Thursday, April 23, 2009


You ever feel like something is coming? I'm not talking about predicting things or clairvoyance or any of that weird stuff, but I'm talking about... I don't know, you can just feel something coming. You don't know what, but what amazes me about life is momentum of it all. It just keeps going. You have to keep rolling.

And it is momentum I'm talking about. Momentum in the way things happen. In the way you go to school and find out another of your classmates has been killed--this is the third time--and maybe you're able to pause, but life keeps going. How your world at home has turned upside down and things won't ever be the same, but you go to school the next day and the people move the way they did the day before, the way they'll continue to move, another step and another breath and so until you're moving with them and it pulls like the tide might. These are weak metaphors, but the observation remains. Tomorrow I will have breakfast with my friend, will take a final, will meet with my staffworker. And this is good. In any case, my brother's voicemail isn't anything severe enough to put the motions of my life here on hold.

But I come back to that word, that idea. I don't think we stop. Not for anything. Do we? Maybe I've got this all wrong, I pretty frequently have. Where I empty one space, it fills back in with something else. If I leave for my mother's house right now, it will not still be Wednesday when I return, nor will anyone or anything else have been anywhere except where they may or may not have been anyway regardless of whether or not I left. We recognize things, we memorialize them, but there's this constant spinning of the planet, rotating toward another thought, another commute to work, another thing that will pass. There you have your adage. Life indeed goes on.

I'm not suggesting that it not. And neither am I saying that this movement be anything other than what it is. More on that later. Life keeps going, to the point where it builds and sometimes you can feel it coming, growing bigger and bigger and faster. So we roll with it. I don't mean ''suck it up,'' ''deal with it.'' I mean grow, learn to use the movement. Write it out. What else?

And so this is the part where the only answer there could possibly be is:

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." --Psalm 46:10

"About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters;
how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on."
--W.H.Auden, Musee Des Beaux Arts

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