Olympia Hotel Reflections

Reflections In The Olympia Hotel Jamaica 1981

Alone

I gaze through the windows across the plains
To where the mountains meet the sky.
I wonder just what direction my life is taking?
What is the purpose of my life?

Will I die like one of the many
Who came like a sound and faded like an echo
Leaving no trace of having being here?
Upon what shores, beyond how many sunsets

And under what azure skies
Shall I leave my mark upon the face of life?
Surely it could not be the will of life
That I should perish like a worm in the mud
Without first leaving a song
To soothe the heart of suffering humanity.

It is very mysterious, maybe even frightening
When a man is surrounded by forces
Which will supply the fruits of his needs —and still?
A greater force within him drives him on

Just how many oceans must a man sail
How many storms and tempests must he endure
Beyond how many horizons must he descend
Before he finds a shore where he can lower his sails
And fasten his anchor?

Must man always be the victim of his own dreams
His….needs, his desires and his longing?
Must he not strive to encompass them, circumvent them
To rise above them?
So that he can be free to pursue those dreams and satisfy those needs
Gratify those desires and fulfill that longing which will not bind him
To the interest of his own self?
Only then can he walk safely on the road
Leading to the higher destiny of man.

The night has descended upon the day
The night creatures begin their chorus
The unbearable heat of Kingston seeps
Into my body like a weakening poison

What? I ask myself, is this great force
So urgently if not desperately driving me
Away from a thing which my heart and soul
Has sanctioned?
Alas! I feel its power, perceive its aura
But cannot fathom its origin or its purpose
It drains me, weakens me and keep me in constant struggle

I am most unsure of myself
When I have to make decisions
Which involve the lives of other people
My own ideals are often beyond the reach and ken
Of those closest to me heart
Sometimes even beyond the reach and ken of my own mind!!

Love is an all-embracing force
In its universal reality it causes me no confusion
On a personal and intimate level
It often leaves me baffled and uncertain
I am conscious of strong feelings or emotions
Which often tempestuously emanate from my whole being
They fly to the source of their attraction
I reluctantly or obediently follow

What should be my reaction
When those feelings or emotions labeled “love”
Point in one direction and reason points in another?
Is “love” more powerful than reason?

Should reason be the standard by which “love” is judged?
Does not “love” fly to where it is willing
Without the aid of reason?

In my own mind I have declared reason to be wiser than “love”.
Should I disobey reason, would I be a fool or a traitor to reason?
Am I not also being dishonest to “love:
And all that it embraces?
If on the other hand I obey reason
Do I not uphold the nobility of “love”

Sometimes there is hurt and pain
Which is necessary in fostering and nurturing the mind
In its preparation for the birth of wisdom.
The fear of hurt and pain
Often cause the unwise to follow “love”
Unsanctioned by reason and the result is
Calamity!!

Kenneth George Dill
Kingston Jamaica 1982

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