When We Face Ourselves in Daylight

Pieces No. 14, paper collage, 2022

Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.

Viktor Frankl
even now
an atom in the drowning sun
a wilderness on its knees
invokes a whisper

as if to suggest
absurdity is a prelude to happiness

a woman underwater
is an orchid without wings

don’t be fooled by these eyes
full of chemtrails
this laughter is a map to the stars
a pair of sneakers 
in a vintage photograph

…if the poem doesn’t go
if this playing card spills 
with sunflowers and destruction
if you’re clinging to your suffering 
you’ll never be free

…but a coffee table 
in G minor
a sonata in eggshells 
hacks the galaxy
Pieces No. 13, paper collage, 2022

It takes greater courage to do what’s good for us than it does to give in to bad habits and destructive impulses. Most often, I think, we refuse to let go of habits, relationships, situations that are bad for us and that multiply our suffering because of what they mean to us, the importance we attach to them. That is, If I stop doing “x,” I’ll lose “y”. 

I suppose there are many ways to relieve ourselves of these negative, self-destructive kinds of attachments. One way to is align with a higher goal—to have a reason—something that’s more important to us than the negative attachment, something that’s, ideally, greater than we are.

But it doesn’t always work that way. That is, we don’t always begin with a reason. We may even find ourselves in such a low place that we can’t find a reason. So we begin where we are. We begin by listening to a quiet inner voice that’s trying to compel us to action, that’s telling us something needs fixing. We may become more creative. We may rekindle old passions and interests. We may reconnect with nature, or with religion, or with whatever we feel connects us to the source. And we can go on like this, sometimes for a very long time, without actually facing the proverbial elephant in the room, the negative attachment that needs severing. But, as the Frankl quote at the top of the page suggests, we never lose the freedom to do so. 

I like to think (and I’m talking about women now) that going through the process of rediscovering our creative power, of learning or re-learning how to nurture, and most importantly, how to listen to and honor our intuition, helps us build the strength we need to address our destructive impulses. To walk away from what no longer serves us. We may not begin with a reason, but, in effect, we end with one. The inner woman grows stronger and stronger until she finally stands up and says, Enough. And it’s something like a kick in the teeth: the thing you thought you couldn’t do is the one thing you have to do. And it turns out it’s not as difficult as you feared it would be. It’s nothing short of hacking a galaxy, after all.


Prints for the artwork in this post are available in my Etsy shop.

I’ve also added some new artwork to the Pieces gallery.

11 responses to “When We Face Ourselves in Daylight”

  1. “If you’re clinging to your suffering you’ll never be free”..such truth in this line…and also such power..we can always choose to change and that is actually so comforting when we are confronting “the thing we thought we couldn’t do.” Well written poem and accompanying entry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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