Thursday, August 30, 2012


Photo credit: RVRich

Let us live in the beauty of this very one and only day, full of its glow, its honest dust and breadcrumbs. Let us live with the bit of jam on the knife, with the bit of butter on the crust, with the bit of tea left in the saucer from its sloshing, overfull cup. Let us slurp it up, this life, despite the multitudinous accidents and violences, despite the abuses, the scraping of knees, the battering of children: let us stand up to these travesties with the courage of eyelashes pointed up and down, which is to say, open eyes, and let us speak and act against them. And let us also embrace the lovelinesses, the shooting stars and the unfurling herbs in pots on the sill, the taste of chocolate on our tongues, or peaches and grapes, because if we do not accept these singular shards of goodness in our lives, in our bodies, in our senses, in our souls, then how will we be strong to stand up to the ugliness? How will we have the wherewithal to keep our eyelashes, top and bottom, from folding together in a tidy row, a curtain to the blank within our own bodies while others beyond the curtain suffer?
I am not advocating stoicism, or heroism, or any great and grand gestures: only simple goodness, and courage to speak up. The world is a much more complicated place than I can say. Its pages are palimpsests, printed again and again, so that to read one line one must look past the others printed atop it, this way and that. We should not pretend otherwise. We should not extract the single lines and quote them out of context. But we also should not close the book.