“Ark of our passion, inflaming
A hummock of dark, as with torches,
When your blind blood was quickened
An epoch of ocean still slept in its gardens…”—Pablo Neruda, from “Leviathan,” trans. Ben Belitt (via proustitute)
“Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.”—John Donne, from “Holy Sonnet XIV” (via luxehours)
“The city is peopled
with spirits, not ghosts, O my love:
Though they crowded between
and usurped the kiss of my mouth
their breath was your gift,
their beauty, your life.”—H. D., from “Cities” (via the-final-sentence)
“Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.”—Ella W. Wilcox, “Solitude”
First, or should I say final?, blow of marks have come out. In opposite-land somewhere, a cherry is being placed carefully atop a great heap of ice cream. This past half a year has been a miserable experience. With little redeeming gems here and there. I had banked on the possibility of a final saving grace. But of course, that material belongs mainly to myths and Hollywood. In real life, real life with pantyhose and 9 to 5 workdays and gas price escalations, limits are quickly coming down like a metal netting over the exuberance of youth. Every five year old dreams of being the President or an astronaut, somewhere along the spectrum of the golden years, subtle and invisible things chip away at those dreams: maybe just Senator, local congressman, school principal, salesman. Slowly, we grow up. Or perhaps we grow down.
People say there’s nowhere to go but up, but they never tell you how to go up. As a corollary, they fail to mention that there is a way to go down. A very plausible way. And that way is to stay the same. Not stay in the darkest pit for now, but for tomorrow, and the day after that. What is worse than bad? Bad without hope. How to climb out? How to stop the stagnant trajectories sputtering out in every aspect and direction? New Years are meant for new beginnings. But wait, that is another child of myths and Hollywood. It is an artificial and unfruitful cut, like taking a sword to a stream of water. There are no clean slates anymore. And the more the golden years slip by, the more the slate hardens and becomes harder to mold, yet easier to break.
Excuse this post for its rambling and uncohesiveness. I don’t know how to make sense of something I have never known. These are failures both new in kind and more in number than I have encountered. And now I’m no longer fearful of the failures themselves, but of their persistence. Somehow, New Years does not seem enough a cap to stop the flood of the last few months. December 31st is still very much alive, stretching past its human-imposed bounds.
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”—Neil Gaiman (via fuckyeahhappy)