There are some days when I awaken and lie sleepless, and that’s OK.
Something is knocking, trying to tell me
The reason I know it’s OK is I am not feeling anxious, only curious.
I got up just now and knew that I could find a clue in a poem.
And I have:
Hardly a day passes I don’t think of him
in the asylum: younger
than I am now, trudging the long road down
through madness to death.
Everywhere in this world his music
explodes out of itself, as he
could not. And now I understand
something so frightening, and wonderful —
how the mind clings to the road it knows, rushing
through crossroads, sticking
like lint to the familiar. So!
Hardly a day passes I don’t
think of him: nineteen, say, and it is
spring in Germany
and he has just met a girl named Clara.
He turns the corner,
he scrapes the dirt from his soles,
he runs up the dark staircase, humming.
MARY OLIVER (New and Selected Poems, Volume One. 1992)
This reading this morning has reminded me of the fine line of art in our spirits. No matter what follows, to trust the impulse from the heart that explodes into art of any sort is true eros.
If that can move me, approaching 95 now, to a place of a common joy, where now in quite another century,
I find I am running up a staircase just as eagerly for the life to be found there, then all is well.
always with love,