Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15: Of the Spirit, Lost, Adrienne Su, "An Afternoon in the Park"

Later on, Ives spent the evening playing bridge with a few neighbors from his building but he was not concentrating well and angered his partner, Ramirez, by making careless choices, his heart and mind elsewhere.  "What's wrong with you?" Ramirez chided him.  And Ives shrugged and continued to go over certain thoughts that had nothing to do with the game:  that He was of the Spirit and He did not interfere in human affairs; that He provided a light toward which to aspire . . . .

Ives is distracted with thoughts of his dead son and the work of God in the universe.  Ives is lost, not sure where he fits into God's plan.  He's not even sure God has a plan.  His faith is being tested, and Ives is floundering.  God has always been the compass in his life, and that compass isn't pointing north any more.

I've felt a little lost today.  I spoke with my wife on my lunch break, and she told me about hearing my sister FaceTiming with my parents.  My wife said that my sister wasn't really talking; she was sort of grunting, and my sister that's with her was translating.  My wife said my dad was sitting at the table, crying.

I'm not really sure how I feel right now.  Of course I want my sister to get better.  However, I don't want her to undergo treatments that are simply going to be long exercises in pain.  I can't really imagine losing my sister, but I don't want her remaining time to be months of suffering and struggle.  Even typing these words fills me with guilt, like I'm hoping she'll die quickly.

I'm not sure what I should be hoping or praying for.  I'm standing at a crossroads, and I don't want to take either branch.  Both are dark and full of shadows.  Unlike Robert Frost's road not taken, neither path will make my life better or happier.

Somewhere ages and ages hence, Saint Marty shall be telling this with a sigh:  both roads pretty much sucked swamp water.

An Afternoon in the Park

by:  Adrienne Su

Below my window, a man is being ordered
to hand over cash.  In all my months in the heart
of the city, I've been lost only once, in Central Park
among the trees.  I walked perplexed three quarters

of an hour, from path to bridge to other path
I didn't know, Sunday morning to Sunday
afternoon.  I'd always known that someday
I'd be found, that the light, pines, grass

and I would meet here.  I wasn't thinking these
thoughts, but the start of them receded when
I reached a clearing where a hundred men
were sunning.  They were facing into the breeze

and didn't see me.  I thought I recognized one,
then remembered where he was:  he'd followed
a vision to New York, had loved, lost, and hollowed
out.  He left for the South and didn't come

back.  In the bright clearing I watched for a sign,
didn't get one, and slipped back into the woods.
I found Fifth Avenue in minutes but could
not sleep for weeks.  Now wherever I go I find

two hundred closed eyes, grass bleached
by light, bare chests burning.  Since that day
I've asked about the sun, the men, the Sunday
I got lost; I've inquired at work, school, each

home I enter, at parties, but no one tells
me.  Everywhere I go I meet anxious women
with money and beautiful faces, and men
with ashes on their brows.  I'm lonely as hell.

This pretty much says it all...

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