I wanted to take a little break from the constraints of existence,
I wanted to offer you a window and solace, but everywhere,
everywhere as I write this is the evidence of the swirls and eddies
of many rivers that come together to mix the sick with the healthy,
the inexplicably wrong with the intrinsically right.
Nothing’s A Gift
Nothing’s a gift, it’s all on loan.
I’m drowning in debts up to my ears.
I’ll have to pay for myself
with my self,
give up my life for my life.
Here’s how it’s arranged:
The heart can be repossessed,
the liver, too,
and each single finger and toe.
Too late to tear up the terms,
my debts will be repaid,
and I’ll be fleeced,
or, more precisely, flayed.
I move about the planet
in a crush of other debtors.
Some are saddled with the burden
of paying off their wings.
Other must, willy-nilly,
account for every leaf.
Every tissue in us lies
on the debt side.
Not a tentacle or tendril
is for keeps.
The inventory, infinitely detailed,
implies we’ll be left
not just empty-handed
but handless, too.
I can’t remember
where, when, and why
I let someone open
this account in my name.
We call the protest against this
And it’s the only term
not included on the list.
—Wislawa Szymborska, from The End And The Beginning, 1993
Can you see anything beautiful from this vantage point,
the shape of a branch outside your window, light on the water, or a flower opening itself to the day?
A postcard pinned to your cubicle? The face of someone you love?
Perhaps as we look away, as we tend to our own immediate lives, we can let the shapes fall into the places that gravity dictates for them. As we attend to the what, where, when, why and how, how much, how soon, how late, how often, perhaps the implications of the details can be set momentarily aside, as we don’t have all the puzzle pieces to answer the questions. ~ But we must!~
But we know we don’t.
*poetry and images from the lovely Wait- what?
Things not as constant as we have long supposed?
Check out the way in which the speed of light can be slowed…