Learning | Poetry

Represent Worthily

“I learned not to fear infinity,
The far field, the windy cliffs of forever,
The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow,
The wheel turning away from itself,
The sprawl of the wave,
The on-coming water.”
– Theodore Roethke. The Far Field

In our dance with infinity it’s now a Thursday once again.  The days fly by.  Just as the weeks fly by.  Just as the months fly by.  Just as the years fly by.  And yet here we are, in the now, in this shining moment.  Nothing hammers that feeling home like being at home, day-after-day, doing the same thing over and over again.  This pandemic has highlighted for me – and maybe for you too – the dying of time in the white light of tomorrow.  The endless cycle of routine punctuated by another dawn.  What else is there but now?  Is tomorrow ours to wonder at?  There is only now.  And that brings to mind something I’d stored away long ago:

“Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance….at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say?” – Samuel Beckett, Vladimir, Waiting for Godot

I read Waiting for Godot in college, and found it repetitive and boring.  I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be reading such things.  I believe I felt the same way about Walden once too.  The restlessness of youth, or the immature mind…  no matter.  And yet I’ve returned to both recently.  I’ve re-read Walden three times since I was required to read it in college.  And Godot keeps coming to mind as we march along in this dance with the repetitive.  They say the mind never forgets anything, it just stores it away somewhere deep inside, dormant and untapped.  Today, after thousands of days, I’ve tapped Waiting for Godot and Vladimir stepped to the forefront with a few words of wisdom: There’s no time to be idle.  Represent us worthily, for you live in the white light of what was our tomorrow.  Don’t waste it.  And today, facing the windy cliffs of forever, that is my task.

 

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