We have survived the Mayan Apocalypse. Although we persevered through eminent doom, there are still ways we can and should improve ourselves. It is safe to say that not all of us are right in the head to some degree. Because of this, the way we see and experience life is affected. If we do not deal with it, there will be consequences. Many of us are dealing with it the wrong way.
In “Dream Song 14”, John Berryman writes, “Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so. / After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns, / we ourselves flash and yearn.” Berryman, one of the prominent American poets of the 20th Century, had his demons – alcoholism, manic depression, etc. – but the one thing he never lost touch with is the inherent potential of man. We flash and yearn, but are still bored. Even in the midst of tragedy, melancholy, and ennui – we still trudge along, like loyal soldiers on a death march. Berryman’s poems are an inspiration for they show an unbeatable optimism (laced with self-deprecation mind you) even in the face of insurmountable odds. Although he eventually succumbed to his demons, he left behind a wealth of enlightening material.
It seems that we as a people, especially in America, have forgotten all about Berryman’s message. Should we point the finger at the modern world? Perhaps. No matter the blame, it is clear that we have developed a tendency to ignore our flashing and yearning and only focus on our mental, physical, and emotional inconsistencies. Burdened by these inconsistencies, we retreat into the arms of prescription drugs. They are not the answer. They are the problem. They snuff out our flashes and yearns.
In this country, prescription drugs are an epidemic. The Ozarks, for example, is an area with a prescription drug problem. In the article “Prescription drug overdoses on the rise in the Ozarks”, Sheena Elzie of KSPR News writes, “Those between the ages of 35 and 50 have become the age group showing the most overdose victims. […] In Greene County the rate of poisoning and prescription overdoses was one of the leading causes of those injuries. The county has an average rate of nearly 500 cases.”
Those are staggering numbers, especially for an area with the population size of Greene County. Not only is this prescription drug problem resulting in deaths, it is also affecting the community as a whole. Workplace safety is a growing concern as well as home life. The community is currently working with a non-profit organization to help dispose of unused medication. For more information, you can read the article here.
The situation in the Ozarks is just a sample of a bigger problem. People are unable to cope with their inconsistencies. Every day an overpowering feeling of malaise hovers over their hearts and minds. Instead of recognizing their inherent potential – the flashes and yearns – they sign up for a prescription drug passport and then halfheartedly travel. This is not the way to deal with one’s problems. There are more effective solutions out there – light and sound therapy, for instance. Look no further than the Bio-Institute of Light and Sound.
*Image courtesy of Vera Kratochvil