I wonder if I’ll look back
And see that this time is so precious
And feel a loss
Because not only can I never again regain it
But also because I cannot find its comparison in future
Why do I worry over that which may or may not
I do enjoy the moment. But
At the same time I have one foot out the door
Aware that I may lose my mind
My understanding of life
My perceptions of reality
Because my reality will shift unexpectedly on me
And I will be crushed
A clerical start
A studious ending
Bookends to a life
In pursuit of answers
As questions burgeoned
Why does Claudia Rankine’s work
I cannot capture the bookends
Of these lives she paints
Citizen: an American Lyric
To exist in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I do not know
Will never claim to know
But that I am haunted
By the feeling that
Have been there
In some way in some time
Have we all?
I didn’t sense a claim to universality, in fact a specificity
Colored the work.
Nevertheless, I would humbly wonder
We all get the starts and the ends; be they
Studious, clerical, or none of the above.
It’s just the middle. Such diverse differences amongst us.
The right way to go easy
is to forget the right way
and forget that the going is easy.
“Life would be unbearable if we made ourselves conscious of it.”
I don’t think the question is how conscious you are of your reality.
I would ask: can you define your reality? If so, how well?
If a person can, in fact, “define” their reality lucidly, then I would wonder at their sanity.
I certainly can’t handle remembering too much in my life, much less being too aware of the present moment.
My husband, however, contends otherwise of me. He says I am overly analytical, thus wrecking my enjoyment of the moment, if not the whole event.
How can two such disparate opinions of perceived reality exist?
It can because reality is perceived, not defined.
And any attempts to define reality takes one down the slippery slope.
I have often thought that something is either “good” or “bad” and that thinking makes it so. (from Shakespeare’s Hamlet)
But O’Donohue believes that “being” is within us—and aspects that are made dual, like soul/sense, God/human, memory/possibility are separated in the mind. There are actually no barriers when you keep imagination alive.
Imagination transcending our broken, categorical thought: Now that’s exciting!
With those thoughts to ponder, I offer O’Donohue’s comment:
“It’s strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you.”
• all material derived from podcast with John O’Donohue.