"Writing, No Wall" by Jay Larsen
Where are the religious manuals for simple souls?
Men and women struggling just to survive.
Humans with doubt as reliable and strong as any faith.
Those of us who cannot imagine forty days in the desert,
Or a life of cold meditation in a mountain hermitage,
Shuffle our feet doggedly down this dusty road.
We know in our bones that those ornate religious maps
Displayed for sale at every corner shop
Are not the terrain we are traveling.
Where are the business books for the rest of us?
Those of us who don't want to conquer Wall Street.
We can do without the thrill of entrepreneurial risks,
Or the terror of burning our longboats at the shore,
So there can be no turning back toward the flames.
Racing inexorably forward, onward, upward,
Capturing and consuming more and more and more.
Most of us don't want to swim with the sharks,
Or make a killing in the market.
Where are the childrearing books for people like me?
Holding a fallen feather in my hand,
Slender and perfectly delicate,
I watch my girls run through the dandelions
Playing Jedi Ninjas with bamboo poles.
And I wonder, what can I teach them,
These fragile and trusting children,
About living and dying?
Where is that one book, written just for me?
My rooms are overflowing, floor to ceiling,
With the murmuring voices of books and more books.
Wise, frivolous, humorous, intoxicating voices,
Black ink teaches, preaches, distracts and entertains.
But not one paragraph describes exactly this--this strange
And wonderful madness that is the life I have discovered.
This simple story is found only in the quiet white spaces
Between the rising and falling of my breath.
Perhaps the page should not be surprised,
When it cannot simply read itself.
Editor In Chief
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(C) copyright 2000 WhatDoWeKnow? and Jay Larsen, all rights reserved.