Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Things Fall Apart

Reading through a lot of my past poetry really brings back a sense of nostalgia for where I was at that point in my life when I was reading it. Yesterday, I managed to wrangle some poems from freshmen year of college and late high school/summer between hs and college, and found some great potential in some of them. A few lines stuck out in my mind as awesome, and I wonder how I forgot about them or haven't revisited them since. One of these poems was written about some aspects of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, which I was reading simultaneously with Arrow of God, so I'm sure I mixed up some aspects, but I digress (and never miss an opportunity to use that phrase).

Reflecting on some of the references I made, I'm amazed at how much life has morphed and, unfortunately, unraveled since then. It seems the themes I focused on so much: a tight-knit community of friends and family, a feeling that the world is a wonderful and wholesome place (where nothing like a recession could ever happen...), a feeling that I have unlimited potential and a bright future, and an almost naive approach to death and destruction. The poems written of 9/11 are particularly interesting as they seem to signal this switch in me. And with the recent events of a friend dying of a drug overdose and another dying less than a week ago due to a repeat drunk driver, I feel that I have plenty to write about, but that my focus and enthusiasm is waning because of the current world we're in. It's an unfortunate feeling, but something nonetheless interesting. I wish I could revisit these 'safe' and 'boundless joy' feelings I seem to have had; I wonder if they would be conducive for writing now?

The recent events have put a serious damper on my outlook and it seems cloudy days like today just seem to heighten them. Paired with the fact that I indulged myself by listening to some of the music from the bands I grew up with (and not just Nirvana, but Rabid Abbey and Tepid), I'm left with a vapid feeling. Scratch that...more of a void that seems to be growing as I'm growing up. Perhaps it's normal and it's normal to accept these 'losses' in one's life of friends, the need to relocate, etc. as something that happens to everyone. Maybe Things Fall Apart isn't that destruction and unraveling happen because of something, but that they happen because I am something. Perhaps it's much like the phrase "rain happens," whereas rain is just rain--it will fall, it will evaporate, it will do so again. Perhaps things just fall apart and the lesson I am to learn is to rebuild from what s left of the rubble.

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