Reality

All posts in the Reality category

TO LIFE

Published September 15, 2019 by Nan Mykel

I’m happy.

I want to stay a while longer.                     

No lightning bolt from the sky, please.

Let me linger

in the sweetness of the days and nights

and the coolness of the old shade tree.

Praise be to

whatever there is out there, in here

just over the horizon of my ken.

I play with you

in this sandbox, and together we make

do with what it seems we have.

 

Image:  Ken Karr.com                                                                                                                      Nan- Time Wrinkles,  2015

 

The Sink Hole Sunk This Poet

Published July 17, 2019 by Nan Mykel

What’s wrong with wearing rose-colored glasses?

Face it–it’s hard today to walk without stepping in it.

And if you slip and fall–oh my! If only our inner

compass could be depended upon, if our

creative urges could steer us through the dark,

find the light.

Should we throw down our tinted lenses and fight

the tarantulas?  The booby-trapped

life jackets? Don’t give in to despair, they say, and

with luck my sword will slice thin air and not be

thrust back at me.  The Drama Queen sits

beside her sister in tinted glasses, waiting for the

other shoe to fall. Oh my.

Look at Me

Published July 13, 2019 by Nan Mykel

 I am a bear.

But am I really?

My identity is caught

mid-stream.

Can you help me out?

When you look into my eyes

what do you see?

Do you see you or

do you see me?

No longer a living tree,

what have they done to me?

Cast into the scuzzy borders

of someone else’s reality (yours).

Caught in the net of your own

imagination, fake firefly in a jar.

Who am I to you? Who are you to me?

Shells, washed up on imaginary

beaches, carry life forms, sometimes

not. Look in your mirror and see

is it you or me caught in transit?

 

Storytelling

Published July 2, 2019 by Nan Mykel

                                       “That’s a Story!”

            In the language of children, story telling means telling a falsehood—at least it did in my childhood.  Now a number of learned individuals suggest that our lives—our selves—are no more real than the stories we think and believe and tell.  Ohh that word “real.”  Most folks today avoid that concept, I know.

            After reading an article in Psychology Today describing the difference between a “Romantic” and a “Post-modernist”,  I accepted the mantle of being a Romantic.

Trying to get organized, my usual rallying cry, I came across a copy of Psychology Today I had saved. I was unsure why I had saved it but when I opened it I found out why: It contains an unread article by Kenneth J. Gergen, Ph.D., The Decline and Fall of Personality ( Nov/Dec 1992, p. 59).

“Many of us believe that somewhere behind our masks lies the real person, that all this role playing is so much sham.  We may also believe that that for the sake of society and ourselves we should drop the roles and be what we truly are.  Yet if by chance you are beginning to doubt that there is a factual self beneath the fake, and feel the mask may just be the genuine article, that ‘image is everything,’ you are entering the new world of postmodern consciousness”.  He adds that “Slowly we are losing confidence that there is a coherent, identifiable substance behind the mask. The harder we look, the more difficult it is to find ‘anyone at home’.

“For contemporary psychologists, people are much like input-output machines…what they do depends on what goes into them.”  Remember that this was before the increasingly attractive idea of many toward the partly (soon wholly?) robotic man.

I never thought of myself as a romantic, but as he differentiates between the Romantic and the Modernist conceptions of the self, I have to register as a Thinking Romantic.  (Where does curiosity belong?)

“It is from the romantic tradition that we derive our beliefs in a profound and stable center of identity–a center which harbors the vital spirit of life itself.  In the past, when it was popular, the romantic self was a compelling account of forces buried beneath the surface of consciousness, in the deep interior of one’s being.”  (Kenneth J. Gergen,  Ph.D., The  Decline and Fall of Personality (Nov/Dec 1992, p. 59).

It is also the home of the “soul.”  Everyone knows by now that I am not religious in the usual sense of the word, but I do honor my depths and support from my unconscious.  And so I accepted the mantle of being a “Romantic!”

        Less than one month later, however,  I come across Bob Shepherd’s blog Praxis that makes a case for mankind’s inner core resulting from their own stories about him/herself and others.  “People are made to construct stories—plausible and engaging accounts of things—the way a stapler is made to staple and a hammer is made to hammer.”  (What Makes Humans Human? Posted on November 30, 2018).  There is no “inner self,” only an accumulation of stories we’ve created  to explain our perceptions.  It’s evolution that caused it, he says. I wonder if evolution itself is one of our stories.

            Off to work on a new story!

 

I KNOW BIG RED RIDER DOESN’T RHYME

Published April 13, 2018 by Nan Mykel

BIG RED RIDER

Not so long ago, in the normal

world of things, a little woman

on her way to visit grandma met

a big red wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“You can trust me,” he said with

a grin, “She’s my grandma too and

I want to see who she voted for.”

 

The little woman became scared when

the wolf’s teeth began to show from

under the sheep’s pearly white skin,

and she feared for grandma’s health.

“I’m going on a picnic” she protested,

“on a restful picnic.” “Well who did you

vote for, my pretty?”

 

“I cannot tell a lie: Bernie.”

Big Red huffed and he puffed and he

grew red in the face too.  “Can you prove

you’re a citizen and not a wetback?

Your hair is black, unlike mine, so

the ICE team may grab you and grandma

too. If you’re not for me you’re ag’in me.”

 

Oh where was the brave hunter who

would step out and save her?  Was he

already fired for being too sharp?

“Fie fie, sir” she cried out hotly—

“How many of the 10 Commandments

have you broken in office?  Mueller,

my brave hunter will arrive at last.”

 

So perhaps the normal world of things

will return without whimper and

the denizens of Make Believe Land

will shine with the child’s regained hope

that love can be gentle, respectful and

honest, and that truth is no longer a

carelessly tossed flapjack.

 

A Long Stretch for d’Verse, (almost)

Published November 9, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Sorry, I’m stumped again. I think I’m locked into secure and don’t know how to get out.

 

A LONG STRETCH

The clear melody of birdsong,

a cool, soothing breeze off the lake,

the kitten’s purring, a warm hug.

The poet’s palette offers endless

choices to embrace and call

forth our gentle, loving nature,

for which the poet is revered.

We cannot argue, this is true.

 

From the same palette, also true:

a rancid stink of depredation

spreads like contagious lava

burning bridges, brutalizing

the senses, and overwhelming

love. How long can both truths endure?

It’s a long stretch between the two.

Or is there a total disconnect?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kintsugi – the Japanese art of mending with beauty – reblog

Published September 21, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Incredible.

fantasticmetastaticme

I have been considering
kintsugi, and how
we heal ourselves,
we who are no longer whole,
and if we can
be beautiful
and flawed
and flawed
and beautiful.

I have considered
my scars, not golden,
not joyful,
not thoughtful, but
silver pale, glistening,
secret lines,
hidden from view,
and wondering
if I can be beautiful
even though
I can never be
mended, not entirely.

I am broken,
re-made,
broken again,
mended. I am
burnt, cut,
poisoned,
damaged.
I am not
who I was,
and yet I am
still here,
beautiful
and flawed
and flawed
and beautiful.

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LOOK AT ME

Published June 25, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I am a bear.

But am I really?

My identity is caught

mid-stream.

Can you help me out?

When you look in my eyes

what do you see?

Do you see you or

do you see me?

No longer a living tree,

what have they done to me?

Cast into the scuzzy borders

of someone else’s reality (yours).

Caught in the net of your own

imagination, fake firefly in a jar.

Who am I to you? Who are you to me?

Shells, washed up on imaginary

beaches, carry life forms, sometimes

not.  Look in your mirror and see

is it you or me caught in transit?

Are we real or fairy stories?

Published June 14, 2017 by Nan Mykel

Is evolution a sop to the belief that the world makes sense?  Why do research findings peter out out after awhile? Discoveries often turn to sand,  slip through our fingers, and are non-replicable.  It is well known that man is a maker of narrative stories that help him explain to  himself what  transpires in this world.  Reality may be benevolent or malevolent or disinterested or non existent.  Belief in Free will and the soul/self are falling into disrepute.  Time as we experience it is deemed a misperception. I recall one day in the peception lab in college suddenly envisioning science as the garden path that leads no- where except around the bend into  the grave.  Maybe that’s why we die so young; the garden path needs to accompany us to our grave. Should it run out prior to the grave, then the  individual, robbed of his own carefully nursed narrative before the story’s ending sans comfort or without heaven–or without anything–might be troubled!

Don’t get upset. It’s not that I really believe this; I just don’t know what to believe.

Paleontologists search for reality under the soil, with shovels or trowels or screens with tiny holes. Reality in a frog’s world is limited to only creepy crawly serving portions. Freud’s fairy tales about women were full of hysterics. Everywhere I look examples proliferate.

Naturally our self image is at the mercy of our fairy tales.  Don’t worry about me. I’m probably just being postpartum–I mean post-menopausal–I mean post-PTSD,

This photo is to show I’m not mean and quarrelsome all the time.

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