A Journey Towards Hope

A Journey Towards Hope

by Lee C. Timmer

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Overview

Author Lee Timmer wants you to come on a journey with him-a poetic and narrative jaunt through pain, fear, inner turmoil, loneliness, and hopelessness toward the light of a new dawn and a new future. He wants you to come with him on A Journey toward Hope.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452535579
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 07/25/2011
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

A JOURNEY TOWARDS HOPE


By LEE C. TIMMER

BALBOA PRESS

Copyright © 2011 Lee C. Timmer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4525-3557-9


Chapter One

THE DESCENT

* * *

The events that can trigger an individuals descent into depression and hopelessness are unique to each of us. Where we can all find common ground is not in the specifics of the events, but in the generalities that are universally present in the human race, be it the death of a loved one, the break-up of a couple, childhood traumas, addiction to drugs or alcohol, terminal illness in oneself or others, a dream that can seemingly never be realized or a deep spiritual confusion, to name some of the triggers that come immediately to mind.

My own personal loss of hope began in my eighteenth year, though I did not see it at the time. It is an unfortunate truth that most of us cannot discern where our descent begins until we are able to detach ourselves from ourselves and look into our haunted pasts without a fog of denial and self-pity clouding our vision. To recognize that we ourselves are the cause of our own misery is too much for us to admit while in the throws of depression or addiction. We rather take on the role of "the victim" and everything negative that happens to us and those around us only serves to reinforce our misplaced view that the world or God himself is out to cause us as much pain as we can humanly endure before looking to self-annihilation as the only way to stop our suffering

Those of us who have considered ending our own lives or have attempted it and failed, may have foolishly and selfishly believed that the world and our loved ones would be better off without us. That others love us and are trying to pull us out of our self-created pit never occurs to us. Our fleeting moments of happiness only bring us more pain and our world becomes a living hell, a nightmarish landscape populated by demons and phantoms sent to torment us. Our despair and self-loathing becomes a vicious cycle and in a weird reversal of perception, we eventually begin to take a masochistic pleasure from our self-inflicted pain. It is only by an extreme act of will, the fortitude of others in their desire to help us, the healing flame of love, a joyful spiritual awakening, finding a religion that gives us peace of mind or the inexorable passage of time that causes us to wake from our zombie-like stupor and ghostlike non-existence and non-participation to the very real and very beautiful joys of life.

In my eighteenth year I did as many young men do and enlisted in the military. My extremely poor eyesight made me ineligible to become a soldier, an event I look upon favorably now but also with the realization that being told I was unfit to serve my country was the beginning of my disillusions concerning what I was told life after high-school was supposed to be like, the workings of the "system" and the American Dream in general. At the time I merely shrugged off this metaphorical slap in the face and went on to the reasonable back-up plan, which was leaving the confinement, comfort and security of home for the excitement and freedom of college. It was exactly that exhilarating experience of novelty and new found freedom from parental and high-school control systems that served to quicken my descent.

The next four years are when I began to express my hidden anguish and confusion in poetry. The exact details of those years are nowhere near as important as the inner roller-coaster of emotions and outer false front of forced smiles and bitter laughter. I will let the poetry speak for itself.

Labyrinth

Locked doors and cold walls,
Is what I see around me.
Someone let me in.
Dead end streets and cold heat,
A maze of ghostly haze.
I cannot get out.


Light of the Moon

By the light of the moon,
I wander in the outer lands.
The sun is too hot, too bright,
For me, a creature of the night.
Closing my diseased eyes,
I open my minds eye.
Walking backwards on the middle path,
To find the path in the night,
Am I wrong or in the right?
I am not a hypocrite,
I just change my mind,
Too fast for you
To help my mental health.
By the light of the moon,
I carelessly meditate.
It is then,
The worlds energy flow is low,
And so is mine.


Insomnia

A strange vision fades as I rise,
And see the blackness of the night.
Shadows dance upon the walls,
Haunting shapes of evil might.
A hood of darkness over my world,
The sun has gone beyond the moon.
Devils and demons are now at play,
And hounds of hell will howl soon.
The time of fear is nearly here,
I walk, I talk, but all for naught.
Things unseen I try to see,
As a smell of sweat stains the air.
Laughing, the ghost of memory appears,
And the odor of fear is everywhere.
The dream slows, my mind now alive,
Smoke a joint, drink a beer,
Some TV might be the thing,
Or a hot fire to melt my fear.
Tick tock, tick tock,
The clock loves to mock.
I think it better to mock the clock,
Tock tick, tock tick.
I grasp onto a flaming torch,
A book of truth to show the way.
The poems fill my eyes and ears,
With light as bright as day.
Page after page a war is fought,
The Shadow attacking verse of power,
Distraction now its only ally,
As the bard sings with dawns hour.
With words here and truth there,
The masters guide me from my chair.
The clash for the sky nears its end,
Another night in waking dreams,
Walking with those alive and dead,
Where everything is not as it seems.
Something is gained,
And something is lost,
The real is here and now I'm off,
Thinking again about what I lost.


Period

Remember when we met,
!!!
How innocent it was,
XOXOXOXO
What we learned,
!!?!!?!!?
Where it led,
XXX
Our love,
U&I
Our fall,
??!??!??!
Then you were gone,
^^ ^^ ^^
What happened,
?@##$%%!!$&**%$?
Now one thing remains,
???
I hope the pain ends soon
...


Ugly Inspiration

A little bit of this,
And a bottle full of that,
Until I am not quite sure,
Just when and where I'm at.
Seeing double, Seeing triple,
How low can I sink?
Again I've had too much to drink.
Call me a drunk,
I've heard it before,
It doesn't seem to bother,
This beautiful whore.
Blacking out, whiting in,
It all aids my pen.


That's Why

Walking down the street today,
There's people running everywhere,
A few smile or nod their heads,
Most glance and turn their eyes away.
What is it they see,
That turns their eyes from me?
That's why,
I pour my rage on the page,
Cause with my anger comes a danger,
Of losing all control.
Honesty and the Golden Rule,
Are being twisted to evil tools,
Insecurity and ignorance,
Used by power and money hungry fools.
Just remember when you die,
All you save is left behind.
That's why,
I lock the gate on my hate,
And watch it burn itself out,
Cause with my anger comes a danger,
Of losing all control.
That's why,
For me to write
Is to get through the night.
Even with my sorrow,
I can still change tomorrow,
By living today.

If there is any rule about writers or poets critiquing their own work, well, I am about to break it. From my perspective, there is none better suited to the analysis of a written piece of work than the author. Of course, if all writers and poets did this, then the critics would all be looking for work elsewhere. To be fair, outside evaluation of any writing is needed as we all take something different away from the stories and poetry we read. Not to mention that the mystery surrounding writers and their work must be maintained at all costs.

That being said, my intent is to shed as much light as possible onto what my poetry meant for me at the time. By doing so I will hopefully allow the reader to see themselves in my words and to see that our problems, and joys, are only as large as we make them or only get as big as we allow them to.

Taking our attention back to the dark and dreary poetry of previous pages, it helps to understand that first and foremost, poetry is meant to be felt. No amount of left brain logical thought will ever connect anyone to a particular poem. A common experience or emotion, something we as the reader can relate to individually, is what brings poetry to life and gives it soul.

When I look back at those old haunted writings, I see a lost soul, someone lashing out at the world with written words. I also see fear, uncertainty and confusion. So how did I get to that point?

What made me feel like I was trapped in such a hopeless maze that seemed to be without an exit? The answer, as the truth usually is, is simple. I felt abandoned. The poem Labyrinth reflects my feelings of loneliness.

I was pretty upset with God back then and I released that anger in my 19th year by crying out for help in the most pathetic and selfish way possible. I cut my wrists. It was an infantile act, my inner child and inner tyrant crying out for attention. I wanted someone else to make it all better, never realizing until years later that ultimately the responsibility to heal my wounds was my own. The irony of the situation was that the two people that could help me the most were the ones I hated the most, namely God and myself.

After my childish tantrum with a razor, I took refuge in books, drugs and alcohol along with sporadic episodes of writing. I also spent a lot of time working on my hand - eye coordination by mashing buttons on video game controllers. All in all a very unhealthy lifestyle.

Sunlight became my enemy and I lived a kind of vampire — like existence, not really feeling energized until night. After sundown I began feeding my inner void with an assortment of drugs, alcohol and non — stop partying. Just an oversized kid playing with updated toys in a hopeless struggle to divert my attention away from my repressed problems. The poems Light of the Moon and Insomnia portray my alienation from the activities of the day.

To further complicate matters I was reading a lot of books about religion, spirituality and mysticism. I went through a quickly passing phase where the New/Old Age Wiccan religion became my thing. Then it was on to Zen Buddhism. My own particular flavor of Zen is more accurately described as "beat Zen", which doesn't even come close to what actual Buddhism is meant to be about. Shirking ones responsibilities with forced smiles and laughter while being tormented inside is not what I feel the Buddha and Bodhidharma had in mind.

There were a few times I actually managed to quiet my mind and enter what can rightly be meditation. Unfortunately these instances came about by sheer force of will rather than any feeling of inner calm. I had several spiritual experiences in my 20th year which I foolishly decided to tell a few people about. Paranoia overwhelmed me and I began to believe the world was out to get me (perhaps in a way the world is out to get all of us, not with malicious intent but with hard lessons).

I began to believe my life was hopeless and I began searching for the exit. Drugs, alcohol, paranoia, repressed anger and fear all came together in a negative zero-point. In my 21st year, I overdosed on prescription pills, took every pill in every bottle I could find in the house. I awoke four days later in a hospital feeling miserable and ashamed. I couldn't even kill myself successfully.

The next eight years were a see — saw roller coaster between zombie — like inactivity, drug and alcohol abuse and brief moments of lucidity in which I began to seek myself and ask questions about life, death and the world in general. Inner confusion and plenty of built up rage against myself and the world was my daily and nightly state of being, shown in the pieces Period, Ugly Inspiration and That's Why.

Chapter Two

THE BATTLE

* * *

For nearly eight years after my failed overdose I fought a long battle with myself. When I began to awaken from my self — induced coma of hatred and apathy toward everything, myself included, I saw the phrase "We are our own worst enemy." is a cliché and a truth for a reason. I was the enemy I was fighting with. The world and the people in it had nothing to do with my problems and if I would have just paid a bit more attention, I would have seen that both were trying with determination to make me realize that life was not as bad as I believed.

What is it about many of us that makes us search for something or someone to make it all better for us? We can search for doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, friends or lovers for many years, only to realize these people cannot help us unless we put in the effort to help ourselves. I do not believe we can connect with anyone until we first connect with who we really are inside. Until we manage to be truthful to ourselves and respect who we are, we will always be fighting tooth and nail against those we seek out for help.

My own inner struggle came out in the form of the eternal battle between good and evil. At least that is how I saw it for many years. Magnificent angels and devas wielding glowing swords of truth and justice doing battle against monstrous devils and demons encased in fiery auras was my view of light versus dark. My attraction toward books of heroic fantasy, violent video games and years of battling wicked monsters inside my head while playing pen and paper role-playing games had much to do with this I feel. Perhaps the human vision of the dualistic war between good and evil, God and the Devil or ignorance and knowledge may never fade completely away, but as for the inner battle it may be better to be a diplomat and make peace with Shadow aspects of ourselves..

Battle

The angels horn sings and battle begins,
An ancient war of angels and demons,
Brought about by ones betrayal.
As weapons clash we wonder who will last,
The Creator and the Enemy fight on,
With mortal caught in the chaos.
Fight for truth and you will see the proof,
How many more tears of pain and fear,
Must be shed before our suffering ends?

Revealed if you've had the revelation,
Pick you side and enjoy your ride,
For battle has been joined,
Coming soon to a head,
Fight on my friend,
For you will soon be dead.
Hell is here,
And death is near.
Revelations revealed,
The Apocalypse now.
In this life or the next,
When do you think will be best?
Evil is impatient,
But good is inherent.


Find the Dragon

Inside of you and me,
Is a beast we rarely see.
With scales of shimmering steel,
A strength not seeking to kneel.
Eyes that pierce the darkness,
Tongue that will never confess.
Find your dragon,
It has begun.
Breath made up of flame,
Brain bordering the insane.
Claws seeking to rend,
The evil, to Hell it will send.
Find your dragon,
It has begun.


Destination

Destination; Heaven,
A place lost to history,
Where we all can be free.
A garden smelling of wisdom,
A sun like a scintillating prism.
Violence and war lost to memory,
A place where we can simply be.
Destination; Hell
A place to house the wicked,
A place where the good are sickened.
A garden reeking of disease,
A sun meant to freeze.
Violence, a common affair,
Guns and knives brought to bear.
Destination; Earth,
A battleground made and set adrift,
Where through our dreams we sift.
A garden of Eden, evil, and ecstasy,
Amidst the commotion a soul sits, me.
Living the good life, fighting the good fight,
Trying hard to make sure we strive,
Toward what is left of right.


Before Me

The darkness I see when my eyes are blind,
Is still there when they're open wide.
Looking through a thunder cloud,
Afraid to stand, refusing to bow, .
Bend my knees, take me down,
To the ground, help me see,
What is before me.
The stench of fear is in the air,
It s only me, alone and scared.
Looking through a shimmering gloom,
What I see are scenes of doom,
Bend my knees, force me down,
To the ground, help me see,
What is before me.
Look towards the blackened sky,
And ask yourself what gets you by.
Still I stare into the void,
As my love starts to get annoyed.
Bend my knees, take me down,
To the ground, help me see,
What is before me.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A JOURNEY TOWARDS HOPE by LEE C. TIMMER Copyright © 2011 by Lee C. Timmer. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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