Thursday, March 4, 2010
Nightmare: Poetic Prose Gone Awry
One sometimes feel it peering around every corner. Seated in a cafe, resting in a theatre or just in conversation with family, the ubiquitous presence is a pestering pressure, a constant reminder of what crouches in the shadows. We hear it in the discourse of our peers, colleagues and friends; it perambulates the corridors of our thoughts, rises shrilly from the throats of our children and admonishes brusquely in the utterances of our parents. With authority it issues orders from the professional cloak of our bosses, commanding and terrible, pillaging confidence and plundering acumen, raping certainty into oblivion. The media conveys it, tickertape-fashion, in a bubbling stream, challenging all we thought we knew and brutalizing the prostrate form so bloody and bowed as to be near annihilation. Politicians rail in polemical screeds, seeding the wells of government chambers, planting spores and fertilizing disquiet. It mocks us, pierces the soft tissue of our flesh and extracts a sanguine weal, beading our breasts with a ruddy, embarrassed glow. Ministers declaim its power from the pulpits weekly, and lash us with the brand of our sins. And when we lie abed, trying to fall into the darkness, into the feathery arms of sleep, it dogs our breaths and quickens the heart. What is this creature of such unimaginable horror? What harpy alights and savages comfort? It is judgment, the instrument we wield and deny. Our pain stems not from those external sources which we readily give causality and blame but our own internal experience and the yardstick of judgment which we use to measure it.