the world has need of you

June 8, 2017

My dad likes to communicate through poems. It's his way of letting me know that he has a lot on his mind, and he wants to share it with me. Poems give us a chance to say nothing while saying everything at once.


I consult my dad’s emails on days like this — when I need a reminder that everything in this life has a cause and effect. I wouldn’t be typing this post, on this specific couch, in this specific city, at this specific time if not for the unpredictable and arbitrary nature of the world. It scares me a lot. To think about how insignificant our goals tend to be.


But how fucking fantastic is it to be alive right now. Even in the midst of terror, Trump and the unpredictability of tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to live another life.


everything here
seems to need us
Rainer Maria Rilke


I can hardly imagine it
as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient
prayer of my arms swinging
in counterpoint to my feet.
Here I am, suspended
between the sidewalk and twilight,
the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.
What if you felt the invisible
tug between you and everything?
A boy on a bicycle rides by,
his white shirt open, flaring
behind him like wings.
It’s a hard time to be human. We know too much
and too little. Does the breeze need us?
The cliffs? The gulls?
If you’ve managed to do one good thing,
the ocean doesn’t care.
But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth,
the earth, ever so slightly, fell
toward the apple.


“The World Has Need of You” by Ellen Bass




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