Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trust the Hours

I guess the weekends are made for poetry. Lazy hours like to be filled with beautiful words.

Lazy hours are also filled nicely with books, but there's so much tempest, so much turmoil in everything I'm reading now. I'm in need of a balm.

I'm also having a little problem with patience. I have so many plans, big dreams, pie-in-the-sky plots. It's nice to have something to look forward to, something stretching out indefinitely ahead, but I can't be sure if the horizon I'm racing toward will continue with the gentle curve of the earth or if it just stops, the sharp drop-off at the end of the world.

Of course, there's a poem for that. The first time I read it, it didn't hit me. Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention. I saved it, put it aside for another time, drawn to its language though its meaning was veiled. Then, I read it when I was sad and the message unfolded. Since then, I've read other things under and around its original intent. (That's part of the appeal, the ability of a poem to hold many different truths together.) It whispers to me: be patient, trust, take a breath. So I try.

by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

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