“A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who Is Exceptional?


Who really becomes
the exceptional person?
One who always wins?

S/he who though broken
speaks of yearning for wholeness,
is that true healing?

Could our best come from
acknowledging our losses
to those who grieve too?


Muffie said...

I really don't enjoy talking about the downside of MS to those who don't understand. It's why I often vent on my blog. I try to remain positive, though, because if I let myself experience only the negatives, I'm sure depression would set in quickly.

Robert Parker said...

Very powerful this is, today, indeed.

"Winning" is something people decide upon. Sometimes... often... it's really just a delusion. Yeah, the bridge blew up, and everyone in the village died horribly. But *I* was right! Therefore, I win! By me, I don't think that works very well, or rings very true.

Our best is more likely to come from truth. Tell the truth with love. And do you not, somehow... win?

Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Muff and Robert, it is interesting where the inspiration for my poems comes from sometimes. In this case, it was because I was reading a book about Plato which contrasted the exceptionalism which was the standard in Sparta and the virtue which post-Socratic Athens philosophy embraced. Today, the tension between those two standards remains unresolved. Popular media exalts the star athlete, actor, business person etc. Others promote the importance of inner virtue.

I will confess that the same unresolved tension lies within me, made particularly poignant by the circumstance of MS which changed my ability to be my previous over achiever in the conventional sense. So I keep seeking to learn what constitutes personal worth. I'd like to think I'm a better person for the self exploration and growth. But have I changed really? Would I still aim for the garlands of success as I used to define them if I still could? I don't know. I been so profoundly affected by this experience but who, really, would choose to be if I were suddenly able bodied?

That is why this poem is one which mostly poses questions. I think, at the very least, I have expanded the roster of my definitions of personal worth. I'd like to think that, in the end, I will have made the better choice. And that I am content with that choice.

Certainly, in the process, I have learned about hubris and humility.

Thank you for being my companions on this journey.

Muffie said...

You read Plato??

Judy at Peace Be With You said...

Muff, I was reading Plato at the Googleplex for my university discussion group and, as the resident poet, was charged by my classmates with explaining why Plato is so dismissive of poetry. That meant having to read lots of commentary and reading his The Republic, after which I had to write a report. So, yeah. I've been reading Plato