With a month to go until the end of the school year (and on my birthday) I wrote this poem. I didn't think I could go on giving out like I do any longer. I couldn't even tell myself I could make it for just one more day at a time. On the drive to school I constantly asked myself if I was going to give up right now, and the answer was always "no". (This student came by to tell me he wasn't going to be back next year. Even though he was only in the 3rd grade, his smiling face gave me such a natural burst of energy that I would lift him up and tell him he was a giant, and we would talk of him being in my class in a few years.)
Often the miracles we so desperately pray for only happen after we desperately hold onto making the miracles happen. A hero is someone who holds on one minute longer than others who have let go. And we can't help others find the hero inside of themselves until we first find it within ourselves.
I just want to go
To a place where I can rest
Away from all the madness
Away from all the mess
I’m tired of being positive
Tired of always finding a way
Tired of changing the world for others
While my own world is in disarray……
What am I supposed to learn here?
What am I doing wrong?
If I’m committed to living from my heart
Can’t more others go along?
Am I supposed to learn to stop dreaming
And agree I’m a ridiculous fool?
What exactly is it I'm trying to do?
What am I giving my life to trying to prove?
Is it not true that we are capable of god-like passions
And lasting immortality?
Am I doomed to the fates of Prometheus and Sisyphus*
Because I rail and preach against man’s mediocrity?
Taken to the breaking point again and again
For the manifestation of these dreams of what we could be
I just don’t think I can hold on any longer
To how beautiful and strong we all can be
If we could just hold on a little longer
To the dreams of what we all could be
May 11, 1943 (I wasn’t even born in 1943. Why did I type that?) - 2010
For more than 2,000 years man has been warned about "dreaming too big". Even gods were punished for helping man think and become bigger than his original primitive self.
The Crimes of Prometheus (the rebel god)
When Zeus realized the deception that Prometheus had fostered, he was furious. He had Hephaistos (Hephaestus) shackle Prometheus to the side of a crag, high in the Caucasus mountains. There Prometheus would hang until the fury of Zeus subsided.
The Crime of Sisyphus (the cheater of death)
When Sisyphus came to the end of his lifetime, Hades, Lord of the Underworld, came to claim him personally for the kingdom of the dead.
For the occasion Hades had brought along a pair of handcuffs. "Show me how they work", asked sly Sisyphus, and he was so obviously eager to see how they worked, Hades was hoodwinked into a demonstration. But, as Hades was modeling the handcuffs,Sisyphus snapped them shut.
Of course nobody in the world could then die! As punishment for giving mortals the immortality of the gods, Sisyphus spent an eternity rolling a boulder up a hill all day, and then watching it roll back down again at night.