The Infernal Machine
We walk across the paving stones thinking they mark the pace of progress
But really what they show is how alike we’ve all become
Repeated machinations, punching clocks, inching forward
Yesterday, tomorrow’s today; each one doomed to be redone
This does not have to be the way we treat what we’ve been gifted
Drifting along the path we’re on, twisting into a mess
Instant response the thing we want, good-bad we thrive on attention
Held hostage to the way of the world; are we under duress?
The wheels keep spinning no matter whether we stay off or get on
I humbly submit we need not remain within its grip
Grasping to find the ways to learn how others climb the ladder
Higher we go, looking down on it all; but what if we slip?
Our differences hold the key to living together while we’re apart
Embrace these pieces that when joined make us beautifully unique
Even as turbulent oceans rise, stem the selfish tide we must
Break the cycle, choosing kindness; we’ll stop the Infernal Machine
– Hamish Thornton, 11 August 2020
This poem has been growing within my heart and soul for over a year. Seeing all the people walking through town to and from work, with expressions of tiredness and pain, causes an ache deep within me. Many corporate and sales positions have a requirement to be at work between certain hours and get a certain amount of work done. At times more work than is feasibly possible.
I am most definitely one of these people at the moment. Each morning I walk to work at the same time, often seeing the same people in the same places on this walk, and feel the same weight of expectation. Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed to have a job at this time, and I am thankful I am in an organisation providing help to those who need it. The people I work with are courteous to work with and always roll up their own sleeves if anyone needs help. This gives me encouragement to do the same. But, being expected at work at a certain time, being expected to work the same hours every day, and having the nagging feeling I should only be looking forward to the weekend, is not how I want to spend the majority of my time for my “working” life.
I value hard work. I put in the hours at my job because I have been blessed with a job during these uncertain times. When away from work, even on my breaks, I put in the hours writing books and stories, practicing guitar and writing music, and building connections on this wonderful platform. But, there are more ways to earn a living than working for someone else. There are already plenty of people doing it and doing it very well. Working for ourselves, being in charge of producing work and processing the income, requires just as much hard work as any Monday to Friday job. I know I can’t just pull myself out of this continuously moving machine without already having infrastructure in place to earn money from writing and music. I may never be able to earn fully earn a living from these things, but I take steps towards it every day.
Do you have a desire to escape The Infernal Machine? What would you see yourself doing to earn a living? How can you put a plan in place to make this happen?
Thank you all for reading, for engaging, and for sharing your own experiences. This community is full of intelligent, thoughtful people, who make living through this strange year that is 2020 seem an achievable prospect.
Peace to you all, my friends.