Thirty Minutes

Waiting and watching
I am watching myself twist and gyre
I am waiting for the calm to come
A headache cries for a cure
My brain is pulsing and throbbing
Pop the two orange pills and wait…
In thirty minutes the peace arrives as the blood vessels release
Or whatever. Biology’s not my field.

But this today is no headache
A mind-ache perhaps or a soul-ache
The constriction different,
But no less real.
The cure less pharmaceutical,
But no less real.
An hour of yoga
A quarter of meditation
Or perhaps a few dozen lines of verse
Are healing.

Or so I want to believe

There are thoughts that subside into oceans of emotion
And feelings that glom into dread
There are monsters awake in the doldrums and neurons
I’m never alone in my head

I am nobody’s keeper —
— I am not responsible for their feelings
Yet I am the keeper of the monsters —
— I can tell them to sit down, be still
And I shall

There are two sorts of communities in my life:
The people without and the people within.
I am the keeper of the inside people
The monsters on the catwalk
The voices in the dark
They scold me
They call me
They think they make me
They don’t. I shall speak. And they shall listen.

But the outside people:
Their feelings are their own,
Their worries and fears
I will not take that blame
I will not own their pain
I am not their keeper
I will allow them their truth their meaning their hurt their joy their opinion their brilliance their stupidity
It’s not mine

And I will try, try to love them
Within and without

Has it been thirty minutes so soon?

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