Friday, October 3, 2008

Voices in my head, these days

It has been two weeks since Gerald passed away. We are meeting with his doctor later this afternoon to hear more about the results of blood tests taken in the emergency room, and any other information from the hospital records that might help us understand how he became so sick so very fast.

The first days after his death, a few old poems started cycling through my mind. As reading and writing have sustained me through many difficult times in my life, it makes sense that familiar poems will approach me when I, and those closest to me, are troubled and sad. Reading poems or books, or keeping a journal, might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm sure they've brought some comfort to many other people in distress. So, I wanted to share some of the voices I've had in my head these two long weeks.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
---by e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The Bustle in a House
---by Emily Dickinson

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth —

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity.

Heart! We will forget him!
---by Emily Dickinson

Heart! We will forget him!
You and I - tonight!
You may forget the warmth he gave -
I will forget the light!

When you have done, pray tell me
That I may straight begin!
Haste! lest while you're lagging
I remember him!

Nothing Gold Can Stay
---by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Finally, this is one of my favorite quotes, and has been since I found it in an old edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations when I was twelve years old. It's attributed to George William Childs.
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love
and tenderness sealed up until your friends are
dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak
approving, cheering words while their ears
can hear them, and while their hearts can
be thrilled and made happier by them.

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