Friday, October 27, 2017

The Point: A Conversation

               I was talking to someone today—about what I can’t recall—when they said something unexpected.

                “What’s the point? What’s the point? What’s the point?”

                “The point of what?” I asked.

                “The point of everything.” They looked away.

                “Well,” I said, chuckling nervously.

                A car sped down the street with purpose. We both watched it.

                “Do you ever feel like you’re on a wave?” they asked. “Not the crest, the peak, not on top of it all, riding along. Below that, under. The smooth, rising part. You’re coasting really, but the violence is just overhead, waiting to crash down and push you under. Annihilation.”

                “Oh,” I said, imagining it. I closed my eyes and saw the blue expanse, smelled the salty air. “At times," I said, "I think I have felt like the swell, before the wave builds.”

                “Yes,” they said, imagining it.

                “The idea,” I said. “The movement.”

                They glanced at the sidewalk, kicked a dried leaf out of the way. “But still, what’s the point?”

                “Every day you find a new one,” I said. “Every week you finish something. Every month you figure something out. Every year you grow.”

                “And then?”

                “You keep going,” I said.


                “Because we do.”

                They rolled their eyes. “I suppose you’ll say something about love now.”

                “Sure,” I agreed, relieved. “Love. Beauty. Goodness.”

                “The shimmering ocean,” they said. “Impressionistic mountains. Flowering bushes, fresh bread from the oven, a dusting of snow on the edge of a fence.”

                “Art!” I said.

                They shrugged.

                “People too,” I said.

                “Not people,” they said. “People you can’t predict.”

                I hold out my hands, palms up. “You can’t predict the weather either.”

                “In general,” they said, “you can. The seasons. What’s most likely to happen.” They shook their head. “People you never know.”

                I let my hands fall. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

                “It’s not a matter of feeling,” they said.

                Another leaf drifted down from a nearby tree. We watched as it floated to and fro, at times a gentle falling and then, a swift swoop. We listened to the papery sound when it settled onto the pavement.

                “Better you stay alone,” they said.

                “You can’t mean that,” I said, leaning to pick up the leaf. “Can you?”

                But when I straightened up, holding the dried husk in my hand, they had gone. A buzzing in my ears, a cavern in my gut.

                “You,” they whispered. One last rasp of warm, Autumn air.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Poem for the Weekend: Cecilie Løveid

One of the most celebrated writers in modern Norway, Cecilie Løveid writes prose, plays and poetry, but is known as a "genre transgressor." In short, she makes her own way. More information about this writer here.
by Cecilie Løveid
There is no doubt that there is a body
inside the music
The music would have made love with her
if it could
don’t you think?
If she were not a woman I mean
if she were music
Would she have made love with him if he weren’t music?
She didn’t throw herself out the window
when the music stopped
The morning woman
waits for the continuation
waits for the music
waits for a sign
Would she really have loved him if he were a man
and not music?
Where shall she find him when the music stops
other than deep inside herself
There where she is
The morning woman
Det er ingen tvil om at det er en kropp
inne i musikken
Musikken ville elsket med henne
hvis den kunne
tror du ikke?
Hvis ikke hun var kvinne mener jeg
hvis hun var musikk
ville hun elsket med ham hvis han ikke var musikk?
Hun kastet seg ikke ut vinduet
da musikken stanset
venter på fortsettelsen
venter på musikken
venter på et tegn
Ville hun virkelig elsket ham hvis han var en mann
og ikke musikk?
Hvor skal hun finne ham når musikken slutter
annet enn dypt inne i seg selv
Der hvor hun er

"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka