<![CDATA[MP - Blog]]>Thu, 16 May 2024 22:39:25 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[The Refreshment Rain Brings]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2023 13:27:08 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/the-refreshment-rain-brings
I woke up to the sound of rain tapping on my bedroom window. After months of blistering one hundred-degree weather, I was relieved to hear the rain falling and filling the cracked and scorched Texas soil. Growing up in Lorena, Texas, on my parents' 20 acres, I have many memories of looking down into seemingly endless darkness from foot-long cracks in the soil after long periods of drought. When the rain would finally come, those cracks would fill with water, and I would watch them transform from a wound cut open by drought to a lush patch of grass.

​The pattern of opening up and closing is one I find myself meditating on this morning. Like the cracked soil, I often feel ripped open and stranded in a desert without water. During these periods of drought, I always feel as if something is being birthed in me. Whether it's a new idea that connects seemingly disconnected points into a recognizable shape or a retrospective realization that incorporates an outlier event into my acceptance and understanding, the time between recognizing the cracks in the soil of my being and the moment when the rain fills the void and bridges the gap has always been agonizing for me. Waiting for something is difficult, not only because I live in a society where instant gratification, overconsumption, overproduction, and quantity over quality are the status quo, but also because, as a narcoleptic, time and energy are fleeting and always in a deficit. To wait for something to come to fruition takes a toll on me. I often do not have the time or energy to sit and explore the depths of my internal world to deduce my birth pains because my medication wears off, and I cannot make any productive progress in that state.

However, this morning, I was reminded that I cannot control the rain. I often want to control the process to figure out why I am in a drought and have a wound gaping in my consciousness. But, I know I have never controlled when the rain fell and filled the cracks in my life. In reality, I have come to realize through my reflection this morning that it is often when I let go and allow the wound to be what it is without trying to change it that the rain comes when I least expect it, like on a walk, in a conversation with a friend, or while playing with my cats.

May the rains in your life bring you healing and refreshment,

​Matthew Palmer
<![CDATA[‚ÄčOn the experience of Narcolepsy]]>Fri, 08 Sep 2023 13:32:07 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/on-the-experience-of-narcolepsy
I carry two bags
everywhere I go.

The weight of which
each moment I know.

Reality is like a shutter
for which I no longer hold the chord.

Like angels ascending and descending,
my eyelids flutter;
I drift off like Jacob
and wrestle with God
through the night.

Who can say
if God is here or there?

For me,
my mind is neither
here nor there,
and God must be in-between.
<![CDATA[Narcoleptic Work Under Capitalism]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2023 14:13:49 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/narcoleptic-work-under-capitalism

Working Under Capitalism

The past few weeks, I have been putting the finishing touches on three poetry books. While working on the three books, I became aware, once again, of the ways narcolepsy deeply affects my ability to work. Under capitalism, human value has been reduced to our capacity and ability to work and produce products and services to benefit businesses and non-profits. For neurodivergent people like myself, we often cannot work and produce at the same rates as neurotypicals, without dehumanizing ourselves further to fit into the normative mold of a model employee. The struggle to produce and meet unrealistic expectations causes a lot of stress and anxiety, especially since our ability to produce and meet expectations directly impacts whether we maintain our employment, receive a livable wage, and can access accommodations, both inside and outside of work, to support us in the workplace.

As a Narcoleptic, my medication lasts for a limited time with varying degrees of success. I depend on my medication to simply keep me awake so I can work my shift before the effects wear off. Since my medication only lasts around three and a half hours, I rely on two doses that ultimately leave me with time at work where I am not fully alert and able to produce at the same level with the full effects of my medication. But, that is another issue for another post.

While trying to work on the three poetry books, I was reminded that my best time and energy are given to work. The projects outside of work that I want to pursue end up frustrating me, resulting in extended periods of time to accomplish anything. I have been dealing with this my whole life, even before getting diagnosed and having medication to stimulate me. Recently; however, I gave myself a break and started approaching my projects with a different perspective, namely an anti-capitalistic perspective.

Anti-Capitalism and Acts of Resistance

I am deeply invested in the anti-capitalistic acts of lingering, creating for the sake of creating, and humanizing myself through a means of work that is not wrapped up in an impetus to continually produce for monetary gain. Since I am invested in creating for the sake of creating, I have been able to drop my perfectionist tendencies and begin to enjoy the process of writing, creating graphics, and doing things without feeling the pressure to use it all to make money or even adhere to deadlines.

​I don’t work on Mondays and have felt the need to fill my days off with all kinds of activities. Instead, I am leaning into and listening to my body to guide my days off and to provide a space outside of the consumeristic, productivity-driven capitalist society we inhabit. It is not easy, and I am not perfect at it. But, I have found that my projects have been bringing me enjoyment and fun, whereas before they brought me despair and anxiety. It is all a process, and one I wanted to share with you this morning.

I hope you find time today to play for the sake of play, write for the sake of writing, rest for the sake of resting, and enjoy the moment.
<![CDATA[Speaking Cat]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2023 05:00:00 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/speaking-cat
Picture of Morrow Palmer a tortoise shell cat sunbathing on floor with a shadow across her body.
Morrow Palmer
I speak feline.
It is second nature for me.
A game of subtlety filled with discreet
gestures, pauses, and reflexes.
A full body symphony.
Are they not speaking?
How could they not be?
My cats never stop their
squeaking, tail sweepings, and round-the-corner peaking.
Even a fortress of walls separating us
I hear their conversations
each time wood floors quake and tremble.
<![CDATA[The sound of agony]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2023 07:00:00 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/the-sound-of-agony
Picture Lake Waco at sunset.
Lake Waco
Heartbreaking is not even in the same universe as what I am feeling. 
I die every moment of every day. 
My body convulses
​and forms a cavity around itself. 

The howling of a thousand wounded animals
echoing out through the night
is a whisper
compared to the wounded animal
within me.

Written ​
August 27, 2022
<![CDATA[Angels of Life vs. Angels of Death]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2023 17:30:00 GMThttp://palmermatthew.com/blog/angels-of-life-vs-angels-of-death
Angel of Death: AC-130 gunship firing missiles over the ocean.
Angel of Death: AC-130 Gunship
The United States military's AC-130 gunship unloads a payload of missiles that fan out in the shape of angel wings. The Department of Defense says this about their "Angels of Death":
They’ve been called Angels of Death: AC-130 gunships. The heavily armed stuff of nightmares for adversaries and the close-air support guardian angels of allies. For decades these titans of the air have dominated battlefields and provided peace of mind for service members on the ground. Over the years these workhorses have found a special place in the annals of military heritage.
"The irony of the so-called United States of America using an angelic pattern for its weapon of destruction is not lost on those with professional training in Jewish and Christian scriptures. Whereas the scriptural angels are messengers who bring good news for marginalized, oppressed, colonized, and enslaved persons under various foreign, imperial powers, the “United States” military coopts the scriptural imagery and inverts the meaning of an angelic arrival. The angels of the U.S. military announce impending destruction by a foreign power that seeks to eliminate “threats,” “enemies,” and “terrorists” abroad. The good news of "American freedom" has been heralded round the world by angelic messengers of death. Once angelic messengers proclaimed, “Do not fear.” Today, angels proclaim a message a fear and death to all others. For the so-called United States, innocence and guilt are overlooked; for the shadow of our angels wings cover all "others" indiscriminately.