is no more. In the best of all worlds, no one would knowingly harm another because they know they would also be harming themselves. This world could be better today if we could trust one another to live by that now.

I cannot trust the loud business neighbors, but some of the others are lovely, and do their own beautiful work. We will rescue something good out of this struggle–but never forget that we should not have to. We will all work and live more happily when peace is restored, as we did before it was broken. Even the loud ones will, too. If only they understood what their unkindness is doing to themselves. We at least will heal, somehow.

Please light a candle for the kind, good people of this world to be held in peace till they find their way Home.

Blessed Holidays to you all.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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