Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Auguries of Innocence

"To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower
hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in one hour."
-William Blake
Of course, if you go on to read the rest of this poem, you'll experience a cascade of emotions and be left with an ache in your heart. That's not where I want you to be, so don't do it! Just enjoy the wonder of these first 4 lines. Save the agony of the rest of Blake's philosophy for another day.
The above phrase, which I find incredibly beautiful, came to mind today. I've been thinking of two very different things today: the horrors being experienced by the Haitians in the wake of the earthquake they experienced last night, and the fulfillment I'm experiencing, having made contact with a few significant friends from my past. The unifying theme however, is the compression and expansion of time. For Haiti, the long, everyday, day-to day existence has abruptly stopped. This is the moment that the survivors will remember forever. Some will remember it with gratitude; some will remember it with emotional agony; but it will be a crystalline moment frozen in time, a clear vignette of where their hearts were on that fateful day. They'll remember. Those that survive will always remember. Time stopped for them. Time stopped for everyone there.
On the other hand, time has gotten away from me. I've lived my days, months, years and decades as foggily as they revealed themselves, leaving behind some peak experiences and memories as we all do. Closed some books. Those books remained on my mental shelves like dusty memories; easily ignored, sometimes not entirely forgotten, no longer relevant. But I've opened a few today. And I feel like I'm picking up a favorite read, a favorite line in a poem (like Blake's) that may not have panned out exactly as I intended, but had just a moment or two of exquisite beauty for me. I'll hold on to the memory of that beauty. The rest of the poem be damned.
I have found friends I haven't seen or heard from for 35 years. Through the Internet, through technology, through social networking, blogging, whatever means available, I've managed to reconnect with a few friends from my childhood and just beyond; how lucky are we to live in this time?? It makes me remember, in less abstract terms, who I am. It gives a more linear presence to my memory. I have gaps...long periods of time full of emotional trauma that no longer live in my mind; these remembered moments were the best of those difficult times, and I'm so grateful to have reclaimed them. Thank you, friends, for finding me. This has been a year of "coming home".

1 comment:

  1. Everytime I see a tree, I see people. They are all as idividual as humans are. They lean towards one another and have conversations or stand with crossed arms. If overly trimmed they look like they have amputated limbs. Stop trimming them. They are perfect just the way they are!