Driven with diligence and energy.
Stretching for connection.
In my family and yours, the young ones sniff for a taste of recognition, smelling nothing palatable.
Who can honestly savor the dry grit of rejection or the astringent brine of invisibility?
The illusion of some miraculous current of instant credibility and transcontinental access to an irreversible tide of talent
is not a lie;
it is simply swallowed by a planet-sized ocean of distraction.
Engulfed within this flooding sea,
we struggle for individual buoyancy.
“I am only my own self, and I alone exist,” we proclaim.
Yet the waves tower, their agitation thunderous, the gulls wail and dive, crustaceans clatter and grasp,
fishes writhe and an unrelenting gale simultaneously pries after shining orbs that are windows to our souls.
We construct a resistance against every assaultive appeal for the portals of our vision.
Squinting against wind, ducking under headgear, behind dark brows and ambiguous bangs,
we ward off with one outstretched arm after another.
We flounder indefinitely, accepting brief and counterfeit reprieves from meaningless tropes calling like the Sirens,
only prolonging our misery.
Adrift and exhausted in the vastness,
we bob and gasp ignorantly amidst developing poets and visionaries,
saints and heroes who—despite their eloquence and grace—are embroiled in the foul cyclone of our distraction.
Though castaway together we insult and wound our aspirant heroes, saints, poets, and visionaries
as our attentions drift beyond horizons.
Blind and asquint,
awash in seawater,
we’re unwilling to see or hear them, so occupied are we with our thrashing and wave-making,
angering the gulls and gods at our own peril.
We can cease our desperate dog-paddle and reach out with an open hand.
We can fix our gaze upon some island of truth,
allowing a fair breeze of originality and genius guide us to enriching and replenishing shores.
The noise the waves and shrieks will subside at last to their despicable irrelevance when we focus on something real.
Remarkable human beings live among us.
Dwan Shepard started a bicycle company nearly 30 years ago. He has also lent wind to a trombone, scribbled a poem or two, spoken authoritatively here and there, and may pull an odd face.