About time, I’m thinking Virginia Woolf, along with Albert Einstein and Louis Armstrong, invented it. Everything is concurrent, contingent, and improvised. Tuesday or Monday. Tuesday & Monday. So, just this impressionistic posting for today, tomorrow.
And it’s comforting, just how unstable time is, how the past percolates, never fully goes away, a ghost echo, a presence that remains–and subverts and confounds and, for a moment, reassures. So that we do talk to the dead, continually, and always aware that we are nothing without them, that we are nothing to them.
For she was a child, throwing bread to the ducks, between her parents, and at the same time a grown woman coming to her parents who stood by the lake, holding her life in her arms which, as she neared them, grew larger and larger in her arms, until it became a whole life, a complete life, which she put down by them and said, “This is what I have made of it! This!”
–Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
This! Both a miracle and a disappointment, a delight, always.
Woolf’s lines were with me when I wrote a poem for Brittney and Phil, two artists I love greatly, for their wedding just over a year ago. I was also thinking of just how difficult it is for us to sing, that we are too self-absorbed, too closed off, too troubled, and too wounded. Of course, the suffering would be intolerable if we could not sing.
What is a marriage if not a voice
to take whatever it might of the air,
or of the wind, or something very old,
of the glacier that recedes, yielding
what it had borne and uprooted:
blue petals, a splinter of bone, a stand
of alders? Marriage is a procession.
Although, we may forget and wound,
our ingratitude corrode, our
grievances narrow and compact. How
difficult it is to sing, to wrap all
the words, our pillows, our grandparents,
those birds, this very long morning,
to wrap them all about and carry
the detritus with us as the oldest
oceans do. Every marvelous procession
is a rough and brave flight. It is a play. A painting.
A song. Your voices that were yours
the moment you first spoke as a child,
a wonder and worry over that cornflower
or that smooth pebble, which will be yours
until there is that good silence, the low
hum of star decay and fractal light:
your voices are strong enough
to sing that we are here, yes, that
we are well matched,
well loved, a good sounding for
the wind and road to carry and
release, to accumulate, to be
something made and made well
and be heard.