Careless Lives


Certain things are true of me and the central one is this: I am not a brave man, not any more.  I might be a wise man, but only after the event. My reflections are mainly saved for the rear view mirror: the way ahead is full of chaos and the reason I am moved towards it is I have no choice. I might smile or move my arm, because gestures I still own , but the menu is not  mine. I challenged life, and it ate me in a mouthful, chewed me without comment and then forgot the meal.

Those days when I was bravely unaware of consequences are behind me. Now I know the tide is rising, and my print will vanish from this earth. Might I be remembered as an anecdote? ” Did you ever meet him, the man who spoke in parables ? Was he a madman; someone crushed by understanding?  I don’t know.”

Those days, which seem a life ago, when I would say, “Shall we turn left or right or offer someone counsel” are memories. Now I am that coated figure, moving in the street, making  interest of the changing wind, the closing of a shop, the ending of the day.  I am that figure in the corner, who ceased to look at rainbows; whose life reached no conclusion, but just ran out of  batteries.

Those days when I could escape the present have left me.  I paused in indecision and  it filled me,. It owns my mind and coats it with indifference:the weight and sight of it; it’s sheer infinity dissolves agends. You are you and that is all you are. “I can change” I say, but the present has no strategy or interest. Those plans you made so bravely became sandwich wrappers, now discarded as the world returned to order. You,  the snack it will not remember.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, Life, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Careless Lives

  1. catterel says:

    Very sad, and so many people are just like this. I hope this is fiction and not a reflection of your own soul, Ducks. BTW has the flood water gone down?

  2. Al says:

    You said a mouthful there, ducks.

  3. Dylan Hearn says:

    Wonderfully written, Peter. Beautiful and poignant. A destination many of us will reach at some point but are unlikely to convey so wonderfully.

  4. Caroline says:

    So sad. I truly hope this isn’t you.

    Please don’t ever cease to look at rainbows. In fact never cease to look FOR rainbows – they are always there and part of life’s rich journey is always to keep searching for them for if you stop then you’re cheating yourself of the fun of the new which each day has to offer xxx

  5. You are brave for writing this..

  6. Ina says:

    Interesting read, and sad too. Plans are the only thing that make sense. Without it, everything is chaos. But perhaps that is part of the plan? ;) x

  7. rod says:

    Ina wrote that plans are the only things that make sense.
    If you are a ‘becoming’ person then that would be so,
    but if you are a ‘being’ person it would not.

  8. danieltrump says:

    beautifully written, evocative, and gives me much pause for thought. Sometimes awareness of the present moment eludes us, sometimes it can be too much. Thank you for your writing.

  9. That was depressingly reflective. How many will read this and feel moved to look beyond the darkness to seek out more rainbows, ride those tides coming in and fight against being just an anecdote while others will wallow in nothingness that they see is their life. What then? Indeed it was an interesting read. Reflective.

  10. Your writing is deep and powerful.
    Your depth is endless.
    Luv to you from the other side of the Atlantic. Xxx

  11. Jen says:

    “Did you ever meet him, the man who spoke in parables ? Was he a madman; someone crushed by understanding? I don’t know.” — This made me smile, both because it’s brilliant dialogue and because it carries with it a hidden message, I think.

  12. Mari says:

    “Now I know the tide is rising, and my print will vanish from this earth”; my favorite line from this post. Whether this is fiction or reality, I relate so much to these words in particular.

    Your post made me smile! Have a wonderful week ahead of us! (:

    -Mari

  13. babs50nfab says:

    Very deep, Peter. Is the rain making you sad?

  14. I felt an incredible surge of existential angst as I read your words. Suddenly, it seemed to me a heavy truth that we do give up and lose the ability to change in any significant way (ourselves or circumstances) as we grow older. But this emotion will pass, as all such emotions do. The sun will come out again and light the tips of the waves and the edges of the clouds and all will be well.

  15. Jane says:

    This is a great reflection but not of you my friend. Your batteries are fully charged. You and your words will be remembered and you are just starting down that path of infamy. I will be proud to say I knew you when. When is the book coming out BTW?

  16. Well now I’m depressed. Time to watch the Olympics. What a thought–”whose life reached no conclusion, but just ran out of batteries.” Where’s that bunny when you need her/him/it?

  17. I know what you are talking about, because I often feel the same. But I relish the presence, which I know you do too, so that there is always some fuel for moving forth in this one way road, in which we have to move forth- no matter how much we love it or hate it.

  18. This is a deep reflective piece Peter. And it is written brilliantly as always. I know what ou mean but I dont think I could have captured its meaning anywhere nealy as well as you have done here.

    What I do know is I have never, ever lived in the present moment more than I do now. I grab every single second and treasure its worth, whether its a “good”.moment or a “bad” one.

  19. Walt Whitman: What good amid these, O me, O life? …you may contribute a verse.

    And you have done so, Peter. Thoughtfully.

  20. gotham girl says:

    I agree with Jane…your batteries are definitely charged!!! Been thinking of you a lot lately with all that water! Hope you are ok.

  21. As others have said, Peter, this brave in its raw honesty … not a bad thing at all, because so many feel what you have expressed. Better to have the awareness, than to pretend that all is easy and rosy. I just saw this by Thomas Moore, author of ‘Caring for the Soul’, which I think really speaks to this post:
    “Sometimes working through a single, focused troubling issue is a route to resolving several others. It is soul work.”
    And your soul is – always, is – truly working. And this is where faith 9not ‘speaking’ about any specific religious dogma) comes in … Thanks for sharing so honestly and relevantly.

  22. nelle says:

    Such an eloquent exploration, although I do believe there is something to be said for what we know about ourselves and our actions, even if others don’t. A life well guided, there is satisfaction along that course.

  23. 1WriteWay says:

    Your last line made my throat tighten up a bit. Often I have felt this way. Not very pleasant, but I do love the idea of plans being sandwich wrappers, discarded, and oneself being the world’s snack.

  24. Ampbreia says:

    Well I’ll remember you for what its worth.

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