How can you fly free as a man in the absence of love?
School is gone and I’m set free, a wide wide world is there for me. Taught the lessons, given the tools, my future now here to claim and I am no fool. So many things I can be, adventurer, lover or a man with purpose, and there so much to see. Now is the time, this minute, where I define who I am, the brakes are off, wings outstretched as I seek my limit. Yet you call me reckless, ignorant and just another young man trying to get his kicks, but I am not feckless, not yet. Why do you build this cage, why clip my wings and wonder why I rage. I still need love because I’m just a man, just a little is all I need, an updraft as I seek the skies, fly high enough to see the plan. Is it so hard to love a young man like me, to tell me my enthusiasm and unwillingness to believe anything is impossible is refreshing, vibrant and vivacious. Why do you insist I be what you want me to be and fail to see what I can see?
A runner am I, no longer free to fly. Set on a path narrowed by what I am told I can be. Still some choice, still some hope, enough space for dreams even though I no longer soar. I want to change the world, make my mark and see the difference with so many wise people there to guide. Yet I wonder about these wise folk. Why does the path they point look like a rut, why do the edges of this path look like walls. I want to go faster, really break free but I am told I must wait, do my time. They call me ambitious, impatient and say I rock the boat. Yet I still need love because I’m just a man. I know I work to make another’s dream real, to fill his pockets but why do they stop me from running. I don’t need much, just a little, enough to know at least some of what I do makes someone’s dreams come true, even though it’s not mine.
I walk the treadmill now, security, tenure and saving for a future mantra’s running through my head. A father I have become, but not a very good one. At least that is what the media says. I don’t know why one cheese is wrong to buy or one brand of nappy is bad. I can organize 20 people to build a software system but I don’t know why the way I organize a kids party is wrong. I’m up at six, home at six and kids to bathe, homework and put them to bed. I’m told I should be doing more but I don’t have the time. I’m told I should be earning more but I can no longer afford the risk. I no longer know what day this is, no longer care, what does it matter when all days are the same. I still need love because I’m just a man, or maybe I don’t, am I still a man, I can only see my feet as I walk, how do I tell? What’s the point of love if I’m not there to receive it?
Yet A strange thing happened one day, one morning I woke to find I had been set free. Cast out from those I love and those who said they loved me yet no longer do. Excluded, unwanted and cast aside. My status as a wallet formalized but time is now mine to fill. I grieved a long time for the things I lost, then I grieved even longer for the man I lost, the man that was supposed to be me. Yet in casting me aside they forgot to clip my wings, the cage now lies open and neglected. I still need love because I’m just a man, except no one ever taught me to love myself, that my needs matter, that my dreams are just as worthy of chasing as another’s.
There is a wide wide world there for me, life has taught me some lessons and I’ve been beaten enough by its tools, but the future is now mine to claim. A fool was I but there are so many other things I can be, adventurer, lover or a man with a purpose, or all three. Now is all there is and I will define this man who is me, I know no limits because I have not reached them yet. You can call me reckless, feckless and more, it matters not. I won’t let you clip my wings, no more, and your cages are far too small for one like me. I still need love because I’m just a man and now I have all the love I need. I’m not the man you want me to be and you can’t see the things I can see. It might be hard to love a man like me, a man set free with a future unwritten, but that’s OK, I’m still creating it and yet have many winds to fly.
I sometimes get asked where I get my ideas from. To put it simply they mostly come from little things that I feel. It could be a news story, a Facebook meme, a friend who needs help or advice or simply something I am going through at the time. Something turns up and it tugs a feeling. I mentally note it and explore the reason why I felt something. I get things wrong sometimes, but I think I get things right more often than not, they’re feelings after all and trying to make sense of them isn’t always easy. This idea came from the song by Sam Smith – Stay With Me. I’ve been discovering my own self-worth lately and that particular line “I still need love ‘cause I’m just a man” hit me like a brick. I have included the Choreograph I was watching at the time I heard it, I particularly like it.
*A minstrel was a medieval European bard who performed songs whose lyrics told stories of distant places or of existing or imaginary historical events. Although minstrels created their own tales, often they would memorize and embellish the works of others. The Modern Minstrel observes the world around him and shares it with us as lyrical story. This series was inspired by Luke Davis, whose eye for story and ear for lyrical prose are featured here.
Also by Luke Davis
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