In one of my forays into my recently compiled Life Library, I found this poem. It has not yet been included in my poem collection because it was part of a blog post from a long-dead blog site and the file was saved in my hard drive in html format.
i tap my feet in rhythm with the clock's tiny hands
I have forgotten already what I was thinking about when I wrote this poem, but I suspect it was triggered by a love un-story. Possibly I was going through a period of keeping myself away from falling into another false fairy tale. Possibly I was already on the brink of falling. Reading through it now, I feel that the image of myself as a fence-sitter has been true, for I have been a fence-sitter on my very own life for many years.
I thought that to define myself I only had to have one opinion for every thing. I have heard it said so often that one should always have an answer, and always choose a side. Also, that the sides and answers are by multiple choice — that I could only pick the answers from what were already presented to me. And that changing answers is frowned upon and discouraged (unless it favoured the popular trend where most of everyone stood, or it favoured an unpopular, but "cool", trend). Also, that the questions I answer have to be those put upon me by others.
It took me many years to learn that the answers and the sides can be something new and something else. That the questions can be made open-ended instead of close-ended. That what if is a real option, not just either/or. Also, that the questions I choose to answer can be the questions that I ask myself, and that these questions are more important to my own growth than what others dictate I should answer.
Re-reading the poem I also saw that in some cases there is something to be learned from momentarily doing that balancing act along the fence, a temporary distancing of the self to survey all options. To understand what is at stake, and what really matters to me. See that I say temporary. Because yes, at some point I have to take a stand, make a choice, and hopefully be strong enough to act according to those choices.