Time conducting desperatio
     running sorrow of knowing

illusory meaning
     traversing orchestral mirrors

touch destiny
     contained within
     a self made mirror of defiance

behold a lending of meaning

Sublime ripples shadow purgatory wanting.
     This time mirrors my silence.

Wanting and consumed,
     Sanguine waters rushing,
     My spirit wades to be freed.

A frozen end.

The world surrounds us with distractions. Television is a particularly sinister form, and I’m only lately coming to realize its actual power over people. Try sitting in a room with a television on and doing something else - something like read a book or (as I’ve often tried) writing.

It doesn’t work. We are drawn to it - it stimulates us more than most other readily accesible forms of entertainment. What happens to a person when he slowly comes to realize how much he truly has been distracted by television? An awaking, a stripping away of a life he thought he had, a dawning of the futility of his own existence. Imagine living a life, and only towards the end discovering that all the memories, all the hopes and dreams, were all borrowed paraphenalia, all loaned to you from the entertainment industry. And imagine realizing that the only true person to blame is yourself - you permitted yourself to spend a life in a semi-hypnotic trace, and it’s much too late to reverse the effects.

Distraction… it is a cornerstone of our society, a foundation of an entire industry.

I watched The Shawshank Redemption tonight. Not the first time I’ve seen it - and I had read the short story before the movie came out. Both are fine works. In the movie, Morgan Freeman’s character, ‘Red’, gives this little speech about how one of the other characters has been in so long, he’s become institutionalized. In essence, it’s what happens to a person who has been in prison so long, they stop knowing how to be valuable outside of the prison setting.

The speech is about what happens to a man in prison - I’m coming to beleive that it may be equally applicable to the typical worker-bee in corporate america. A person works so long for a company, doing pretty much the same thing for 50 years. Retirement is like a parole from a life sentence. What do you do at that point, what do you know? In the words of Red:

Man’s been here fifty years. This place is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man, an educated man. A librarian. Out there, he’s nothing but a used-up old con with arthritis in both hands. Couldn’t even get a library card if he applied. You see what I’m saying?

These walls are funny. First you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. After long enough, you get so you depend on ‘em. That’s “institutionalized.”

Try spending 50 years doing the same thing - that’s “institutionalized”. Your value, your very definition, is no longer controlled internally. Rather, your self-worth becomes tied to an external yard-stick. You are defined by the institution in which you have become embeded.

ouch…

I can’t remember where I heard this, but recently, I heard something that may seem obvious to most, but had totally escaped me. The reason we’re afraid of ghosts is that they’re lost souls, they’re all crazy because they’re trapped here - someplace they shouldn’t be. And we instinctively know that - that since they are trapped, caught and bound to a place that is in opposition of what they have become, they are driven insane.

What a disturbing thought. When I die, if things go wrong, I may spend the rest of eternity being crazy. My existence could become the embodiment of a paradox, driving sanity from my mind and soul (body is gone at that point).

The story I’m working on right now plays on this idea, that ghosts are crazy. The most dangerous of these, to me, would be the ones who don’t even know they are dead.