Seven years ago, before Ben’s first hospitalization, he took a poetry class at a local community college. I look at his class assignments now and wonder how I could ever have doubted the seriousness of his illness. Where is the line drawn between creativity and complete inner chaos?
My wind grows weary
Monotony is thick
The rivers ain’t clear
As I am stained by this thick…mud puddle
Whilst I bear my own radiance
Sinned they be by a typical DEMONstration
Of a casual world spoiled by love
And a casual battle and death from above
Preaching false ideas
Made right for hatred is doubt
And through this calamity I can hardly reach out…to you.
This short poem makes some sense, though many others did not. But – the “DEMON” in capital letters? His own radiance buried underneath thick mud? To whom could he not reach out? To God? To me? But I was there all along, and at that time he refused my love. What was I to do?