POEM: Won Race

He ran his won race
Not around other men’s tracks
But in open fields
Into sunsets and sunrises
Never looking back
As no one affront
And know
Where mostly losers must collect
Outside
The whiner’s circle
And still
Fodder
Will only
Weather win place or show
Every champ yon door
Will not cry out
As sum hoarse race
Only to whinny
But one race
In riding a loan
And won for
Jockeying honor
In steed
Bye only crossing
The finish line
In unison
As a singular knows
Tide for thirst

This poem plays with the tensions between the importance of both our inner and compass and our collective outer .  Self-knowledge and are prerequisites for healthy functioning in the world.  Otherwise we will be doomed to project our ignorance and misunderstanding onto others, confounding communication and degrading joint enterprises.  We must know ourselves and our inner and instincts, if we are to live our own lives.  This recognizes a aspect of our own inner subjective : that part of our lives is uniquely our own, both in terms of being only indirectly verifiable by others (what’s going on inside) and that our own agency gives us that cannot be pawned off on others.  To some inescapable degree, we must run our own race.  Recognizing this and is the key to winning our own race: Not around other men’s tracks/But in open fields/Into sunsets and sunrises.  If we gauge our own lives too much by others’ behavior and the various cascading situations in the world, we living lives as mere reaction formations of our .  While this is a profoundly sad for ourselves, it also robs the world of the of another real live actor in the of .  Of course, human is an ensemble role; we share a collective stage and have intertwining stories.  is not a horse race, with the inevitable winner and losers — though that may be part of the narrative we act out.  In sharing both a collective stage and the of each to contribute their own role to the is pretty much guaranteed to be dramatic, perhaps somewhat chaotic, and hopefully interesting and fun.  Human begs both individual creative response-ability and a deeply collective and for our shared enterprise.  A wise ensemble of actors, recognizing the varied roles of protagonists and antagonists, gladly plays their role, not another’s.  And as passions rise, the story unfolds.  The story is not won by who is in the last scene, but who are at , wherever they peer.  If there is a larger winning in , it may very well be the of comrades sharing passions, but not necessarily playing the same roles: In unison/As a singular knows/Tide for thirst.  As for that horse race: break a leg…

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