actively going with the flow

In the Sixties, we were told “go with the flow”.

Many mocked that idea.  It sounded passive.  It seemed so un-American!

In the years since that time, I’ve come to realize there’s a force working in my life which I can not consciously control.  I call this force the unconscious will.  The unconscious will is the flow…

…and you have to go with it.  Because the unconscious will always holds sway over the conscious will—the ego.  The conscious “I”.

Unfortunately, what the unconscious will wants and what I want—or think I want—are often two different things.  When that happens, I’m likely to fight.  I want what I want!  I’ll listen to the unconscious will—if it’s telling me what I want to hear.  Yeah, I’ll go with the flow—if it’s taking me where I wish to go.

However, through hard experience, I’ve learned it’s better to accept what I don’t want to hear and follow along…

I’ve learned: I’ll only frustrate myself, waste energy, and lose and lose again, if I go against the unconscious will.

I’ve also learned: going with the flow doesn’t mean being passive.  I may be going with the flow, but I’m not simply floating along, devoid of free will.  I do have some control—just not total.

OCEAN EDUCATION

After thrashing the water
with my fierce swimming
all day—all night
I finally gave up arguing
with the ocean–

for the time being
I would stop searching
for a current to carry me
to a new horizon

and instead
let the waves roll me ashore.

Now in exhaustion, I slop
against this beach stone
with its silent Buddha smile:

the stone knows how the ocean ignored
my stubbornly-held well-calculated plans—
ignored
my screeching, my beseeching—

knows how
the ocean knocked
the bellow from me
(not just once or twice
 but repeatedly)
until I finally completed
another lesson in humility.

The stone tells me,
“You teach yourself well—
  consider this:

“by weakening
  your body and spirit
  you’ve given yourself the opportunity
  to find strength within—
  the opportunity
  to lift yourself back up again
  after another defeat
  and in that way, win.”


© 2020, Michael R. Patton
Poet, Heal Thyself: poetry ebook

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another good reason to wear the mask

 
In this time of pandemic, many are using the mask, not just for protection, but also as a means of expression…

They’re gleefully wearing decorated Covid masks that transform them into housecats and tiger cats, dogs and wolves, buccaneers and flower children, and many other characters and creatures…

This type of expression dates back to our earliest beginnings…

In every culture, in every era, we’ve used the mask in various types of play-acting…

In rituals, in theatrical performances, at Halloween parties, the mask has given us the freedom to express more of who we truly are—a part of ourselves we usually keep hidden.  The mask can be a safe way to reveal the shadow.

Like others wearing decorated masks, I’m now showing my true colors—colors I usually hide in the shadow.  I’m no flag-waver.  I’ve never worn a “Proud to be an American” T-shirt.  Nonetheless, I’ve chosen to wear the flag mask pictured here…

With this mask, I’m saying: because I love my country, I’m donning protective covering.  I’m saying: I want all of us to be safe—stanch conservative and green-new-deal liberal and the many somewhere in between.  All of us—people of every shade of color, including my own blanched white.

Maybe you’d feel embarrassed in one of those decorated masks.  Well, even wearing a regular mask, you can pretend…

Before I ordered my flag, I wore an ordinary paper mask.  Plain, yet I still felt very secret.  I was a man of mystery.  You want to feel like an outlaw?  Here’s your chance.  Embrace the mask.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
sky rope poetry

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I don’t want to add to our troubles, so…

At the end of the day…

…after steeping my mind in the many troubles of our world…

…if I can’t stop and appreciate the simple beauty of this planet…

…then I’ve blinded myself.

And in so doing…

…only added to our troubles.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
finding Beauty: poetry ebook

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my history is ours


 

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE HOUSECAT

A short history of the housecat
would tell of lying on the sofa in the sun

which translated into “Cat”
would read:
pppaaaaaaaaaaaaa-uurrrrrrrrrrrrrr
pppaaaaaaaaaaaaa-uurrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

However…

our short history of the housecat
must also include
the tail being stepped upon

which translated into “Cat”
would read:
rrrryyeeeeeeeooooowwwwww!

Painful, yes.

But awakenings usually don’t happen softly.

© 2020, Michael R. Patton
40 New Fables: ebook

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