After a Taste of It
After getting a taste of it, after getting out there beyond the anemic, the bland, the correct, out there where we could stomp around in vivid color and snort and laugh like the intoxicated beasts we were, when we actually realized we came from the animal womb and not a ledger, that we had glands and stank and were aroused, where we danced in a music-inspired frenzy and gladly lost track of time, yes, after that nothing would ever be the same, after journeying to that place where the Wild Thing lived, you couldn't go back to mom and dad or listen to the sympathetic looking counselor, or heed (laugh) what the experts forecast, or sit rapt in front of the leaders spouting the same old lines, you couldn't become absorbed in so-called histories, nor would you ever again unquestioningly accept what was called an education, no you were 'out of there,' though some called you 'out of it,' but of what consequence were those voices of those who just didn't know, who hadn't been to the places you had and probably never would, having become permanently attached to that uninteresting idea called the 'real world,' a place that looked safe enough but never inspired.
And where were you without the inspiration, without something that called to you immediately, directly, unadorned, unscripted, something that couldn't be ignored, fresh, surprising, something that led you off that path you were just starting to feel comfortable on, something that made you want to express yourself because life had given you something to wonder about. Yes! At times like these, you could answer in the affirmative, you could hardly contain yourself, you could actually say that you were glad to be alive, your eyes burned with your inner energy, you were electric.
You realized that you would have to keep going for those heights, for there was nothing else like it, nothing compared. So-called systems and methods were a joke; they were grounded, flat, well defined by others. This was something for solo flights, mysterious, yes, frightening at times, definitely unpredictable, but you were fed on a true sense of accomplishment, even if you couldn't explain it to anybody other than another high flyer on their own inspired course. It didn't take long to recognize them (and vice versa): the artists, the possessed, obsessed, crazy, rebellious, manic.
All willing to take a ride into the unknown, take a chance, try something new, or if not exactly new to rearrange it, to change it just for the sake of something different, something to take them out of the ruts, those well-worn trenches it was all too easy to be guided into by the supposedly enlightened. Oftentimes on your own, you had to be a real fighter against mediocrity, that smothering blanket, you had to free yourself from the brainwashed (an ever growing army), you had to be on guard against the all too easily appealing, not swayed by the attractive facades used for commercial purposes, yes, it was an ongoing, daily battle, but something in you, even if not as strong a flame as you would have liked, made you soldier on as best you could with only minimal contact with the Killing Machine.
Even if you were troubled by what you suspected was your own madness, you realized you had to accept that you were part of your time and place, you couldn't come away clean, you had been marked, indeed wounded, you had felt at times that you sizzled in hell's skillet, you cooked in your own nightmares, you saw all too clearly at times your own shortcomings and failures. Ah, the depressing weight, the 'burden' that was so often referred to along the way, what a man carried with him through his days, knowing full well how much strength it would take to face the new one. And you're on your own with that one, soldier. It might well take defiance, some stubbornness, a bold step for just that alone, telling yourself that that is enough, although with the thought that perhaps none of it mattered in the end anyway, just dust in the wind, a pointless striving.
Well, if it didn't matter in the end, it seemed to matter at this moment, and too many questions just stopped you in your tracks. There was always the thrill of the blood to the end, in that ride that could still surprise, that sight that could still open your eyes, that inspiration you could take comfort in. As long as you could keep expecting the unexpected, that seemed to be enough to bring you along.
© M. Blake