The rumor is that this is about where the place was.
The diner where he sat and penned the poem
no one likes to think about.
I’m certain that it is just some hipster fantasy
that has him sitting in Hopper’s painting.
Hell! They probably have him listening to
Tom Waits on the jukebox while staring out the window,
chain smoking, cold cup of coffee in front of him,
contemplating the meter of the next line.
Either way, tonight, I am drawn to this place.
Well, drawn to the idea… or the memory.
The memory of a man who looked into the mirror
of our collective consciousness that brief moment
when the mask was lowered.
Behind the mask, as Auden recounted, was a grim reality;
never, in the entire history of consciousness,
has there been a war between Good and Evil.
And, there never will be.
In fact, it is simply impossible.
Wars are only fought between Evils.
Good will always choose to adapt, migrate, or die.
Of course our politicians and history books disagree;
that is the nature of the mask.
But, a good man must become evil
before he can draw blood.
The very act of killing, to the conscious mind,
is one of dominance and control.
Good is balance, and Evil is control.
The irony of it is, that, after all these years,
man is still trying to control God.
Because the story of God
is the story of Evil transitioning into Good.
It is this hard brutal truth we are trying to avoid;
the responsibility we are trying to hide from.
But, it is not our fault, we were born this way.
We have inherited this need to control from our father.
The story of God, is the story of parenthood.
Imagine how God must have felt
the morning after creating the universe.
Sunday was no day of rest,
it was a day of being too scared to get out of bed.
What if I screw up?
Tossing and turning with a sick feeling in his stomach,
going over and over all the things that could go wrong.
What if they don’t love me?
And then, after a whole day hiding in bed,
there was the resolution:
“I will not neglect a single thing.
I will not leave anything to chance.
I will make sure that every moment
is planned out and perfect.
I will control it all.”
And it was paradise.
The eating of the apple was not the first sign of trouble,
but it was the thing that made God realize he had made a mistake.
They only wanted to be like their father.
There is no crime in that.
But, paradise, or perfection, does not allow growth.
Over the years he was always present, but not always good.
He lost his temper, like all parents do, and reacted.
Tried to force corrections through dominance and control;
a flood here and a plague there;
a little fire and brimstone.
Slowly,.. ever so slowly,
he learned to be present without trying to control.
Despite the anger, or the mistakes;
the scheming and conspiracies.
Simply being present forces people to adapt to our presence.
That is the best way to teach someone who we are.
From that point, however,
once they learn who we are,
it is their choice.
Will they try to control,
or will they patiently allow balance?
If they are anything like we are;
if they are like our parents,
and our parent’s parents,
it is something they must learn from experience.
- Picture at top: “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper 1942 (Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/… )
- “September 01, 1939” by W.H. Auden
- “Eggs and Sausage” by Tom Waits