Discharged

Babies in Snow

In my journal, I note the day’s cadence
and realize that this year–staying home,

still, waiting, counting breaths, staring, losing count: I’m
not marching anymore.

For years, I marched in uniforms and haste;
I marched, chasing perfection and more, hoping
for attention and praise,
nods and small paychecks rewarding my marching.

I marched to the tunes of a tier of bosses stretching to the
tops of buildings, to rooms I never saw, an authority
of men; I pursued their goals,
agreeing they were mine: I withered;

I mean, my spirit dried like an ancient apple

and my gifts broke
from the weight of meetings, record-keeping, hours at screens,
group meetings, staff meetings, meetings to evaluate
meetings, over and over; had I really learned the protocol
for handling blood-borne pathogens? (Yes, years ago; it

never changed). But we acquiesced; we marched; we agreed to agree
that coffee mugs stamped with, “Win

win; make it happen” made our time
and overtime and all the marching
matter,

and rather than enter the wild joy of co-creation, we’d march to
performance reviews, team-building activities, time clocks, measured
breaks to intake food and to release, marching faster,

as though we–

unique in our mystery and gift, here only to be
stars mixing and offering our shining shards of joy
before flickering, then falling in night’s dark skies

–were feral beings, best disciplined, success-
fully managed through repetitive busy-work,
bureaucracy’s mazes,
and marching.

The body corporate: a communal dimming of light.

Spirits silenced, gifts shattered (march, march)
by the love-starved minds that ordered
our marching, directed its rhythms: I used to wonder:

Is this what we all wanted
for ourselves when we grew up; we, hopscotching, jump-roping, hula-hooping, skating,
swimming, daydreaming, playing through our never-marching childhood?

And what of those who created and commanded the endless
tasks, charting, paperwork, meetings, the marching

that devoured

our time, our holy only lives? Did they ever stare through their larger-office windows at the peregrine nesting on the sill (it made news, every year), and weep?

How did they

sleep at night, knowing the misery they purveyed?
Did they march in their dreams? Following orders and
climbing ladders?

And what is their cadence now, decommissioned, staying at home?

My days are filled

with dancing.

seeds-and-leaves-118

© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

14 thoughts on “Discharged

    1. Thank you for sharing; I truly appreciate it when visitors have a chance to offer comments. Happy to hear you’re dancing; continued joy to your days, my friend. Be well and safe. Gentle peace to you.

  1. Your post today is a perfect reminder for me as I celebrate 65 circles around the sun. Though early circles were filled with dancing, too many marching years followed.
    And now, nothing but gratitude for each new sunrise as I dance once again, inspired by my grandchildren and by your heartwarming and beautiful reminders.

    1. Oh, Mary, happiest of birthdays and joyful dancing in safe and merrily continuing circles!

      I hope you’ll have dozens of blessed years to enjoy your family and friends, and to keep shining your light on Earth.

      Joy and gentle peace to you! xoxo Kitty

  2. Thank you Kitty! Your writings are filling my soul. I suffer from depression and your writings are helping it lift.

    1. Oh, Mary; how kind of you, and how greatly appreciated. I’m so very sorry you suffer from depression; I have seen what a struggle that can be. Please know your best balance and peace are in my heart and prayers. What an honor to hear my writing offers some comfort to your spirit. Be safe and well, Mary, and great, gentle peace to you.

  3. Oh, how well you describe the rat race! I’m off the wheel too, I’ll join you in the dancing. Love that pic of your old pups in the snow. Bless them, I do miss them.xxx

  4. Well, Kitty, that’s the most eloquent indictment of the corporate world that I’ve ever read! Nicely done! But the best, of course, is the freedom to dance. When I look back at my life, I really do have to remember to be grateful, for I have only been in the truly corporate world for 5 years, and that for a company with a very kind soul at the helm. Each year at Christmas, he sent a card to every employee (5,000 in multiple states for each magazine title) with a charity he’d chosen for that year. And he, personally, matched every donation. However, not being in the corporate world leaves one without a pension, and, for periods of time, no health insurance, etc. But in terms of doing what I really felt called to do? You’d have to say I danced, and am dancing still. Thank you for helping me to remember something I have truly reason to be thankful for. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Kitty. ❤️ Jeanne

  5. You have a wonderful holiday, too, Jeanne. Yes, I’ve been blessed to work for and with wonderful people, too. I think smaller companies (than the mega-multi’s) and privately-owned corporations have a better chance for infusing their humanity into the structure if they choose to, but, of course, it does have to be a conscious choice and practice, like the one you describe. Yours sounds like a gem.

    Insurance to pay for our healthcare and well-being is, I believe, part of the madness we’ve agreed to accept. We can do better.

    At any rate, I’m so glad to hear you’re dancing, my friend! Gentle peace and joy to you!

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