Oh, I hate that it's been so long that I last posted anything. It pains me more than it does you, and you and you, and anyone else who might be reading this, put together. Trust me.

I interviewed a very interesting fellow the other day, and being that he's so inspired at this point in his life, he was given to quoting famous dead writers (probably like all of us have been or will be, at one time or another). And this guy, what he said to me, was a question first posed by Rainer Maria Rilke, who didn't actually ask anything, but rather told a hypothetical friend of his in Letters to a Young Poet to "Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write."

Well, I'm not sure it's a fatal compulsion or anything, but I certainly do feel crappy after not writing anything interesting here in a while. I haven't had much certainty, I suppose, here of late, and haven't felt very... qualified to speak (or write) about, well, anything. It's a concept I've been exploring for some time now, my own fallibility I mean, and perhaps I'll write more about it sometime down the road -- when I'm feeling more up to it.

For now, though, I'd like to stick with what I *do* know, which is that the following poem (which I didn't write) is wonderful and beautiful and moving and perfect, at least once you get through the first stanza. That part kind of hung me up at first, and may indeed have contributed to this poem taking years and years to finally "get" me, long after a friend of mine initially mentioned it and I eventually got around to remembering it, reflecting on his recommendation, and looking it up. My guess is that I skimmed it back when he first told me to, and let it kind of glance off.

Not this time, though. I read this the other morning for the first time and I won't lie to you: tears welled up in my eyes.

I think it may have had something to do with Gianna coming into the world. I'm an uncle now, you see, and I've always liked my goofy uncles and secretly looked forward to one day being one myself. But more than that, I'm just amazed and grateful for being amazed at the wonders inherent in simply being alive. In *being* here. It really is a miracle, and it's not easy to say so. This poem does it, wonderfully.

My deepest congratulations to Lauren and Dyrs, and a huge, full-moon-sized welcome to my little, blessed niece.



The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.

It's as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the baby's face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earth's bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.

And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.

And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.

And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.

~ Billy Collins ~

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for you to be the goofy uncle! I'm so glad you guys are moving closer. She is going to have a nice, close extended family.
and an uncle to wire anything she needs and show her how to use a potatoe gun :)