Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Living Forward, leaving our dead-past behind

I age into olding years, and my mind forgets what I did yesterday or--smoke!
--already forgot I turned on the broiler 10 minutes ago.
Even the name of my favorite poet won’t show up in my mind, and I have to go over
to one of our many bookshelves and run my fingers down until a biography of her shows up.
Good grief.

Yet in the middle of the many a sleepless night, my brain harps on mistakes, also-ran diligent efforts, regrets, tragedies of 30, 40, 50 years ago...

So it was serendipitous that recently I came across an old Walt Whitman poem—“O Living always...”

O LIVING always—Always dying!
O the burials of me past and present,
O me while I stride ahead, material, visible, imperious as ever;
O me, what I was for years, now dead, (I lament not, I am
O to disengage myself from those corpses of me, which I turn
and look at where I cast them,
To pass on, (O living! always living!) and leave the corpses

--Walt Whitman

I’m not imperious, and am confused why Whitman would still be wielding such a corpse-creating wrong.

BUT I do find myself dragging untold numbers of heavy former corpses—chained to me now, dragging me down and backward—
as I struggle up life’s sisyphusian mountain crag.

And dragging dead 'me’s' is far more difficult than rolling a large rock like the Greek did.

So, in this new year of 2019, every day, I resolved and am working each day to cut loose more past 'me’s'
the dead ashed lapses of the past,
and cast them backward into
the before n’ gone chasm.

Rejoicing in growing Redwood sprouts I planted in the past, here and now, I am--




To become new in the present moment, not be a corpse’d has been—regressing, regretting, reverting…

As the wise teacher Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

No comments: