And One Day I Realized That I Was Creating My Own Mythology

When I first began to write and share poetry, now approximately 4,383, but who’s counting, I sought to describe what I saw and how I felt. I did not seek meaning, or at least that was my intent. But as sober days became sober months became sober years (paraphrased from AA’s Big Book), I began to need/desire meaning in what often felt painful, unfair, unexplainable, out of reach of cause and effect, or at least cause and effect that I could accept (in my universe everything does not happen for ‘a’ reason).

I’ve leaned toward eastern philosophies since before I knew what eastern philosophy was and as I sought meaning, ideas like karma, Om, the ten thousand things, sacred pools, the Tao that can be named is not the true Tao, the Great River, wise mountains, etc., became reservoirs to draw from and I still draw from them frequently when I write. But looking back, my own mythology began to emerge, that though still borrows heavily from multiple myths and narrative of what IT means, I was writing more from a place of peace regardless of pain, sorrow, loss, happiness, joy, love. These three poems, written several years apart, I think describe as best as I can, the myth of me.

I am the mountain
I am the river
And I am all
That lies between
And beyond
I am no thing
I am every thing
One and many
I and we
This I am
I am old
I am young
Dying and living
With each
Precious breath
In my journeys
I’ve sometimes grown weary
Bone-tired weary
Pursuing truth
Too often only
To find pain
But therein is
The truth of the thing
Of living a life
Pain is real
But to touch it
To feel it simply
Simply for what it is
A thing that comes
And a thing that goes
For to seek truth
As it seems I must
I need be willing
To see and to feel pain
In order to be free
Truly free
I find myself searching
Seeking meaning
Yearning for purpose
In a sometimes painful
Sometimes chaotic life
And then I remember
Remember I am here
And that’s enough

About the Author

Robert B. is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

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