jimowenswrites

Reflections on Life, Leadership, Mindfulness, Change, and other Important Stuff

Month: September, 2020

The Siren and the Oracle

Haunted, 

since youth, 

in those days

when my face was 

uncreased,

my skin unmarked 

by the scars of adventure 

and mishap

when my hair hung thick from my head

and I would tip it back,

shaking it away from my ever-broadening forehead

when my eyes were clear

and my vision sharp,

even then I heard it

that indeterminant noise, 

emanating from somewhere,

somewhere deep within me,

barely masked 

by the hum 

of responsibility, 

of duty 

and convention.

I keep wondering 

if this insatiable specter, 

this hungry spirit, 

will someday relent, and I ask myself,

is this some siren beckoning me toward the jagged shoreline

where I will be battered upon the rocks,

washed ashore,

my flesh pale and 

marked by the wounds of regret 

and the shrieking flocks?

Or is it 

the Oracle,

some sage, perhaps, 

calling me toward a 

destiny resisted, 

beseeching me to discover 

something profound 

something true, 

harkening me to an understanding some metaphysical mystery,

that might finally be comprehended,

to unshackling me from the chains

that I might be liberated from the ordinary?

I hear it still, 

that unceasing sound

in the howling wind 

and in the gentle breeze, 

in darkness, 

as I lay in my bed 

and the morning light when I rise, 

and I keep wondering

is it the Siren that calls 

or The Oracle?  

Empty Chair

it’s hard even when you know it’s coming,

that it happens to all of us,

and that if you’re lucky enough

one day your hair will thin,

and your vision will dim,

and that your skin will become a map of your journey

marked by the scars of your victories and defeats

and you won’t be quite as nimble 

even though your brain keeps telling you 

that you can still bound across any obstacle, cross any bridge,

that you can still slay dragons real and imagined,

and even though you know that you wouldn’t change a thing, 

except for maybe holding your tongue

in those moments of fear,

or frustration,

or dismay,

or anger, 

or misunderstanding

when you said those things you wish you hadn’t, 

and even though you have enduring and profound gratitude

for the laughter, the wisdom, and the encouragement, 

and the protection from your foolish pride

or youthful ignorance,

it’s hard

because even though you know its coming,

that it happens to all of us,

and that you still live in a familiar place

there’s an

empty chair at the table.