Shattered Silence

Shattered Silence

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let There be Enlightenment

Expression through writing illuminates my
thoughts and feelings in a tangible way.
I’ve thought for a long time now—or at least since creating this blog—about what would be the best way to strip my page of its post-less virtue; I’ve had the desire for years to blog, but I grappled with the seemingly daunting commitment requirements which a “good” blog entails. I will be the first to say that I am not looking for a long list of fans and subscribers (let’s be honest, though, it’s nice to know you’re being heard), but with my perfectionist nature and a strong desire for an idealistic beginning to every endeavor I undertake, I knew that the first post had to be just right.

There are two creative works of writing on which I have been working for some time. They came to me, as many of my writings do, late in the night on separate evenings as I lay in bed trying to collect my thoughts, feelings, and emotions on particular subjects. These moments arise often when all I want to do is sleep, but when there is a pressing need to express myself in writing. So I fumble out of bed, turn on my desk lamp, grab a piece of paper or open my word processor, and begin to write.

I have to act on writing inspiration when it comes,
or I may lose it until illumination comes again.
Commonly in these situations, my body cannot keep up with the mental eruptions that come in the wee hours of the morning, and I save what thoughts I’ve blurted onto a paper page or into my word processor, and let my exhausted body and brain finally rest, satisfied that I’ve at least temporarily fulfilled my psychological need for expression in written form. The only problem is that I can rarely return to the state of enlightenment that overtook me as I birthed some of my most brilliant creative works. This is exactly how it played out when I wrote the beginnings of the two pieces of which I have spoken.

I thought that either of them would be ideal first editions with which to shatter the silence of my written voice; but as I continue to work on both of these pieces, attempting to reconnect with the bursting of ideas from whence the writings originated, I still have not quite tapped into the feeling and emotion that first accompanied them, and it is crucial that I make this my goal if I am to finish the works in the way my mind intended them.

But something that I know, which experience has proven to me time after time, is that inspiration will strike again, and certainly when I least expect it. And away to my desk I’ll fly to commune with my computer keyboard or scratch away with paper and pen to record the words that flow from within me until my body and mind feel utterly spent of their creative juices, and the mental fatigue of my gushing emotions overtakes my person unto a deep rest.

But until that time, at which point I will certainly post the pieces spoken of, I have decided to go back to basics—a form of writing which has sustained me through many trials and hardships, and has been my resounding affirmation of emotion and feeling since I was a child: Poetry.

Since my childhood, poetry has been an 
easy and comfortable form of expression.
I can think of no better poem from my repertoire to share than the one which follows—a collection of rhymes I wrote in 2007 in an attempt to give voice to the silent torment within me as I lived with unresolved and forbidden feelings of attraction, passion, and romance for other men. As I then fought with the carnal, yet somehow natural-feeling emotions of same-gender attraction which were largely secret—save a few trusted friends and ecclesiastical leaders in whom I had confided—I yearned for an outlet for my feelings that did not involve giving myself to a man in a thoughtless act of lust, which up until the time shortly before I wrote this poem was the only expression I had learned to use to cope with my feelings.

At the time I penned this poem I was a new man in a new town, yet still not far from home, but forming for myself new beginnings. My activity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as Mormonism, had only recently been rekindled, after a disarrayed immersion in the only alternative life I could think would be worthwhile other than a gospel one. I acted out on my attraction to men and became enveloped in all the guilt, shame, and danger of promiscuous sexual acts with random men. I had joined the LDS faith by way of baptism only a short year before the lust and sex began. At its peak, these habits and practices left me feeling completely distanced from God, and from His love, and seemingly far from the reaching power of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Reactivating myself in the LDS Church 
brought light back into my darkened life.
To summarize events that I will likely post about at future times, I came to weigh my life as a secretive, sexually active gay young man, against the life I previously had as a worthy, faithful young man who bore the Priesthood of God. It became clear to me that any happiness that I had ever had in life became the most prevalent when I joined the fold of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.

So I did what it took to make myself worthy and active once again before God and my ecclesiastical leaders, which included confession, the loss of my opportunity to serve as a missionary of Jesus Christ, a long repentance process, and more faith and reliance upon grace than I had hitherto lain upon God’s altar. It was in this time of fresh awakenings and back-to-basics behavior changes in 2007 that I found myself at a higher point than I ever reached in the previous couple of years, but still not fully in touch with my resolve and newfound faith as a gay Latter-day Saint.

My resolve to make faith and religion an active
part of my life continues to burn steadily.
This poem, entitled “Internal Controversy” was my personal way of giving voice to feelings that I had, at that time, not yet come to terms with. I hoped that those with whom I shared the poem would guess my plight and open the door to offer their love, support, and understanding; but I was not yet courageous enough to tell many people in a straightforward manner that I was struggling with same-gender attraction.

It also represents my perceived inadequacy as a child of God, desiring simply to be worthy of His divine love and blessings, as well as my unresolved state of feeling torn between the religion that I chose of my own free will and the attractions that seemed positively innate. This poem was my voice—and it shattered my own silence that I had kept locked away within myself for so long. Even today it reminds me of where I was, and how far I’ve come in becoming a disciple of the Savior of the world.

Many have told me that this poem has universal emotional qualities. I hope that it touches you in some way that is applicable to your personal challenges.




Internal Controversy

~

Why a memory so loathsome?
Why an inclination towards sorrow?
Why sleep away all my troubles,
To have them return on the morrow?

Why such a pang of sickness?
Why such a slave to my thoughts?
Why turn to living in darkness
After winning the battles I’ve fought?


Wrestle with all of these feelings,
Seek after that which I hate—
Watch my faith crumble to pieces;
Learn to succumb to my fate.


Try to control my emotions,
Try to resist my own mind.
Why is my innocence tarnished?
How can they all be so blind?


How can my weaknesses crush me,
But yet I don’t feel any pain?
The pressures of normalcy take me,
And ever increase His disdain.


Tightly, I hold to my virtue,
But I feel like letting it go.
The void that has always been in me
Is quickly beginning to grow.


Pounding inside is my heartbeat,
Restlessly giving me life;
Yearning to stop so abruptly,
Putting an end to all strife.

Detesting the face in the mirror,
Loving the greater design;
Subjecting myself unto sufferance,
While outside my mask is benign.


Feeling my knowledge is adequate,
Wanting so much to believe—
All the while, my mind is doubting,
Telling me that I’m na├»ve.


Patiently awaiting salvation—
But temptation is blocking the way.
Thus, I can reach my conclusion:
These feelings are here to stay.


~

- Wade A. Walker -
August 2007


Many Mormons who identify as gay or same-gender attracted
often feel like their spiritual side and their carnal side cannot be
reconciled.
 ~

** NOTE:  I share my writing on this site trusting that visitors are scrupulous enough not to plagiarize.  If you'd like to share this poem or other content with others, please share the URL to the entire blog post.  Please DO NOT copy and paste any text for personal use without written permission.  As the original writer of the content herein, I’d like the credit for these pieces to remain mine. **

3 comments:

  1. You write so eloquently Wade. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of reading your blog. I look forward to reading more! XOXO

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  2. This poem really is beautiful, Wade! Thank you for sharing! And I really do think it applies to other struggles we have these days. Keep up the great work!

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  3. Wade, you write with such passion and truth. The poem is everyone's poem who has ever struggled with decisions, temptations, the natural man vs the spiritual. Thank you for sharing. V

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