Prose From the Soul: Peace to the Worn Soldier

1

It is a decade past your years of vengeance and yet still,
you hold onto the lies and catastrophes
like a lifeline to your soul,
as if for some reason, if you let go –
you would cease to exist
or slip away into something else.


There is no more connection between now and then.
There is only now and there is only then.
Neither of the two can meet in the middle
and neither can you.
It’s either you live in the now
or then.

There is an old elegy to the soul,
which is nothing more than a poem, a purpose,
or a pose like, say, the way we stand in the face of adversity
or the way we relate to time
or how time moves and although the clock is ticking –
the spirit of the hour
can move either fast or slow,
depending upon the moment.

One day, you’ll wake up older than before.
You’ll find yourself in the middle of nowhere,
wondering how you got there
or how you missed the obvious.
One day, you’ll wake up and realize
how much time was lost. 

These worn soldiers of ours have been waiting to find peace.
But ah, would they even know it if they found it?
Would we?
Most of the battles have ended.
Most of the fights are over
The only part that remains
is the fight we refused to surrender

So, what do we do?
We keep fighting
We keep the battle moving
because otherwise, who would we be?
What would we do if we found peace?
Who would we be if we signed a truce between ourselves?
Would we know what to do if the fighting stopped
so the mending could begin

There is a little trick that
no one teaches about the addiction to pain or sadness –
or drama
There’s a fear
which keeps the blood flowing and the fears moving,
which entails a spirit of faithlessness
After a while, you can bear the pain.
Sure it hurts; but you get used to it
This becomes something you know,
all too well
You can depend on it.

But, there’s always someone who comes around
to claim a new cure.
There’s always someone who will come around
and tell you about ways to get rid of the pain.
Rid of?

Think about this –
What would your life be like without pain?
Would you know what to expect?
Or, would you worry
that the moment of hope
was just a moment of hope
and that someday or at any moment,
the pain will come back
the wounds will reopen

And then what? 

Sometimes, the anticipation of disappointment
is worse than the disappointment itself.
And sometimes, we expect this so much,
we facilitate this.
We back ourselves up into a corner.
We follow the self-fulfilled prophecy
and once more, the worn soldiers are back in the mud,
or back in the hallway, back in the battle,
in the conference room,
or in another realm beyond our control

defeated ~

2

There was a man with the words,
Vengeance is mine saith the Lord, tattooed on his chest.
The words were tattooed in the shape of an arch
with a cross beneath them and placed above his heart.
The words were like a shield to hide the invisible scars
and unerasable memories or pains from the past.

I made peace with my past, he said
I had to
Otherwise, I would never get away from it.

“Once more unto the breach old friends”
Once more . . .
Do you know what this means?

This means let’s go at it again
This means once more
Whether the outcome is good or bad –

Once more.

This is what King Henry the Fifth said to his troops
This is what he told them before they attacked the gap
Or a breach in the walls of Harfleur,

which was during  The Hundred Years’ War

See that?
Battles have been going,
long before we were born
and they still go on
Whether we like them
Or not


3

If we forget about the boundaries of purgatory,
I wonder what would come next if
you left your sword behind and I let my battles go.

I wonder if your scars would heal
if you stopped reopening your wounds
or better yet, I wonder if we would notice them
if the anticipation went away

There is no future in fighting all the time
There’s no future in dying for a living.
There is no more left on the battleground
and all of your soldiers are tired
worn, beaten
but they’ll still fight
because this is what they do

It’s okay to stop the fighting
But I get it.
What happens if we let down our guard
what happens if we surrender our weapons of mass destruction?
What happens if we let go of the pain
and the pain comes back again?

Then what?

Do you want to know why people grip their fears so tightly
It’s not that they don’t want them
No one wants them . . . 
The reason why no one let’s go is the fear hat if we let go,
everything will come back when we least expect it
and then what?

So rather than fear it, embrace it
Endure it. Live in it
Keep the pain.

Then one day, 

You wake up, wishing you’d have lived differently
Or learned to let go

The trick is to learn this now
While you still can
Not later,
When there’s nothing you can do about it

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