If we venture into the past too often, we stay there

And if we write the next line of Now

our future is our prognostication

I lie under an oak tree planted 15 years ago

cut after one year

by my irresponsible sister

with the electric weed-eater

My dad was mad

and she was surprised

because she thought she had hacked

a particularly invasive weed

The tree grew back with my dad’s attending

and it got mowed over by me


and when my dad found out

he cursed and I was unapologetic

Dad abandoned his tree altogether

and it grew on its own accord

the way trees should grow

without interference from pruners or grafters or meddlers

Now, I’m lying under that same tree fifteen years later

and the oak leaves offer me shade

on a lazy summer day

I feel a lack of control

without much desire to control anything

and it grows without my assistance

like everything else

I find that mysteries are revealed

when we don’t desperately seek them

and I find that curiosity helps

You can fight for oh so long

until you realize that you don’t have to fight

the struggle is somewhere else

it’s liberating

like it shouldn’t be

not that problems don’t keep happening

just that they don’t seem to be as big as they used to be

tender projections of my soul turn different shades

even as I bike towards oblivion in the heat of the day

I can’t wrap my mind around the present

not likely to change

Is it wisdom to recognize futility?

unwashed cups

a bedroom full of trash

a friend to talk to

a mood that wavers like the wind

with howling hormones and raging beliefs

that change faster than the seasons

How much is enough?

just a bit more

than the other guy

what absurdity

to talk and then not to talk

for some built-up feeling

or higher morality.

And even as I write these words

the courageous man lingers


to spring

into action

A testament

of change

to not know my next thought

I don’t worship this unpredictability

or look down upon it

I only hope

my rudderless ship


in the right direction.

3 thoughts on “Unassisted Living

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