Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We delude ourselves
when we measure life in years, in days,
diluting our experience into volumes of time.
We speak of attaining an age
that is "old" and "ripe"
as though one were a piece of fruit that,
by virtue of its patient sitting
on the kitchen counter, perhaps arranged
aesthetically for friends to look at
or for an artist to preserve on her canvas
in a "still life,"
could earn tastefulness, sweetness, maturity.
In the same breath with this callous appraisal
we imply that time, in excess,
can cause decay, overripening.
It is not the white space
on the edge of a clock face
that makes one old or young.
Life is not sitting in a fruit bowl;
life is action--battle, even--contending
through the moments and challenges
that present themselves with not
the methodical directness
of clockwork,
but frenzied, unpredictable spurts of growth and change.
Life is fighting fires,
is facing illness, fording rivers, ferreting out weakness,
falling in love.
Life is discovering fallacies, respecting friendships,
. . .

We cheat our friends when we say that memories
are things of the past,
that immortal influence is something that must endure
through ages of forgetfulness
before we call it meaningful.
. . .

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