All day my thoughts are not my thoughts. I can’t think. I wake up and my children start talking, putting in orders, chattering. I say, wait till my first up of coffee is done. Just wait. Give me a minute.
They do not wait. I do not get a minute.
I log into work. I sell my thoughts to marketers and navigate Zoom calls, an emotionally-dynamic boss. I give my brain power to clients, my word-gifts. I listen to my wife and track along, and try to understand what she tells me. Y
I can’t process it all. I don’t know why anything that anyone is telling me matters. It’s not personal. I can’t swim in the tidal wave of days.
I put on podcasts. So many podcasts this year. It’s simple: escapism. My body can’t go anywhere, so my mind might as well travel, drift.
Online, on social media, the thoughts once more are other people’s thoughts. Sometimes twisted, bizarre — warped by the currents of the political and cultural climate. Who are these people? Where do they come from?
And then… at the end of the day… suddenly my thoughts return, faintly.
I’m tired, depleted. I’ve given the first-fruits of my talents to earn bread. And I sit in my attic-office (it’s so nice here, and at last I feel some kind of peace). I drink my One Daily Beer (give us this day our daily brew) and my diluted thoughts come to me, weakly. They’re lonesome because they’re my own solitary thinking… I can’t remember the thoughts of others.
Mostly I feel alone. I miss people. I feel like Anne Frank or something, hidden up in this attic, trying to remember the outside world. It’s a bad analogy. she suffered immensely. But I, too, suffer. I do.
I forget. I forget large groups or small. I forget other faces, ideas, voices, bodies, laughs, ideas… the language and spirit conveyed through presence.
I pray to God. I don’t feel any shame in it now. Not anymore. I need now to draw upon spiritual reservoirs. The spirit must go on in the mornings where I want to be courageous and compassionate, but feel irritable, sore, overwhelmed.
The tone comes back to me at times, the music. This afternoon I wrote the most beautiful creative brief. It was like poetry, a novel even, though it was a marketing job. Which is what my wife is always saying — use your poetic voice. See, I have all of these voices inside me. Marketing copy voice. Dad-teacher voice. But my wife, woman of earthy wisdom that she is, knows… she knows that poetry is magic. It’s the magic that heals though the web of interconnected images.
And so my thoughts must be God-thoughts. Healing thoughts. Creativity is a balm because it draws order out of chaos. It creates patterns for others to see and take refuge in.
So I remain open. I remain open to the visitation. I want to be a conduit of words to feed my family to clothe them, to put a roof over their head. I submit myself to the other-thoughts of God.
I will only speak poetry from now on. I will speak it so softly and true that it will command a room, like my mother or grandmother. I am a still, soft voice, too. I do not roar. I speak eloquently to get my point across.