Max Reif

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(.....July 30) Philosophical Rant - Poem by Max Reif

1.
Let us assume
we're all doing our best
as we understand it,

and even those who feel
they can put one over
on Existence,

the best they can do
is proceed from that assumption
until they have to abandon it
as a skeleton that doesn't support
the the weight of the meat
of real life.

Our best then includes
the possibility of being stuck,
spinning metaphysical
wheels for a long time,

because we are all complex
blends of qualities and may not
have a particular
tool in our toolbox.

We're all such strange birds!
Everyone's heard about
the Nazi officers
who would weep at romantic music,

or there might be
a shy person
with the inner
strength of a lion,
and no way to release it
except through heroic endurance.

Given all this,
I'm thinking about repetition:

insanity, say my 12-step friends,
is doing the same thing
and expecting different results.

But do we ever really
do the same thing twice?
And maybe doing the same thing
on a cloudy day
will bring a different outcome.

Then there's the possibility
that each apparent repetition
digs down a little deeper
into the bedrock of what's there.

I don't know
about any of this:
'living out' a problem means
you haven't a clue.

2.
You might say
this poem is my philosophy,
and this part is the footnote.

I remember when I was young,
how most of the world
seemed to believe
you live a few decades,
maybe six or seven, then die
and face Eternal Judgment,

and so it followed
that you'd better get it right!

I'm stunned every time I realize
many people still believe all that,
still wear that tight,
tight collar on their lives.

There are reasons
for that, too,

but what a relief it was
to learn we are not
one-shot stabs in the dark,

but rivers whose destiny
is to reach the Ocean,

and all the crazy
meanderings,
all our thousands of adventures,
all the times we go to sleep
and wake up in a new body
ready and full of energy
for a whole new round,

the river includes all that,
and its current is
taking us downstream,
and all we really have to do
is relax and let it.


Comments about (.....July 30) Philosophical Rant by Max Reif

  • (8/12/2007 2:39:00 PM)

    A very gentle rant Max, with accessible and stimulating ruminations along the way, and like your flowing stream of life this very fine poem simply carried me along, giving me time enough to look around and appreciate that prolific mind of yours. Superb. (Report)Reply

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  • (7/30/2007 12:15:00 PM)

    I flowed through every word here....until I got to relax...there in lies my problem....
    That's just what i need to do: O) nice rant
    (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 30, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, March 25, 2011


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