Gargoyle

Desperately seeking freedom
From a wretched thing, a scowling,
Grey, hairy, saber-toothed gargoyle
Spirit, waiting in the wings.

To escape, to unlock the door of this
Stifling, suffocating, claustrophobic
Coffin of an existence, in despair,
In loathing, in terror, waiting for

The next moment to pass by,
Wondering simply how I can bear
Another second in this mind, this
Twisted mind, this gifted, but tainted

Mind, with its chemical imbalances,
Its phantoms of the past, rearing their
Ugly heads and screaming through the
Halls of my soul, stalking my every thought,

Taking notes, taking tallies, making plans,
Growing stronger every day, feeding on my
Nightmares, breaking through my every
Conscious thought and feeling, a parasite

That thrives in my body as a clock
Thrives on time, counting, heaping
More and more moments upon each
Other, burying myself beneath it.

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“Courage and Despair”, an excerpt from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

“…Twentieth-century man has lost a meaningful world and a self which lives in meanings out of a spiritual center. The man-created world of objects has drawn into itself him who created it and who now loses his subjectivity in it. He has sacrificed himself to his own productions. But man still is aware of what he has lost or is continually losing. He is still man enough to experience his dehumanization as despair. He does not know a way out but he tries to save his humanity by expressing the situation as without an “exit.” He reacts with the courage of despair, the courage to take his despair upon himself and to resist the radical threat of nonbeing by the courage to be as oneself. Every analyst of present-day Existentialist philosophy, art, and literature can show their ambiguous structure: the meaninglessness which drives to despair, a passionate denunciation of this situation, and the successful or unsuccessful attempt to take the anxiety of meaninglessness into the courage to be as oneself.”

–from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich