We stand poised
Between raw and refined;
The intuitive and instinctual, intentional and intellectual;
Self-indulgence and self-mastery;
Temper and temperance,
Terror and tolerance.
We’re torn between the poles of the existential vacuum of indifference, isolation, apathy;
And the fulness of impersonal bustling crowds, their dogma, imposition and compromise.
We are at the crossroads of non-being and being,
Facing and fearing
The horror of our nightmares,
The greatness of our dreams.
We are afraid of becoming more than we are,
Of being less than what we can be;
Of having meaning that is our pristine prison;
Of being obsolete and useless as scarecrows become,
Like patched rags shunned by their makers.
Nothingness and Existence, illusion and fantasy, and reality.
Our existence stands from dawn to dusk, day by day,
As the continuous mark of a twilight, now rising, now setting,
And the sun keeps, indecisive, atop of its course,
Now leaning, now tossed;
Eclipses and clouds crowd the sky,
Like an orderly procession forgotten.
The sky is pockmarked with stars that can neither flee nor remain;
Now you’ll see them, now you won’t.
We are the matter between void and vivid,
Oblivion and Omnis, Nihil and the Noetic;
The subconscious and conscious, and that which we know and see,
But never want to face; our eyes are downcast, or look up at the stars,
But rarely straight ahead.
Here stand we; on grass, on rivers, on solid earth or the sucking mulch of marshes,
Or on the shoulders of mountains and the knees of hills,
But to stand by your principles- I could never point it on a map,
Yet it is a surer knowledge than any other I have been taught.
We stand between nature and nurture.
We are afraid that our progress is a mistake,
And that we are only diverging more and more from our course;
And then, where could we go?
We’re afraid our compass is mad; that our wits are more so.
We are trapped between what came before us and what will come after;
We are the space between birth and death,
The determinism of genes, our environment, our past,
And the blistering, boundless freedom of our choice:
Say it, don’t, shut it, I won’t;
We toss and turn and dive and breathe in,
And dive back in;
We stand at crossroads,
Where roads more travelled and roads less travelled stand,
And still you can just walk straight into the grass,
And who knows what will happen;
Where glasses are half full and half empty,
But where few have said 0.5.
Where the sun sometimes shows its face,
And where sometimes the moon undresses herself from her dark robes;
Where stars twinkle like the glint in our eyes, and stand ‘tween the gaping void
Of the open mouth of the sky;
Like plankton before the whale,
Or like serrated teeth of the shark, in rows infinite, down, right down
Into its black maw.
There are the faults of our language and the faults of our speech.
The things we wish we could express, and the things we can.
The things we ought to, and the things we must.
But there is virtue,
And the virtue of our triumphs, and of what we have witnessed,
Experienced, and caused, and seen:
The places where we have been…
We are human. We have stood at the crossroads,
And we will still, tomorrow.
We inhale between the moment we decide and the one after it;
Between the moment we make the choice, and when our foot lifts up,
And we walk.