synthesis in poetry

  • Nov. 17, 2021, 4:58 a.m.
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  • Public

You are taught, we are taught, in America, from a very young age that we are the heroes in our own stories. That’s why we’re so good at making villains here, in America, everyone raised to believe that what they’ve been trained to believe must be right, because they believe it and after all they are the hero, after all, after all this is America. Maybe, just maybe, you will have lived long enough to ask if you might actually be the villain, if your good intentions, if the world you were taught that this was, if they could really be wrong. And that’s the first step, yes, but it isn’t the last. What you need to know, what will you know eventually if you are lucky and if you pay attention enough, even if you’re not ready to know it now because, hell, you can’t learn that kind of thing by reading some asshole or another write it out for you, you can only learn by getting to that point in your own American life is this:

You aren’t the hero of your own story and you aren’t the villain, either, not really, not fully. No one gets that much control over the things they were taught when they were young, no one gets that much control over what happens to them in their life, no one is that powerful, no one is that weak, no one so very evil or so very good. What you are is the narrator of your own damn story.

Life happens to you far more than you happen to it, never let the bastards tell you any different, but you do get to tell the tale of your life, you get to see it, you get to pick it apart for its meaning or lack thereof as you go. Heroes are made-up things and villains, well, they are real but only in the stories of the people they’ve hurt, on purpose or accident. People can cast you in their image of those things but that’s never who you are on the inside, in your version of the story of your life.

You are merely the narrator of your own story. You have the awesome power and responsibility of narrating your own story. You have the curse and the shitty job of narrating your own story. You don’t get to choose what happens. You just get to tell it. You just get to pick the form of the narrative function, you get to choose the medium that massages the messages of your life. You don’t get to choose how your life goes, you just get to choose what it means. So, choose wisely.

Last updated November 17, 2021

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