I just passed an anxious-looking little boy trailing after his mother
through this freakish voluptuous July-in-May weather - it seemed a
dyed-in-the-psyche anxiety, not uncommon in many of us as kids and
sometimes later on: "but where will I SIT?" he kept asking her (they
were presumably walking toward somewhere where sitting, for him, was the
issue) and his mother said, "don't worry, we'll work it out," in the
reflexive way mothers forgivably respond to what they imagine is the normal unwarranted ("immature") anxiousness of a child.
But, with a jolt and leap somewhere else, the news it gave me was: I
realized I never ever understood, first, that I couldn't do or have what
I wanted to do or have. And then, when I kept learning from The World
Around Me that this was often impossible, I deeply couldn't understand
why. And that alone produces a child's anxiety - but not only a child's -
it reflects the great human bewilderment we're born with and never lose
till we flip over to whatever the other side is: what IS this thing I'm
in? Who ARE these people? What is it I'm supposed to do? Why can't I do
everything I want to do?
And the 'reasonable' answer we learn
from ostensibly wise sources (teachers, parents, shrinks) is that there
are greater subtler rewards than we know in delaying gratification &
thinking of others & following received instructions &
developing a capacity for discipline & restraint. And these
solutions & promises sound so awfully good. Or anyway, we want them
But all of it misses a central point.
Every time I
look into my brother's eyes in photographs, especially when he was a
toddler, I see this cosmic yearning (universal to all of us!) - and
somehow at least a hint of the kind of inchoate understanding which that
deepest kind of yearning lends.
A yearning for what, we ask?
Self-help books rush to our aid. A bird on a wire competes with the
Inner Child, etc etc. But none of that seems to me really to touch the
place that cries out. Also that laughs and sings and in some way maybe
already knows (this is what makes it so funny!) that it's always had
what it doesn't think it has.
These pics are of my bro Bob when
he was called Bobby. Who later grew into the interesting outcome of: the
Reverend Robert A. Kettelhack! But don't let the priest part fool you.
He had a rascal darkness & wit. But don't miss the priest part
I write roughly one poem a day. This blog is a continuation of a series of poem depot websites I'd also had through google, but which seem now to have filled up with my stuff to the point where I can't edit or add another page.
So here I am. Since April 1, 2009 I've been adding drawings, one a day. To see them fuller size left-click on the drawing - and voila.
To get an idea of who I am, google on "Guy Kettelhack."
To see poems I've written previous to the ones in this poem depot, google on Guy Kettelhack + Act 2 (or just Guy Kettelhack + poetry): for kind unsolicited observations about my work by photographer Rick Shupper: google Guy Kettelhack + Holtermann Design LLC. (I'd provide links but they don't seem to stick here.)
thanks for stopping by.