He said he would greet me

from the other side of sorrow and despair.* We read the Book of Love together and passed into the dust and stones of the wayside where the memory of love lingers like the green seasons, and we parted as life parts from death.

He told me to wait for the meaning of it all. I became Time herself, measuring events and connections, all things  as one, until

the dust rose like flames and stones like men, and I fell

Mud through their fingers, they made of me a goddess and put me to sleep in the river.

Now I pace time with my passages, and hold the gates to the other side, that other side of (t)his.

 

________

 

[*The first line is an obvious reference to Leonard Cohen’s songs.]

 

 

 

As Dionysus abandoned Antony in Alexandria, darkness deserts us now

Constantine Cavafy wrote the following poem about Antony who, besieged in Alexandria by Octavian, heard the procession of the god Dionysus forsaking him. Leonard Cohen used it, of course, in his song “Alexandra Leaving.” I add but the titular interpretation, and point to epiphany.

When suddenly, at midnight, you hear
an invisible procession going by
with exquisite music, voices,
don’t mourn your luck that’s failing now,
your work that failed, your life’s plans
all proving deceptive—don’t mourn them uselessly.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don’t fool yourself, don’t say
it was a dream, your ears deceived you:
don’t degrade yourself with empty hopes like these.
As one long prepared, and graced with courage,
as is right for you who proved worthy of this kind of city,
go firmly to the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the whining, the pleas of a coward;
listen—your final delectation—to the voices,
to the exquisite music of that strange procession,
and say goodbye to her, to the Alexandria you are losing.

Cassandra, my dear…

Life has two seasons always, the human heart two registers. Somewhere in the shadows of this green grass lie the roots of winter, cold, weary, anciently knowledgeable. And the dreary fog of winter is somewhere haunted by silver, spring-shod feet.

Man needs to be two, to demonstrate again the surpassing joy of unity.

He is neither transparency nor flame, he lives because he stands between light and shade.

Haunted by his own ‘shadow,’ he may not be one with it or parted from it until he measures it in sleep.

He may see too much and too little at once, and thus be haunted by soft light, the foreboding of night and day.

It perchance saves him from unity, which is the end.

 

You ask of the gods?

Gods are the perfection men cannot dream of. Can you blame the singlemindedness of their desire?

 

 

 

Love, again

The “insurmountable distance towards the self” [Helmuth Plessner, 1948]. In an age when we organize our relations in epistemic counterpart to our single-point perspective on space.

Yes, we yearn. And everything happens between ourselves and ourselves. Honor, codes, chivalry, seeking, healing with the love of another, all for a restoration of the self. Is all unity self-love, then?

And is that our redemption?