The Man I Tried To Be

Titian, Sisyphus (1548-1549)

Titian, Sisyphus (1548-1549)

All I wanted was to feel loved the way I tried to love
Trying to make a person happy that knew unhappiness
And for a while I succeeded and the shadows lifted
From the soul of another who dwelt in the deluge of depression
But the sunshine was quickly concealed when the rains returned
And as the raining season deepened a cold north wind blew
Yet, I tried again and again to recreate the magic of summer
Holding onto sunrises and sunsets, pointing to each ray of hope
Every rainbow of promise that the storms might someday end
Yet, even on the cold and rainy days I tried to dance and sing
To celebrate the gifts of each day no matter the sky’s disposition
Yet, even the eternal optimist learns their limits in time
They too feel the heavy dankness entering into their souls
When their image is continually reflected back
In the storm filled soul of the one they love
And although I tried to be that man who could weather the storms
Some Promethean hero bringing light and heat into the dark world
Yet, no heroic or banal act ever seemed to bring the light back
And so Prometheus found himself rolling the stone of Sisyphus
Unable to roll the stone away to the point where new life might be found
Eventually, the storms left me treading water as the heavens cried
And I searched for some ark to place within it all the lives
Consumed by the floods that seemed to never end
And as painful as the ending of a world is by necessity
For me, it was only seeing the man I tried to be die
That allowed me to return to who I was before the fall
Before the flood, before realizing that I too was flesh and blood
Yet, in the aftermath of the deluge the sun returned
The climate changed and the dankness slowly retreated
It was a long journey into the new world
A journey from which I gained much but never desire again
But it was a journey from the man I tried to be
To being satisfied with the man who I am

Neil White, 2014

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