Made for Life: Fleeing the Waiting Room of the Soul

Photo by Rachel Claire on

I admit that I don’t handle myself nor others well when I’m frustrated, tired, or just haven’t taken some time to feed my soul. I feel guilty, honestly, when I take the time to sit down and write poetry, let alone create these posts, when I have six children, a wife, a job, and many other responsibilities rightfully clamoring for my attention. I can’t afford to take time to just write poetry or be creative. I hardly touch my guitar more than once a week. But those seeming fringe benefits of life can be easily set aside. I can’t set aside paying bills, preparing for work, or spending time with my wife and children.

You’ve heard this all before, of course. This is my regular struggle, as sure as the four seasons, and perhaps you too fight with such thoughts or know someone who feels the same way. Foolishly, I have hoped to “get all the work done” so I can then rest and be creative. We all know that life doesn’t work that way. Rarely do I ever get “all” the work done, and when I do, I’m too exhausted to write. It’s almost as if I feel I have to earn my creative quiet times, but the cost is exorbitant.

And so I end up in “the waiting room of the soul.” Deep within, I know that I cannot keep my soul on life support. That’s not living, and I can’t offer life to others if I’m barely alive. Forgive my broken record ramblings. I write this more for myself, my soul desperately seeking to be heard: “You were made for LIFE!” Listen to that still small voice, Vincent. LISTEN!

Waiting Room

Vincent H. Anastasi - 2017, 2021

This is the waiting room of the soul.
So many patients clamoring for attention:

Responsibility can’t kick the nagging cough
he picked up years ago.
He looks quite ill; he’s seen to first.

Financial Obligations refuses to wait quietly,
pacing the room incessantly
reminding the receptionist of his presence,
his gangrene hardly kept at bay.

O, great sea of men in hats!

No two names the same.

Faith reassures the others,
never pushy, always patient, always present,
offering to bear the burdens
of the ailing multitude,
her quiet voice drowned
in a sea of distractions.

Exhaustion can hardly catch his breath,
stumbling about the room, wheezing
‘til he drops in a chair and nods off to sleep.

Creativity has been rushed to the ICU.

Hope tenaciously remains.

Someone is weeping.
I cannot make out the face
while my vision blurs
and my chest constricts
in this waiting room
of the abeyant soul.

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