Monday, April 10, 2006

Sometimes it happens

This is the title of a poem I just read aloud for the first time today. It was written by Brian Patten and published in "Poem A Day, Vol.3" It was originally published in "The Mersey Sound". He is one of the "Liverpool Poets" who was influenced by the American Beat movement who placed great importance on live performance of their work and embraced popular culture as their chief subject matter. I cannot copy it here for copyright reasons but I can share its themes and respond to them.

Each quatrain or so starts with the title..."Sometimes it happens..." and then it goes into what can happen next and results of that. ie. The first is about "friendship"; how you can be "a friend" and then you are not and "friendship" has passed and he compares it to a "fountain that empties itself" This has happened to me more than once. Sometimes friends moved away or I moved away and we lost contact. Email just isn't the same. Gone is a real source of enjoyment and connection.

"Sometimes it happens that you are loved..." or you think you are. Then something happens and you seem to "fall out of love" or maybe you never fell but just stumbled. What a metaphor, as if true love was something you could actually fall in and out of. Love takes effort all the time and you work on showing it and "being loveable" to the other(s). Here again, I like his word picture at the end of the stanza "...a fountain emptying itself into the grass"...that is so ubiquitous and eventually covers us all.

It talks about wanting to "speak to someone" and then missing the opportunity. It connects that with vanished dreams. Most of the time it is wishing you hadn't said something and could take it back. But what if you had said something and a whole new opportunity had opened up to you. This is especially true in "sales"...both buying and selling I think.

The next stanza pairs with the previous in structure but talks about "going somewhere", deciding against it and then wishing you hadn't because the opportunity is gone ..."quicker than a minute". Discount prices come and go quickly when booking for trips and cruises and hotel rooms we've found out (the hard way). "He who hesitates...

So you end up having nothing and you wonder if things really matters. As soon as you start wondering this...they stop mattering and you don't even care anymore. Then he goes back to the picture of the fountain emptying into the grass.(covering your grave?)

I think when I meditate and observe my life as it is happening, in the "moment" so to speak, everything matters even more. Time stands still and you pause to value it and notice what is happening. Then there isn't such a sense of loss when you move on or try something new or go somewhere else. along. Bob!


At 8:50 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" comments about this same phenomenon. Trying to hold a moment, a thrill can make it die. Settling down to a sober interest may cause a "new thrill" or direction. At first, it must "die" to really "live". Stop trying to capture "old or lost" moments but instead be open to "new challenges and abilities"


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