Love, these lines
accompany our want, nameless
or otherwise, and our waiting.
And since we’ve not learned
how not to want,
we’ve had to learn,
by waiting, how to wait.
Love, these lines
In 1870, Emily Dickinson was said to describe poetry this way:
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only way I know it. Is there any other way?”
And, then you read a book, that does exactly that.
My husband, Rich, lost his memory after he was hit by a car and suffered traumatic brain injury. In a moment of perfect clarity he once described his loss like this. “Pretend you are walking up the street with your friend. You are looking in windows. But right behind you is a man with a huge paint roller filled with white paint and he is painting over everywhere you’ve been, erasing everything. He erases your friend. You don’t even remember his name.” It’s terrifying. Because we are we without five minutes ago? What are we without our stories? Where is the continuum of consciousness? Is it all one big lily pad of a moment?
~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir
Image: Street Art via mennyfox55
I think about time differently since I got to be this old.
I think of each moment as a big La-Z-Boy,
or perhaps a hammock,
and the only direction is a little back and forth,
or side to side.
For this I need peace and quiet,
and I eschew all outside stimulation.
Perhaps this is why the future escapes me.
~ Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir
Michael Goldman wrote in a poem,
“When the Muse comes
She doesn’t tell you to write; /
She says get up for a minute,
I’ve something to show you,
What made me look up at that roadside tree?
~ Annie Dillard, The Present, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Lord of having
Hell at hand
Lord of losing
what I have
this heaven now
may I move
like a cloud
my torn form
the wind’s one sign
may my suffering be
as of water
in some reach
it would take
and may my hands
the very nub
of my tongue
out of this hour
if I should utter
the dirty word
~ Christian Wiman, Lord of Having. Every Riven Thing: Poems.
~ Robert Creeley, Pieces in The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley, 1945-1975, Volume 1