My Peace Corps pause

A pair of lovely sisters- good friends of my daughter – posted/reposted this on Facebook.  It gave me pause:

the area of pause

you have to have it or the walls will close
in.
you have to give everything up, throw it
away, everything away.
you have to look at what you look at
or think what you think
or do what you do
or
don’t do
without considering personal
advantage
without accepting guidance.

people are worn away with
striving,
they hide in common
habits.
their concerns are herd
concerns.

few have the ability to stare
at an old shoe for
ten minutes
or to think of odd things
like who invented the
doorknob?

they become unalive
because they are unable to
pause
undo themselves
unkink
unsee
unlearn
roll clear.

listen to their untrue
laughter, then
walk
away.

Bukowski

I had never read this before, but it’s startling how clearly Bukowski pinpoints the underlying emotion of “what fifty feels like” for me.  I needed a “pause” from my life, a way to look at it from a distance, examine its contours and facets and weigh its true value on the scale of my soul.  My Peace Corps experience is a means for me to do this.  I have definitely taken a step back and out.

 

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