Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Imparting Wisdom

What little I have, anyway.

We are in western North Carolina for a few days.  Yesterday, as we made our way down one of the trails at Chimney Rock, I asked the Lovely Daughter whether she remembered scampering up the boulder-strewn trail at Mt. Jo when she was five and we were camping in the Adirondacks.

She said that she does has a couple of fragmented memories, mostly of the huge, flat rock on top on which we picnicked, but that the memories of many of the things we did a lot of, like hiking and camping, have blended together.  "I'm always amazed that you can recall specific years and places," she said.

"Our Town," I said.

"Huh?" she asked.

I reminded her that at the end of Thornton Wilder's play, Our Town,  the young Emily Gibbs asks for a chance to look back at those who have survived her death, a request which is reluctantly granted by the Stage Manager.  As she watches her family go about their ordinary tasks, she is deeply moved and filled with anguish, and cries out,

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it -- every, every minute?"

"That's sort of my theme," I said, meaning that I try to live that line out.

I am neither poet nor saint but I do, consciously, try to live my live as deeply as possible, a disposition which tends to intensify both joy and sorrow as well as what lies between.  I think that such is probably a propensity born out of early loss, out of a desire not to squander what is ~ the same quality that infuses actual poets and saints.

"No," the Stage Manager tells Emily.  "The saints and poets, maybe ~ they do some."

Top image: Chimney Rock, here.

Second image: Someone else's Mt. Jo photo, here.


  1. Oh, I don't know. I find you pretty poetic.

  2. You write with great depth and, I'm certain, live the same way. I learn much from you, Robin. You are wise and articulate, and I understand your desire to not squander what is. Yes, I understand...

  3. But not saintly, huh?

    Seriously, thank you SB. Thank you both.

  4. Oh, sorry - forgot to tell you that I can see that halo all the way here in Illinois! It's definitely well earned.