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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

THE MACHINIST'S MONOLOGUE

The room is silent, only these thoughts
inhabit it's unpeopled stillness.
The machines are turned off, the long day done. Now
finally, blissfully, I can relax.
There is actually time
to listen to the clock ticking;
to study the nude model on the calendar,
her blonde hair so pale in comparison to the blue sea.
A distant islet rises out of the horizon
and as I gaze at that distant mound -
so faint, so misty, in it's ethereal splendour -
I will myself there in the midst of that solitude
where there is no clocking-in machine,
no constant BANG BANG BANG assaulting my ear drums
day-in and day-out, while my yearnings flow
a million miles from this concrete prison
with it's electric and steel torture implements.
Five-thirty on a Friday evening is all I live for.
It brings such eagerly awaited blissful reprieve
from a life sentence of dull monotony.

Often, it seems a supercilious mindset is mine
for I crave so much more from life
than do my co-workers, most of whom appear content
to slog without question under blinding strip lights,
while cheerfully discussing next year's
eagerly anticipated holiday in the sun
that they've been saving for all year.
Such enthusiasm stuns my mind into vacancy,
makes me despise even more
this artificial environment that sums up my existence:
the sight of coveralls and eye protectors, the constant din
of cutters slicing through sheet metal - all combine
to subdue my spirit into aching despair.
Being so cut-off from tree and field, from Nature's open spaces,
reminds me how unattainable my own dreams are:
these most private of deeply-felt hopes and aspirations
that keep me going, that I feel unable to share with anyone.
Yet, as if to taunt me, they intensify daily
into a virtual reality that I can no longer live without.
But alas, these glowing images are nought but vain fantasy!
They simply fade away and I find myself back in this dismal place.

Oh how I long to lock these doors and walk away
from the future I see beckoning more ominously each day -
a lifetime of wrestling with cold steel, followed only by retirement and then death.
But what if I should attempt to break the mould
of family tradition and follow my dream?
What then?
Would the machinist turned latter-day Hippie
regret his farewell to society and descend
into isolation-induced madness?
The choice appears a simple one:
stay and stagnate, or find the courage to embrace the unknown.

This was never the role I envisaged for myself
when a younger me used to sing
of freedom of spirit and escape from convention,
while strumming on his brother's guitar
with nimble fingers and an innocent heart
that had no notion of toil or reality checks.
In those days, they were just songs - pleasing melodies
accompanied by beautiful words
that planted within me the seeds of idealism.

And those seeds have been growing ever since,
transforming into a kind of crazy hope
that there could be a better life out there
if I only knew how and where to look for it.
And how long I've mentally searched!

But, today, I seem to have lost my singing voice
and my quest has gone cold and died,
along with the last rays of youthful hope.

There is no wild distress. It has been
more a gradual surrender to inevitability:
a succumbing to the hopelessness and subservience
of a severely limited self-image...

36 comments:

  1. This, this life, your dreams, you hopelessness, your environment, your desire, your dreams, your hope, your resignation, all mine...maybe we were separated at birth to face a world that we never wanted, and all the purity and joy of trees and streams that we would follow wildly, restlessly and always always happy for the next field, the next tree, the next lake, our home always a wish never come true. Oh my dear Ygraine, so far away, still the same here, where I am, I think we will find all those dreams, when we leave these bodies xo

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    1. The inspiration for this one came as I sat watching a documentary on TV about factory operatives.
      It struck me how just about every person on earth is striving for something that seems out of reach.
      Life is so short...to short, really, to waste time wishing.
      The answer?
      Go all-out to make your fondest dreams come true...and if that really is impossible, then, I guess try to learn to love what is...:)

      Oh yes, Sweetie...I do believe that when we leave these bodies, we will finally touch our dreams!

      Much Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  2. Ugh. I hear you.
    The further we go too, it seems I will be working til I keel over
    as it will not be affordable to actually retire. That seems
    an old dream. Is there a different way? If so
    drop me a post card so I can follow it.

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    1. Oh if only there were a different way...I promise...if I ever find one, I'll definitely let you know!
      Seems so sad that mere money has such a hold over us:
      If you have lots, you're OK...if you don't, then you'll struggle forever.
      Really unfair...this life.

      Many thanks.:)

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  3. A wonderful insight. You describe what I dreaded being part of each day in my youth as I watched my father walk into the gated factory each day. Yet he like so many were so grateful to be doing so at the time, and with time embraced such cold environments as they embraced the limited happiness they saw in their lives was generated by working in such places.

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    1. I honestly believe people who manage a whole working lifetime in this type of job deserve a medal at the very least.
      I tried working in a factory, on a production line, when I was very young...and lasted only three days...after which, I left in tears. The boredom and frustration had me feeling utterly hopeless and imprisoned.
      Yet, everyone else seemed perfectly content to remain there indefinitely.
      I felt such a failure!:/

      Many thanks.:)

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  4. Your poem is beautifully written, Ygraine, my dear friend.

    My return to being a Buddhist is teaching me to find beauty even in some of the places I don't want to be, and beauty in the places I do, for I'm learning to cherish the moment wherever that moment is for me at times.

    Blessings,

    Lon

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    1. Oh Lon, how I wished I'd known you when I tried to work in that dreaded place!
      Perhaps you could have taught me to embrace what was at that time.
      I still sometimes have trouble with that concept, even now!:/

      Many thanks, my dear Friend.:)

      Sincerest Blessings.:))

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  5. Hi Ygraine....an emotional poem and very strong energy and melancholy- imageries..I loved the line about embracing the unknown..yes! Beautifully expressed and written.. You are amazing in all that you write/express..and how potent it always translates through!
    HUgs kindred..wishing you a beautiful day!
    Victoria

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Victoria!
      Your beautiful comments always truly lift my spirits...and give me the confidence to keep writing when the going gets tough.
      Mere words cannot adequately express my gratitude...
      so thank you again...from the depths of my heart.

      Have a truly magical weekend, my dear Kindred!

      Much Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry about this, dear Ygraine...I was in one of my self-pity modes and thought that you may not one to hear my opinion. It was positive of course because I love your talented writings and I devour every one of them when you post!

      We work our youthful years away until we are old and many of us feeling the need for rest. The mind plays a part in all of this, too. But...I love the way you were able to say this with your poem in a more elegant manner than I~

      Hugs and Much Love
      xoxoxo

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    2. Dear Jan...I'm sure that whatever you said previously would have been much appreciated...just as I so appreciate what you have said here.
      I have often felt that too...that heavy feeling of deep sadness...that most of us have no choice but to spend almost our entire lives slogging away without anywhere near enough time to do the things we would really love to do.
      Oh yes, I know the mind does play a huge part...but it is really hard to remain positive when you see the years passing you by so quickly...:/

      Thank you so much for your understanding, my dear Friend.
      I know we think alike in so many ways.

      All My Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  7. This is not a poem, it is a chronicle. It is a marvellous chronicle of a life that I can only imagine. Thanks, I really enjoyed this. It can also work as prose, so beautiful it's the style.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Ha...as I posted this, I wasn't really sure what category it would fit into...or even if these kind of thoughts could belong in ANY category!
      But, being the brilliant teacher that you are, I now understand a little better...and I feel so honoured to know that someone so talented as you actually liked it. Truly.
      So thank you so, so much, CiL! :)

      Have a Fabulous Weekend.:))

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  8. Ygraine, I agree with Victoria, and she says it very well!

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  9. Ygraine, I agree with Victoria, and she says it very well!

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    1. Oh thank you, Linda...so, so much...:)

      Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  10. You should know my dear Ygraine that i had it all a job I loved I was Career Advisor, I loved helping people I had a house all to myself near a lake with cats, and one the sweetest of them all, and through my lack of breath, through too much , caring too much loving too much I lost it all, including my breath.my sweetest cat. I retired at 42, while I had hoped that they would have to take me away from my desk screaming and screetching holding on to my work at 65, and I died at 42...there's nothing left of me to start again, but I hold on for my remaining cats....I never think of tomorrow, there's nothing to think about, you got me wrong, I loved my life and lost it all twice...

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    1. Oh Sweetie...please don't ever give up hope.
      However bad things are, I can't bear to think of you giving up.
      I felt that way when my baby daughter passed away...thought I didn't want to stay here on Earth anymore.
      But then something kept me going...and I eventually pulled through by telling myself that everything I was doing, I was doing for her - including picking myself up and living out the rest of my days.
      Oh Sweetie...there is hope for you...for your future...
      and I am sending you positive thought, and lots of love...

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  11. Bom dia, sua escrita é maravilhosa, ela reflecte o passado sem diferença para o actual, gosto da maneira objectiva como escreve.
    Faça o favor de ser feliz.
    AG

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    1. Thank you so much, AG...I find your kind words incredibly encouraging.

      Wishing you much happiness too...
      and have a fabulous weekend! :)

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  12. A veces tambien siento que he perdido mi voz para cantar, pero hay que seguir, la esperanza siempre vuelve.

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    1. Wow...Boris...such a wonderfully positive thought!
      Thank you so much.:)

      Have a Brilliant Weekend! :))

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  13. Ygraine this is really special and lovely!
    hugs!!!
    xoxox

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Gloria...these kind words mean so very much.

      Much Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  14. A powerful monologue this is. Good one.

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    1. Oh thank you, Lux...that is truly appreciated!

      I am still visiting your wonderful blog...but am unable to comment. Didn't want you to think I'd given up reading it!

      Have a Fabulous Weekend.:))

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  15. Your writing is truly wonderful- poetry for the soul and mind. Amazing ability for insight and into the minds`s eye- wow!

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    1. Oh Lori, you are so kind...my heart-felt thanks.:)
      xoxoxo

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  16. you are such an amazing heart to lose a child and be able to go on, makes me slightly ashamed of not being stronger, but i did not breathe for such a long time it took me all I had to finally agree to take medication...I'm getting better, I've decided that my apt is lovely and i won't have a house, not in this lifetime...but I've started caring again about people and things around me, thank you for your lovely words of encouragement, they help more than you will ever know xoxoxo and hugs ;)

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    1. Oh Sweetie, I do so feel for you. I totally understand that we all have our crosses to bear. It is a condition of being alive, and no one's cross is harder than anyone else's. We all have to suffer in some way or another, in order to learn and to grow.
      I just know you will eventually overcome and win through. You are much stronger than you think. You have such a beautiful Soul, you cannot fail.

      Your Friend Always.

      Much Love & Hugs xoxoxo

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  17. My friend, I have been reading all the comments, and I can't say anything more, than what everyone else has. Your writing is so powerful! I love it! Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Oh thank you, Sweetie...you are so kind...and I so appreciate your support. It honestly keeps me going at this worrying time in my life.
      So thank you again.:)

      Big Hugs xoxoxo

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  18. I trust most readers will immediately relate to this internal monologue. I know i do. It's as if you've overheard my thought process and repeated it verbatim. I guess it shows how tuned you are into the human psyche.

    The irony of this is that this monologue makes itself a part of the very pattern it so decries and in a way starts reinforcing it! If we could just find it in ourselves to give up the fear that binds us to stagnation, we could take that first step we've been dreaming about for so long. I'm currently in the process of taking that first step and, trust me, it's scary as hell! All my doubts and fears are trying to reassert themselves with greater intensity than ever. I hope i can see it through, even if i end up making a fool of myself.

    Thank you for this lovely poem, it's shown me a mirror i desperately needed to look into :)

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    1. Oh wow...that you understood what I was trying to say is really amazing! I had considered this post a bit scrambled...it felt as if it just wasn't going as I wanted it to, no matter how I tried.
      So I am absolutely delighted to know that I have made some sense!

      Oh I really hope things work out well for you in your situation. It is never easy to make changes, is it?

      Thank you again, so much.
      I really appreciate your kind comment.

      Have a great day! :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my posts.
I really appreciate hearing your opinions...:)