Learning After some time, you learn the subtle difference betweenholding a handand imprisoning a soul;You learn that love does not equal sex,and that company does not equal security,and you start to learn….That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises and you start to accept defeat with the head up highand open eyes,and you learn to build all roads on today,because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans…and the future has its own way of falling apart in half.And you learn that if it’s too mucheven the warmth of the sun can burn.So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul,instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you.And you learn that you can actually bear hardship,that you are actually strong,and you are actually worthy,and you learn and learn…and so every day.Over time you learn that being with someonebecause they offer you a good future,means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past.Over time you comprehend that only who is capable of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing youcan bring you all happiness.Over time you learn that if you are with a persononly to accompany your own solitude, irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again.Over time you learn that real friends are fewand whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later,will find himself surrounded only with false friendships.Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of angercontinue hurting throughout a lifetime.Over time you learn that everyone can apologize,but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls.Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshlyit is very likely that your friendship will never be the same.Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends,you cry for those you let go.Over time you realize that every experience lived, with each person, is unrepeatable.Over time you realize that whoever humiliatesor scorns another human being, sooner or laterwill suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold.Over time you learn to build your roads on today,because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist.Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happencauses the finale to be different form expected.Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future,but the moment you were living just that instant.Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you,you’ll yearn for those who walked away.Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness,say you love, say you miss, say you need,say you want to be friends, since beforea grave, it will no longer make sense.But unfortunately, only over time…
Jorge Luis Borges
Because this painting has never been restored there is a heightened poignance to it somehow; it doesn’t have the feeling of unassailable permanence that paintings in museums do.There is a small crack in the lower left and a little of the priming between the wooden panel and the oil emulsions of paint has been bared. A bit of abrasion shows, at the rim of a bowl of berries, evidence of time’s power even over this—which, paradoxically, only seems to increase its poetry, its deep resonance. If you could see the notes of a cello, when the bow draws slowly and deeply across its strings and those resonant reverberations which of all instruments’ are nearest to the sound of the human voice emerge—no, the wrong verb, they seem to come into being all at once, to surround us, suddenly, with presence—if that were made visible, that would be the poetry of Osias Beert.But the still life resides in absolute silence.Portraits often seem pregnant with speech, or as if their subjects have just finished saying something, or will soon speak the thoughts that inform their faces, the thoughts we’re invited to read. Landscapes are full of presences, visible or unseen; soon nymphs or a stag or a band of hikers will make themselves heard.But no word will ever be spoken here, among the flowers and snails, the solid and dependable apples, this heap of rumpled books, this pewter plate on which a few opened oysters lie, giving up their silver.These are resolutely still, immutable, poised for a forward movement that will never occur. The brink upon which still life rests is the brink of time, the edge of something about to happen. Everything that we know crosses this lip, over and over, like water over the edge of a fall, as what might happen does, as any of the endless variations of what might come true does so and things fall into being, tumble through the progression of existing in time.Painting creates silence. You could examine the objects themselves, the actors in a Dutch still life—this knobbed beaker, this pewter salver, this knife—and, lovely as all antique utilitarian objects are, they are not, would not be, poised on the edge these same things inhabit when they are represented.These things exist—if indeed they are still around at all—in time. It is the act of painting them that makes them perennially poised, an emergent truth about to be articulated, a word waiting to be spoken. Single word that has been forming all these years in the light on the knife’s pearl handle, in the drops of moisture on nearly translucent grapes: At the end of time, will that word be said?
Mark Doty
To this day when I inhale a light scent of Wrangler—its sweet sharpness—or the stronger, darker scent of Musk, I return to those hours and it ceases to be just cologne that I take in but the very scent of age, of youth at its most beautiful peak. It bears the memory of possibility, of unknown forests, unchartered territories and a heart light and skipping, hell-bent as the captain of any of the three ships, determined at all costs to prevail to the new world. Turning back was no option. Whatever the gales, whatever the emaciation, whatever the casualty to self, onward I kept my course. My heart felt the magnetism of its own compass guiding me on—its direction constant and sure. There was no other way through. I feel it again as once it had been, before it was broken-in; its strength and resolute ardency. The years of solitude were nothing compared to what lay ahead. In sailing for the horizon that part of my life had been sealed up, a gentle eddy, a trough of gentle waves diminishing further, receding away. Whatever loneliness andpain went with the years between the ages of 14 and 20, was closed, irretrievable—I was already cast in form and direction in a certain course.When I open the little bottle of eau de toilette five hundred different days unfold within me, conversations so strained, breaking slowly, so painstakingly, to a comfortable place. A place so warm and inviting after the years of silence and introspect, of hiding. A place in the sun that would burn me alive before I let it cast a shadow on me. Until that time I had not known, I had not been conscious of my loneliness. Yes, I had been taciturn in school, alone, I had set myself apart when others tried to engage. But though I was alone, I had not felt the pangs of loneliness. It had not burdened or tormented as such when I first felt the clear tang of its opposite in the form of another’s company. Of Regn’s company. We came, each in our own way, in our own need—listening, wanting, tentatively, as though we came upon each other from the side in spite of having seen each other head on for two years. It was a gradual advance, much again like a vessel waiting for its sails to catch wind, grasping hold of the ropes and learning much too quickly, all at once, how to move in a certain direction. There was no practicing. It was everything and all—for the first and last time. Everything had to be right, whether it was or not. The waters were beautiful, the work harder than anything in my life, but the very glimpse of any tempest of defeat was never in my line of vision. I’d never failed at anything. And though this may sound quite an exaggeration, I tell you earnestly, it is true. Everything to this point I’d ever set my mind to, I’d achieved. But this wasn’t about conquering some land, nor had any of my other desires ever been about proving something. It just had to be—I could not break, could not turn or retract once I’d committed myself to my course. You cannot force a clock to run backwards when it is made to persevere always and ever, forward. Had I not been so young I’d never have had the courage to love her.
Wheston Chancellor Grove