Paul Thomas Morris

July 1999

January 99

Now and then one is graced with a random opportunity to write. These opportunities, though few and far between, have a certain meaning to me which today I will try to define.

This is a unique opportunity, for me to write (segue way here). I am in a GIS class and my stream of consciousness is sometimes interrupted by occasional key words the professor says which steal my attention away from my pen and paper and my own mind.

However, the past few events in my life and continued to produce the mentality of a true writer. I am overwhelmed with thoughts and have no outlet other than a pen and sheets of paper.

Perhaps I am to blame for this level of isolation. But there are times when I feel as if nobody can comprehend all of the ideas feelings and thoughts that I feel a compelling desire to convey to some external entity.

The moment: words flow so awkwardly as a whole. I used to hate language with a passion for its inability to convey thoughts. Thoughts would be such a natural perfect way of communicating. I also used to try to force myself to compose at times when words were not with me.

So now I wait. For what I do not know or understand. It is a time like this. It may not last this hour. It may last weeks. I do not know how it gets in me or how long it will persist.

So I exploit it to the best of my ability. I write. The words almost flow from my mind to the hands. The pen is the gate to language. And the thoughts become words.

My sole purpose is to merely describe the impetus -- the driving force - by which I write. However, I will take this opportunity, while I am in this mode of thought, to mention Plato. In one of his 4 dialogues he describes a poet as conveying on paper a higher level of intellect which he usually does not fully understand. Plato well states what I feel overwhelms me at times like this. Weeks days or any span of time from now it is likely that I'll either not understand what I have said here or I'll wonder why I said any of these things in the first place.

I look at my own mind and I like to think that I know it -- that I know myself. I do not. Delusions of grandeur is a term that comes to mind when I try to brag to myself such a high level of solid mentality.

I do not understand myself. If I look at the big picture over the past few months, all I see is friction. A struggle -- contradicting wants, needs, desires. So much for coherence. So much for understanding myself. About a few mind-boggling experiences, the entire year before during which I (thought I) developed a higher understanding of myself has collapsed behind me, taking with it my comfort and my own sense of self.

I guess it can be argued that all of life is a struggle. From this struggle comes strength. I am therefore certainly both living and growing stronger.

But to me, now, this idea does not justify that I am enduring such an inner struggle. My mind is at odds with itself. I could pan over thoughts, facts and situations all day and reason out everything and build goals and rules. But come nightfall, or an event or circumstance relevant to my thoughts -- my plan -- and my emotions take me away from my reason. I am out of control.

--- (Late) January 99 ---

"CGI has limitations... however its uses are often unique and formidable.."

It will not go obsolete. It will not fail.. fall apart... it has power.. it will prevail... my mind wanders, my attention to class stuff digresses...

There is a place. Trees, soft earth below me, the trees soft to the eye but firm to the touch. There is water, It moves. It moves me. It moves the thoughts and emotions through my heart and soul. The emotions, the water: often it is too much. Dampness, cool air, a soft yet steady breeze of air, sounds.. all overwhelm me. A gasp.. a Sigh.

So it moves me to cry. The water is now water within me. It escapes, sometimes. It flows from my mind and to my pen, my paper. It presses at my mind and laps at my soul, my heart. It is too much. It will sometimes prevail. I overcome. I control. I only sway, but I prevail.

The trees are secure. They sway only slightly, but never yield their firm strong existence. They are ever, always growing, changing. But I know and WE know that growth is for the better, right? Things are removed from us, these voids are filled, things are given unto us. Live presses forward, moves the trees.

Reality interferes -- it interrupts me. My mind is in control. The water prevails. I am hopeless for now. Caught in the win, the water inside me, the swirling fast and slow soft and hard, the trees are indifferent, ignorant. The ground yearns for me, wants me, to be lower, hidden. It wants, I want. I do not get it.

Wind, soft yet hard. Compassionate, yet cold. Warm and cool at the same time. Supportive, yet it wavers me. I sway, I grow, I lose, I gain. The wind stays. It wraps around me, encloses and envelopes me. Suffocates almost, so constantly touching, brushing, pulling, pressing that it sweeps my breath from my own reach. I sigh, gasp. It feels. It knows, feels, understands all.

It sighs with me, it breathes with me, it feels me everywhere. I move, and it adjusts. It holds, cradles, flows, creeps, settles into every aspect of my physical existence, place, position, stay on this earth. The ground that calls to me -- yearns for me even -- wants me. The wind will not let go of me; I won't let it go. I stay true to it. It stays true to me. We are One. One is power. We will prevail, together.

Water flows inside, trees watch indifferently, the wind loves. It takes the escaped water, the crying, away. It is my shoulder. It wants. Moisture is everywhere, the wind laps it from me and from my world. I am protected, surrounded, enclosed, loved.. power, success, prevalence.

The earth yearns. The wind prevails in love. The trees sneer but shall outgrow their shallow existence. I am hope. I stand and I grow. The water flows. It cries, the wind caresses my tears, the pain, away from me.

The sun warms me, warms the wind that touches and caresses my soul. But it cools too, an irony indeed of this object of pure light and energy. It is ambiguous confusion and loses me in an endless thought. I get lost: warmth on one side and a cool chill on the other. It embraces me not but pushes at me, while ignoring. It neglects my whole. Warms a part of me yet pains the other. It shows me that with warmth comes cold, with joy comes pain, with love comes hate, happiness sadness. It comes and goes. I am with it but then I am alone.


Paul Thomas Morris, 22, lives in Athens, GA. He can be reached at pmorris@athens.net, www.athens.net/~pmorris

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