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Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
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Saturday, 7. December 2002

Hope - Edith Sodergran + A morning note



I want to let go -
so I don't give a damn about fine writing,
I'm rolling my sleeves up.
The dough's rising...
Oh what a shame
I can't bake cathedrals...
that sublimity of style
I've always yearned for...
Child of our time -
haven't you found the right shell for your soul?

Before I die I shall

bake a cathedral.

I got this poem this morning via the poetry mailing list and I think it provides a great point of entry to things I want to write about. To begin with a digression, last evening when I was at my American home i.e. Granpa's garage for supper, we were talking of this and that with Geroge and Carrie(AC), when granpa bought up the topic of my "relationships", rather the blackholes they ended up as.

To which AC said sometime it calls for hope, which I haven't much left in the "women" section of the moneky race, atleast the part that calls on some guts when they matter. And Granpa, who never got married, was telling the fable of the scorpion and the spider. The moral of that story: with friends like those who needs enemies.He really had us in stiches with his various ranges of falsettos: from a southern belle to a French courtier in this telling. Great irony does life have.

Again going off on a tangent I was wondering on what I call the "chickening out" problem as I lay in the darkness last night staring at the ceiling. And then I was remembering the lines from the book "Lust for Life", a sometimes too melodramatic biography of one my heros: Vangogh. They go something like this:

"You can never be sure about anything for all time, you can only have the courage and strength to do what you think is right. It may turn out to be wrong but atleast you would have done it and that is the important thing. We must act according to the best dictates of our reason and then leave God to judge of its ultimate value."

I hope I still have the courage left in me to say "yes" to something and still mean it, without doubting and to stand solid like a rock. For without this kind of courage it's hopeless to hope for semblence of permanence in what is at the heart of all things here, impermanence. The evidence: these bare trees outside my window, through whose leafless branches sunlight is pouring into my room.

And while I am at it, I hope to bake a cathedral out of nothing more than this light and this cool air . For now I wonder if there is that someone who is the "right shell for the soul" present in this world of shopping lists for whom this cathedral would be enough.

I hope so.




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