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Breaking the Fishbowl

by Chris Sorrenti

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

- Pink Floyd

I’m tired of life
but not suicidal
though understand now
why others willingly accept death
and how some even take their own lives
as the Buddhists are prone to say
if you’re unhappy with your current situation
end it and start over again

by the time you’re forty
some even younger
you know the score
the whole purpose for being here
as clear as sky
fragrant as roses
with no need for a Bible or Koran
to spell out the hidden meaning
while UFOs hover about
watching...waiting for us to learn
grow to bend time and space
so that we can join their federation
and the whole mixture
of Religion...Evolution...Intelligent Design
gets called into question
until you realize
there’s room for them all
fitting together smoothly
like pieces of Pi

and yet you wonder
worry even
about what lies ahead
what if we are only spirits
locked in mortal bodies?
and being human is the only way
to experience certain things

the taste of fine food and wine
the unspoken epiphany
of sunrise...sunsets
heartaches and joys
of raising children
the hungers of sex
who doesn’t love a good orgasm?
and the bigger the bang
the better you feel
but nothing in this world lasts forever

is there something better in Heaven
waiting for us?
or that maybe we’ve forgotten?
surpasses the pleasures
of being human
will want to keep us there
for long periods of time
if not forever
or in the end
does it too become so monotonous
that we decide to come crawling back
to enjoy things we’ve missed
know only a human can do
with a smiling nod
from the big guy
at the top of the stairs

I’m tired of living
though not suicidal
as I ask myself
do I really want to live forever?
or maybe it’s simply
we have no choice
growing one lifetime after another
towards perfection
as the Buddhists are prone to say

 photo BreakingtheFishBowl_zps235ed614.jpg

Poem and drawing © 2009 by author

1,530 hits as of July 2020


Posted on 06/13/2009
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by A. Paige White on 06/13/09 at 03:36 PM

Wow. Pink Floyd really sets the mood for your first stanza excellently. The second and third lead you perfectly into the questions we all have at some point in life. Your fourth stanza puts us all in the fish bowl we were looking for from the title. Then the fifth and sixth stanza clearly tell me what the solution to the whole thing is for you. You need to put in an order for a grandchild from your son. Don't wait any longer. Go ahead and give him a stroller or a cradle for Father's day. Grandchildren really do bring a whole new viewpoint in our aging eyes. It's good medicine for the weary. That has to be why you have to endure the children first to get to the dessert of all desserts in life. Yeah. You need a grandson or two. That will fix what ails you. Love this! You brought it together excellently.

Posted by Maude Curtis on 06/13/09 at 04:02 PM

I agree with Paige. Grandchildren are the reward for putting up with life this far. and you can continue living though them. Try it, it's fantastic.

Posted by Joe Cramer on 06/13/09 at 04:22 PM

..... outstanding.....

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 06/14/09 at 12:49 AM

This is really excellent, Chris. Striving to look beyond the "bowl". Good thing we wonder, becaause if life were measured by accomplishments, many would die in infancy...but then, death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives. Thanks.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 06/14/09 at 01:12 AM

Terrific title and I enjoyed the way you look beyond. Thank you!

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 06/14/09 at 04:08 PM

Geeeeze, Laweeze...you've been in my head or something! These are exactly the thoughts that have been running through me all my life. And I've reached some of the same preliminary possibilities as you have. Are we daft, to not remember how quickly it becomes tiresome here? Thinking that there is a higher purpose for being human than we are able to know - that is the one thought that comforts me, but only just a little. The only other thing is, I don't think there are only two of us in that bowl...this is an awesome reflection of our human condition, Chris!

Posted by Christel Crews on 06/15/09 at 02:53 AM

what a great read! i felt like i was going round and round in the bowl. looking out as i passed by.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 06/16/09 at 01:49 AM

Those of us who have found Christ to be the answer as to the why, where, when of existence simply look forward to being free from the body to fully appreciate the what now seems incomprehensible. "We will be with Jesus and be like Him for we will "see" Him as He IS." As Christ looked forward to being again with His Father so we who have started the "new life" in Christ look forward to being with Christ eternally. St. Paul indicated it was wonderful beyond our imaging.

Posted by Wayne Tate on 06/19/09 at 11:47 PM

Very nicely done Chris. You're questions and answers to existence are so perfectly personal. It's very refreshing, indeed. Your poem is like taking a sip of cool, soothing water after living your life with a mouthful of sand. To me, this poem captures life's beautiful arc. Thank you for sharing Chris.

Posted by Kris Mara on 06/21/09 at 03:03 AM

...and so the honesty, humanity and questioning in your words hits so close to home, in reading your words I actually get that overwhelming chill through my being that keeps me awake some nights (if that makes sense)...I agree about how opening with that song sets the tone for the piece...and moving through this is just so familiar that it bores into my heart...yet instead of leaving me feeling unsettled (as my brain often does lately), I'm actually left feeling reassured...that others truly do have these feelings and questions too...and so we are not alone...and you reach out through your words perfectly (I hope this makes sense...it's late and I'm overtired)....

Posted by Glenn Currier on 06/21/09 at 02:17 PM

I hesitate to comment for fear of diminishing the authenticity and nakedness of this beautiful poem. I praise and envy the hutspah and honesty in it. I'll read all the comments when I have time, but I especially appreciate what Alison said. Similar thoughts and feelings (as expressed in your poem) have not haunted me my WHOLE life, but certainly a huge part of it, especially in the latter half. I HAVE noticed in recent months that my dread of death has diminished, replaced with a sense that it would be a welcome respite from the aches and losses of aging. One last thought... it occured to me that forgetting can be both a blessing and a curse. Blessed for forgotten pain, cursed for the lost intensity of temporal joy. Bless you my friend for this beautiful piece from your courageous and creative soul.

Posted by V. Blake on 06/23/09 at 09:55 AM

Well, I had high hopes for this after you opened with what that bit from what is probably my favorite Floyd song, and you didn't disappoint. It looks like these other commenters beat me to the punch to say what CAN be said about this excellent work, but please trust that I applaud you for everything that can't.

Posted by Jo Halliday on 06/23/09 at 03:06 PM

If someone is already tired of life, I wonder that can s/he take an unbiased view of this? Buddhism doesn't envisage of "better pleasures surpassing the human ones" (and for that matter, even the dogs enjoy being on top of each other, it's not just humans; I don't have any ideas how trees find pleasure, maybe that's why Japanese language treats them as non-living), but rather the same tired detachment packaged as nirvana. No intellectual activity, just be tired and extinguished.
I find nothing derogatory in the taste of food or the heartaches. What might seem more [derogatory] to me is the conception of us being hewn from a common log of wood, and then fitted into human bodies to experience these. The point is, life, yes food and heartaches themselves. Your tired argument is very much like that of a model bent on killing herself: put the best dessert on the table and maybe she will just see the calories and break it down into vitamins and nutrients, and forget eating the dessert. One eats the dessert, one enjoys it, and one excretes it: there's nothing much more to it, nor should be. In any case, whatever you would be thinking living would be bounded by your senses; so better live sensibly and change the world!

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