Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Night of the World

Well, no.But on the last night of 2010, can I pause for a moment, a caesura of thought as the busy world spins onward towards that arbitrary dawn we have chosen to mark the passage of another turn around the sun, and just sit with you here alongside the river of electrons that connect and divide us?

I hope that you and yours are safe from harm.

I hope that you are well, and that you are strong, and hale, and that those you love are sound enough to take you up in sturdy arms and lave you with love and laughter.I hope that you have a life that is full of challenge, and joy, and the prospects of a bright tomorrow.

I hope that you will lay down tonight in the fullness of happiness and warmth, and wake tomorrow in the peace of contentment and the anticipation of the day before you.

If you are far from home, I hope you will come safe back home.If you are grieving, I hope you will find nepenthe.

If you are troubled, or seeking, or lost, I hope that the coming year will provide a path for your feet, and the prospect of a better day.I hope you fare well into the coming year, my friends.

Year's End

"Now winter downs the dying of the year,
And night is all a settlement of snow;
From the soft street the rooms of houses show
A gathered light, a shapen atmosphere,
Like frozen-over lakes whose ice is thin
And still allows some stirring down within.

I’ve known the wind by water banks to shake
The late leaves down, which frozen where they fell
And held in ice as dancers in a spell
Fluttered all winter long into a lake;
Graved on the dark in gestures of descent,
They seemed their own most perfect monument.

There was perfection in the death of ferns
Which laid their fragile cheeks against the stone
A million years. Great mammoths overthrown
Composedly have made their long sojourns,
Like palaces of patience, in the gray
And changeless lands of ice. And at Pompeii

The little dog lay curled and did not rise
But slept the deeper as the ashes rose
And found the people incomplete, and froze
The random hands, the loose unready eyes
Of men expecting yet another sun
To do the shapely thing they had not done.

These sudden ends of time must give us pause.
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
More time, more time. Barrages of applause
Come muffled from a buried radio.
The New-year bells are wrangling with the snow."

(Richard Wilbur)

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