My Dreams Are Eyes Tonight

My Dreams Are Eyes Tonight, paper collage, 2021

we must relearn to see innocence

a woman grows older and wishes 
she could unsee the world

could dig her fingers in a patch of old snow
make love under a stop sign 
with or without headlights

for her, a chair is not a chair
but a ballad for an unknown lover
a tale of turquoise, velvet gloves, and pianos

the insomnia of inner freedom
an acre of utopia

she is the shape of velvet
her eyes play hopscotch with the 
lawnmowers of infinity

if these illusions had helmets
if these treetops were dreamless, skyless

if nirvana
was electricity 
in a jar

this waking would make me feel
no less alive

than a cardboard symphony
than the art deco of this dream

late, but beautiful

While I rarely begin my poetry (or any creative endeavor, for that matter) with a preconceived idea or concept, that’s not the case with this poem. An idea struck me late last night, and I found myself torn between wanting to express it creatively, through poetry and collage, or more straightforwardly in a prose post. And as I couldn’t come to a clear decision (and I felt that what I had to say in prose could be said in fairly short order), I opted for both. 

Speaking When Spoken To, paper collage, 2021

What occurred to me was this: we must relearn to see innocence, to see goodness. Of course, it’s impossible to become desensitized to violence, to cruelty, to the kinds of monstrosities, valuelessness, mundane ugliness that come along with being “worldly,” “socialized,” “civilized,” etc. without also becoming desensitized to goodness. Specifically, I think goodness is something we can actually, physically see (right along with the soul in things). And learn not to see as we grow accustomed to the world.

It then occurred to me that maybe that’s what growing into oneself means, at least in part. Being able to see—really see—the good in others, the soul in them, which is also to experience the soul within ourselves. To dispel the monsters, the inner predators, or at the very least, be able to put them in their place. And you can’t do that if you can’t see them—if you’re still looking at the world through un-innocent eyes. I suppose that’s all, really. Nature, art, poetry are all sources, all help to undo the knots in our perception, destroy old forms, see our world as if for the first time. And perhaps, literally, get a glimpse of goodness.

7 thoughts on “My Dreams Are Eyes Tonight

  1. I couldn’t agree more. To see the world through innocence. And I really love the poem, it’s that perfect poise between the surreal and the beautiful. I really enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really good…both the poem and your prose entry…and I agree wholeheartedly. Nature, art, poetry are paths that lead so often to actually seeing the soul of things.. and as you’ve said, undoing the knots of all we take in with our eyes, our breath, our being. It is so challenging to fight the “mudslide” of thought and deed as we live each day, caught in what seems like an overwhelming riptide that keeps us from the shore of freedom…the kind of freedom that allows us to see with not only innocent eyes but with eyes of clarity and truth..because in spite of all of the depravity and cruelty of this world, there is a beautiful soul to it, a goodness beyond our narrow perspective..a pulse, a daily creation, a moment to moment bursting of possibility.. of creativity that is electric and scientific as well as artistic, elegant, graceful, imaginative…our biological existence infused with the intangible…delivering a life in which we die once but get to live again and again each and every day…so good, my friend..what a great entry to start my day with..you’ve inspired me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a gorgeous comment: “Because in spite of all of the depravity and cruelty of this world, there is a beautiful soul to it, a goodness beyond our narrow perspective..a pulse, a daily creation, a moment to moment bursting of possibility.. of creativity that is electric and scientific as well as artistic, elegant, graceful, imaginative…our biological existence infused with the intangible…delivering a life in which we die once but get to live again and again each and every day.” What a wonderful way to look at life. And I agree, it’s a matter of perspective. We can either focus on the the depravity, cruelty, suffering that surround us or choose to see those things as part of a whole that is essentially good. Whenever I feel caught in the “mudslide,” I either create or I go out into nature–hiking, camping, birding, etc.–as all of these activities are inherently soulful. They cleanse my perception, reorient me to the goodness that still exists in the world. Thank you for such beautiful and thought-provoking commentary, my friend, and thank you for bringing my attention to the fact that this comment didn’t post. It went to my spam folder.

      Like

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