Thursday, 12 May 2016

Disillusionment,an Absence of Reciprocity OR The Long Distance Loneliness of a Caring Heart


I have known some very caring people during my 70 years and could not help but notice how so few people appreciated them. Oh, they would sing their praises (when not complaining behind their backs) but it was all me, me, me and take, take, take; precious little concern shown towards the caring person - whatever his or her sexuality or cultural background - outside that selfish context.

Many if not most of us are self-centred up to point, but we pass that point when we selfishly expect others to help us along our way without giving much thought as to whether they, too, may well need help sometimes, a kind word or a shoulder to cry on instead of our treating them like a punch bag for our own feelings; it is arguably one of the most important lessons in life we get to learn.

Of course, the majority of selfish people do not even realize they are being selfish; they just assume everyone has someone looking out for them which, sadly, is often not the case. So the caring people carry on caring and giving of themselves to those who carry on taking and thinking of themselves.

Yes, we all do it sometimes, reach a point where we need to remind ourselves(or have someone remind us) to stop, listen, recognize where (and who) we think we are; start talking to our friends instead of at them; start looking out for those who look out for us instead of paying lip service to the business of caring about other people. Like many sayings, it is so very true that ‘a little thought goes a (very) long way’.

DISILLUSIONMENT, AN ABSENCE OF RECIPROCITY or THE LONG DISTANCE LONELINESS OF A CARING HEART

How many times reaching for the stars,
wishing the pull of gravity away?
How many years wiping someone tears,
few folks if any asking if I’m okay…?

How many times sat watching on TV
proof of Man’s inhumanity to Man,
a tear in the eye, sipping at a cup of tea,
sighing as we reach for the telephone?

How many times giving asked-for advice
only to have it tossed back in my face?
How many years of proxy lows and highs
stuffed willy-nilly in someone’s suitcase?

Come a day, free to set life’s burden down,
pray someone, for me, let a candle burn

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2016


[Note: This poem has been revised from an earlier version that appears under the title ‘A Carer’s Song’ in A Feeling for the Quickness of Time by R. N. Taber. Assembly Books, 2001; revised ed. In e-format in preparation.]

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