Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

eager and palpitant

A LONE gray bird,
Dim-dipping, far-flying,
Alone in the shadows and grandeurs and tumults
Of night and the sea
And the stars and storms.

Out over the darkness it wavers and hovers,
Out into the gloom it swings and batters,
Out into the wind and the rain and the vast,
Out into the pit of a great black world,
Where fogs are at battle, sky-driven, sea-blown,
Love of mist and rapture of flight,
Glories of chance and hazards of death
On its eager and palpitant wings.

Out into the deep of the great dark world,
Beyond the long borders where foam and drift
Of the sundering waves are lost and gone
On the tides that plunge and rear and crumble.
--Carl Sandburg, "From the Shore"

I've always loved that passage in Norman MacLean's novel "A River Runs Through It" which ends with the phrase "I am haunted by waters". I like the idea expressed in the passage that a constant flow of those who go (and depart) before become part of the individual consciousness.

So many times one lives alone in the Hall of Memories. The same "external" experiences give rise to different emotions. May Sarton said "Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self". The search to find solitude rather than loneliness in the solitary experience is a search that matters. One can be alive with one's memories, which live and breathe within--or one can feel dead to the world, left only with memories.

Not all memories are treasures. I read an essay today on forgiveness, which reminded me of two palpable instances in which I did not forgive someone (in each case, for an offense eminently forgiveable), and my resulting experience merely corroded me, a bit, rather than serve any useful self-protective puropse. In my mind, adrenaline is a bit like that Force in the Star Wars films--a light side, a dark side, and a choice for how it is to be utilized.

I am fortunate in that I have so much to remember and so little to forgive. Both remembering and forgiving are processes,though--not well-defined, not things that one can merely describe in words. I experience them like the wavering and hovering of the bird in the Sandburg poem. They swirl all around, darks, deeps, voids, clouds.
But it's a bit of a thrill--navigating them "with eager, palpitant wings".

Gurdonark and Igneous Flame: "Faith Without Creed".

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