Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What I Didn't Say

It's summer in Detroit. Yesterday after bible study, I sat and read The Virgin Suicides (about Detroit) in fading downtown light. I love it here -- the million dollar mansions of a gilded age long past, the dream houses moldering in gorgeous dilapidation, a new running route to the Fisher Building, new friends, bustling farmers markets, music and music, the sleepy bells of my cathedral informing on times sneaky passage. I'm cleaning, paring down, trying to simplify the complicated as the school year winds to a close and summer opens up with its Detroit and tiny house days and trips to Canada and Europe. Weeding out old blog entries, I found unfinished entries in my drafts folder. Here are a few.

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Life sometimes resembles the narrative thread of a novel. In the middle, all is unresolved, unrequited, unsettled. Out of the strange winter soil, tropical fruits grow. What's done is not done.

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All the planes I could have taken back to you have turned to paper.

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Love is an act of memory.

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Rage is the truest sense of the present tense.

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An ending... The curtain closes. The conversation stops. The phone-line goes dead. Last words. Last tears. Last rites. All has been said, shed, read. Some poems manage what life can't: an end the opens up, sustaining a feeling and music. Take William Butler Yeats -- that man could stick an ending.

In the "Song of the Wandering Aengus." The narrator has been searching his whole life in vain to recapture of vision of beauty that came to him as a youth. The poem closes with an avowal that he will keep searching, that a lifetime in pursuit of the chance of real beauty isn't in vain:

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

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