The Answers Are Always Changing

18 October 2013
10:51 pm
Edinburgh

T. —

What remains of the day: a cat in the doorway. Rain on the pavement. Leftover images from The Impossible. What was the tsunami like on your side of the world, back in 2004? What do you remember feeling?

I am feeling really connected to the world today, compassionate for all aspects of life. I listened to some new podcasts this morning. I’d really like to send them to you, but I think maybe I should write you an email about them first. Or maybe I’ll just send them.

Like many a mortal, Sisyphus has hope. He has hope precisely because of the beauty and freedom he has had time to experience on earth, and has developed a belief (the truth of which does not matter) that, somehow, there must be a way to make the experience last forever. He will not accept, even if the gods themselves set out to persuade him, that he’s not worthy of a higher destiny.

There is no shadow without light, and it is essential to know the light. The hopeful human says, “No. There are some things I will not accept. I am worth more, and life must be more than action for action’s sake.” The struggle toward the heights is not itself enough to fill a human heart. One must imagine Sisyphus hopeful, and more human.

Reimagining Sisyphus by Philip Villamor

*

Report from the West 
Tom Hennen

Snow is falling west of here. The mountains have more than a
foot of it. I see the early morning sky dark as night. I won’t lis-
ten to the weather report. I’ll let the question of snow hang.
Answers only dull the senses. Even answers that are right often
make what they explain uninteresting. In nature the answers
are always changing. Rain to snow, for instance. Nature can
let the mysterious things alone—wet leaves plastered to tree
trunks, the intricate design of fish guts. The way we don’t fall
off the earth at night when we look up at the North Star. The
way we know this may not always be so. The way our dizziness
makes us grab the long grass, hanging by our fingertips on the
edge of infinity.

*

From a Country Overlooked
Tom Hennen

There are no creatures you cannot love.
A frog calling at God
From the moon-filled ditch
As you stand on the country road in the June night.
The sound is enough to make the stars weep
With happiness.
In the morning the landscape green
Is lifted off the ground by the scent of grass.
The day is carried across its hours
Without any effort by the shining insects
That are living their secret lives.
The space between the prairie horizons
Makes us ache with its beauty.
Cottonwood leaves click in an ancient tongue
To the farthest cold dark in the universe.
The cottonwood also talks to you
Of breeze and speckled sunlight.
You are at home in these
great empty places
along with red-wing blackbirds and sloughs.
You are comfortable in this spot
so full of grace and being
that it sparkles like jewels
spilled on water.

*

Goodnight,
M

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