I'm sorry I've been neglecting you, readers. It's not that I haven't been writing---it's just I haven't been posting them. Call it writer's anxiety. Call it laziness. Call it seasonal depression. Call it whatever...but I will try to be better about getting things from paper to the cyberworld. I do a lot of writing during my graduate class. My professor is one of those guys that painstakingly reads his own power point presentations, thus I retreat into my writing and far far away from his voice.
Upon visiting some of you in cyberland, I see that the same for you holds true: everything has changed and nothing has changed. Your words inspire me and help me feel connected to the world at large. Please keep posting, commenting, arguing, and playing with words. I shall do the same.
It's almost an anniversary of a friend's death one year ago in a car crash. This has prompted a flood of memories and disbelief at the passage of time. I've been trying to write about her, but my words aren't coming together cooperatively. They are defiant and inept and I'm forced to find someone else's words to express how I feel. So until I can finish something original, I'll share some of my favorite poems that explain the feeling that I can't seem to explain right now. (For what else is there for the living to do, but go on???)
The first poem is one I shared last night with my friends at a little memorial gathering we had for her. I love the Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska's poetry; i totally get her. And right now i'm feeling the uneasiness of seemingly random events in life and death. About nine years ago I was witness to a fatal crash, one in which the driver of the semi truck admitted that he had a split-second decision between hitting me head on and a construction worker in a crane. He chose the other person and they died. It was midnight and we were the only ones on the road. I had chosen to take a different route home from work that night. This is for all of those who have asked, "what if I were two minutes late?" or "what if I was two minutes early?" and the powerlessness that comes with that hamster wheel thought process. It's for those of us who wished we could trade places. Who still marvel that it wasn't us.
Wislawa Symborska (b.1923)
It could of happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Closer. Farther away.
It happened, but not to you.
You survived because you were first.
You survived because you were last.
Because alone. Because the others.
Because on the left. Because on the right.
Because it was raining. Because it was sunny.
Because a shadow fell.
Luckily there was a forest.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A frame, a turn, an inch, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the water.
Thanks to, thus, in spite of, and yet.
What would have happened if a hand, a leg,
a step, a hair away?
So you are here? Straight from that moment still suspended?
The net's mesh was tight, but you? through the mesh?
I can't stop wondering at it, cant' be silent enough.
How quickly your heart is beating in me.
The next one is by my girl Emily Dickenson. She's always one to insert a bit of whimsy into these serious subjects. And we all know she didn't title her work because she didn't intend it to be published. But I'm glad it was.
Death is a Dialogue between
The Spirit and the Dust.
"Dissolve" says Death--The Spirit "Sir
I have another Trust" --
Death doubts it -- Argues from the Ground--
The Spirit turns away
Just laying off for evidence
An Overcoat of Clay.