Friday, December 21, 2007
O Life, O O
I just finished reading Dog Years by Mark Doty. I think he's an amazing writer--both as a poet and a memoirist. This book is about dogs. Love. Loss. Mortality. It touched me deeply. Loss, and how and why we go on, has been a central feature lately in my life and writing.
Here are two of my favorite passages from Doty's book:
"It's only human to mourn and to reach toward forwardness at once."
"Despair, then, isn't a place we leave--some kind of psychic location we pull into, look around, then pull out of again, relieved to not have to live there. It's more like a dimension of the self, which once opened, is part of us forever, a pole within, a spot of darkness, deeply magnetic. ... Without it, might we just float away, unable to feel the darkness and suffering of the world? The adult self requires balance; if we don't internalize some of the terrible gravity around us, then we might as well not have been here at all."
That last Doty quote reminds me of these lines from Rilke's Duino Elegies (which I'm using as an epigraph to the book I'm working on now):
We wasters of sorrows!
How we stare away into sad endurance beyond them
trying to force their end! Whereas they are nothing else
than our winter foliage, our sombre evergreen, one of the seams
of our interior year—not only season—they’re also place,
settlement camp, soil, dwelling.
And just to prevent this entry from dwelling only in the serious: Happy Global Orgasm Day!