ride on!

Derivative trading, doing business in Siberia, and using bitcoin have all been dubbed “a new Wild West”.

We stick that label on many risky endeavors these days.  Endeavors free of the usual restrictions–and so, frequently of dubious legality.  Nonetheless, the label has positive connotations for us…

A new Wild West offers us the chance to recapture something of the old Wild West.  A sense of freedom and grand possibility.  We can live large…

I understand that desire.  I can understand the frustration of those who feel a loss of opportunity…who feel diminished.

But I say: we need not wish for a new version of the old Wild West…

I say: it’s already here!  As a nation, as a world, we’ve entered a gray borderland…

…with a dark shadowy forest up ahead.  Our new Wild West.

But whereas our Old West ancestors ventured into the unknown filled with hope…

…we shake in the saddle with doubt and dread.  We’d like to stop the horse—or at least, slow it down.  But we know we can’t.  This sense of powerlessness just adds to our anxiety.

A paradox: we want a new Wild West and yet we don’t.  As I see it, we’re struggling with a basic dilemma of human history…

Like any other animal, we desire safety.  Yet, as humans, we also want to know what’s over the next hill.  To complicate matters, sometimes we need to go over that hill for safety’s sake.  To remain safe, we must go beyond our safety limits.  Over the hill—or into the dark forest.

Sometimes we make a conscious choice to go there.  Other times, we’re forced.  We’re dragged by a horse.  A horse that is us.  A horse that is our own unconscious force.

Yes, we’re dragging ourselves into a new Wild West.  But I can understand our resistance.  After all, this Wild West seems to be lacking in both freedom and grand possibility.

However, I think it actually offers us both…

Though tied to this horse, we do have freedom of choice…

We can choose to expand or we can choose to contract.

If we expand, we can realize the grand possibilities of our new Wild West.  But if we contract…

…sooner or later, we’ll be forced open.  So we might as well choose to expand now.

You want to live large?  Here’s your chance.  As for myself, I’m tired of feeling so small.

© 2017, Michael R. Patton
Survival: a poetry book


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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