There is power in reaching the middle of a thing. Of a life. Of a thought. Of an experiment. Of an epic project. It signifies the moment you have finally gotten to the heart of it all. To the core. To the answers. To the conclusions that will change the world.
Young adults think all the power is in their skin, their dewy fresh emergence from familial protection into the harder edges of independence. Young adults think all the power is in starting out because that’s when everything seems possible. That’s when you still believe that poetry can change people, that the sun will never burn out, that pot won’t degrade your memory or your ambitions. Young adults, even the wonderfully self possessed, are still posturing, trying to discover their best side, their strongest punch. I know well the feeling that there is nothing I can’t do, that the world is mine to climb and claim. I remember believing that I was going to rule the world with design and would be so famous that it might actually become tiresome. There was no shame in dreaming bigger than life. It was our stake on the planet, these declarations of lofty intention.
Real power moves quietly through sleeping tigers.
Real power is when you have stripped yourself of infinite possibility and accepted plausible deniability and then, long after all your bones have betrayed you, you rise again and build muscle you never had before. It’s when you let go of ego that you come to the middle of everything. Some people find a crisis in that letting go. Others deliver their own bones to the devil and are freed from the tyranny of flesh.
I’m getting at the heart of it all now.
I wouldn’t turn back for anything.
This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
This story unfolding today. This hour. Right now.
I might never sleep again because I don’t want to miss a thing.
The middle of everything is where it’s all happening.
The young are right – poetry CAN change people.