William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Once Upon a Rose Garden

It’s one thing to order the destruction of an historic rose garden; more tragic, though, is that there’s always someone willing to follow such orders, when the intelligent, logical thing to do is refuse: No — if you want to destroy something everyone holds in trust, do it yourself, with your own hands, for all the world to see. And if you’re worried about blisters, you might try a moral enema. It’s tragic, too, that anyone living through these times is surprised by such ignorant, angry, lonely behavior; or that, witnessing such, anyone can place the blame on one person, when it’s obvious our entire society and culture has made it possible — for we humans were destroying this earthly garden before the birth and history of this and every other modern nation. A destroyed public rose garden is but one more symbol of our long sadness and self-estrangement; it’s a warning, too, a reminder and lesson; another prompt to introspection and personal examination; another opportunity to ask oneself what one’s own role is, has been, and will be, in the human story as it unfolds. For anyone can be offended; but without a deep sense of personal responsibility, being offended is merely an egotistical response, which only adds to and perpetuates the problem. Anyone can be angry. Anyone can be patriotic and proud. But these are the very things that have brought us to such an embarrassing pass — embarrassing, because it’s natural to feel embarrassment upon realizing one has been doing nothing but throwing a lifelong tantrum. And then, after embarrassment has served its purpose, there comes the glad dawning of gratitude and humility, and the understanding that the way forward is clear, and that that way is to love all things, and to love one another.

August 25, 2020. Evening.


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Categories: Everything and Nothing, New Poems & Pieces

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