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Lovely satirical poem in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s The Sirens of Titan:
“Break every link with air and mist,
Seal every open vent;
Make throat as tight as miser’s fist,
Keep life within you pent.
Breathe out, breathe in, no more, no more,
For breathing’s for the meek;
And when in deathly space we soar,
Be careful not to speak.
If you with grief or joy are rapt,
Just signal with a tear;
To soul and heart withing you trapped
Add speech and atmosphere.
Every man’s an island as in
lifeless space we roam.
Yes, every man’s an island:
island fortress, island home.“
From Kurt Vonnegut Jr., The Sirens of Titan (New York: Delta, 1971), 152-53.
Late light, crows speaking
Half-moon bright above the trees
Black winged brothers
Is there a greater regret than forgetting beauty? To have known the beautiful — truly, immanently, intimately — and to forget that fact is akin to death. It is certainly a tragedy.
Simple stunning beauty, like the rich, subtle gradations of color in a perfect sunset, is never really forgotten. It lives within, it makes up our being.
But one must make the effort — must remember the light — the brilliant, beautiful, life-giving light — even in the depths of darkness. It is that which nourishes and sustains.
Beauty is alchemy. It transforms a leaden heart into a golden glowing grace. It is rock-solid philosophy. Unshakable. A foundation for the ages, immune to any challenge, argument or skepticism.
“She walks in beauty, like the night.” Maybe. Rather her beauty transforms — transmutates — night into day. Makes the darkness shine. Turns subtle shadowy forms into transcendental perfection.
The truth is there’s no regret — no place for sadness. Beauty cannot be forgotten. It will always be. It will not be forgotten. It simply is.
It is the seeing, the remembering — that is the art. To have eyes for the purpose. To open the blinds that cover the windows in a darkened room of the soul. That’s a worthwhile quest.
Beauty…I always remember. And love.