Upon Further Reflection

Dear Malin Reese,

You know from a previous letter that I received my degree in Creative Writing, which is really the best explanation as to why I work in Sales/Marketing. Turn out an English Degree pigeonholes you into becoming a teacher… or a teacher. I almost did just that a couple of months after you were born. I quit my job, went and got my fingerprint clearance card and started the process to obtain my teaching certificate. But then, your Mom and I had a conversation about where we wanted to raise you long term, we both fell into great jobs and Seattle became your hometown. It’s been a blur ever since.

The age old adage is that Life is best lived in the moment. The precept is true but incomplete. Life is best lived in the moment as long as you take time to reflect on the journey. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately and I’ve found that it can be cathartic even romantic. In some cases, reflection can completely alter the way I view the progression of my life. This is good for me. My personal growth often gets overshadowed by mindless shit that doesn’t really mean anything to me. So yeah, reflection makes me a more whole and mature person.

Here’s an example: I’ve been reflecting on some of the poetry I wrote for my Eng 495 class during my last year at ASU. Upon further reflection, most of it is painfully bad. The worst part is that it’s not even pretentious. At least if it was pretentious, I could just roll my eyes and say something (pretentious) like “What a silly, immature youth I was. My how I’ve grown into such an astute adult”. Amidst the rubble of word vomit that I produced, I did happen to find a couple of pieces that I was genuinely proud of. One of them was a sophomoric riff about Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face while quail hunting. For reference, Dick Cheney is a former Vice President, a person who ironically received 5 deferments during the Vietnam War and has a history of being an unrepentant asshat. The other poem was inspired by a painting from my favorite abstract painter, Mark Rothko. Here it is:


I am
the light
that pervades
your darkness,
the fire-
silk that
leaves you
with indelible
brand. I slip
through you
like descending
diatonic scale,
dispersing droplets
of dreams
and globules
of gold.
I am
slow poison
and there
is no
antidote for
my vengeance.

Malin, this poem had such simple meaning to me at the time I wrote it. I took my love for Rothko’s painting and channeled the idealistic notion that light will always win out over darkness. Now, upon reflection, you’ve changed the way I look at it. You are the light that pervades any darkness that I might have. And in its abundance, your light has left me with indelible brand.




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