Hate Me, Hate You

this is the way we began

single celled possibilities

a single cell has no detractors, no conscience, is not dual

I’m a big fan of non dualistic philosophies, as long as they’re not single minded about it

distinction is useful, for all living creatures

but a single cell has a quiet life, depending on the view

matter’s possibilities depend on group cooperation

molecules, atoms, quarks

cells, organs, systems

families, tribes, communities

we are not just non dual, we are infinite multiplicities

but every cell has a fucking point of view, progress a negotiation

we bury parts of ourselves like tumors, cells gone wrong

some, become our armor, invisible exoskeleton, our secret superhero costume

a familiar tightness, holding all the tender, broken bits in to fester

without which it seems we’d revert to puddles screaming for structure,

even if it’s a prison, a dungeon where no light gets in

sure, cells multiply in darkness, too, but there’s a reason we fear darkness  

some grow malignant, festering, hostile, carnivorous, poisonous

we cannot hide our own truth from ourselves and thrive

I am:  self righteous, defensive, insecure, impatient, undisciplined, lazy, selfish, thoughtless, unforgiving, unkind, biased, sloppy, manipulative, acquisitive, prideful, and sometimes filled with loathing, fear and faithfulness, lacking in generosity and compassion – a truncated list, to be sure, even as I try to list the elements hidden by my humiliation that they are obscure even to me

secret whispers in the dreams that wake me, sweating fear, forgotten

and the worst, most secret truth, how much I hate them, those qualities I would eradicate, were such things possible, and the trying twists, shame’s inquisition

a charnel ground, regrets, past and future a torture of paralysis and doubt

I hate myself then, and hate is a virulent, terrified toddler

I cannot hate myself, without hating myself in everyone

for weaknesses triumphant and defeated, and more for those who seem completely freed

but, the final, deepest secret, or at least as deep as my poor vision reaches

is that no horror is beyond me, borne of darkness or good intentions

and beneath every secret hides another, non dual creatures are we cells

living lives of small kindnesses and ignorant evils

denying the endlessness of cruelty, but worse, the generosity, compassion, courage, devotion and self-sacrifice, equal and exponentially more fearsome

than hate, buoyed only by our atavistic terrors

in other words, hate me, hate you

and of course the inverse also holds


Author: skaplanolmsted

I am a writer, artist and servant to feline overlords, living in Portland, Oregon with my writer artist husband Marc Olmsted.

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