One day about five years ago,I went to Vermont to spend a few days with my cousin. Knowing how much I have always loved poetry, she thought I would enjoy visiting the grave site of Robert Frost. Poetry will touch spaces and places in me and for me that prose cannot and then bring me to that good place, that good space again refreshed or healed or alive. So,I thought it was a great idea.
After quietly ambling our way down through the grave yard we found Frost's grave side where we sat for a while and talked about our families, the arts and life. Before leaving, I decide to make a headstone etching of the inscription that he chose for the stone. When pondered it is a lot to take in. It reads:
"I HAD A LOVER'S QUARREL WITH THE WORLD"
As I listened to the podcast I thought and remembered the faces and names of the Iraqi women that I lived in community with, here in the US, during the first Gulf War. Some of them are still living andcontinue working in schools and a hospital in Iraq. I remembered the stories the older women told of the time when the Shah and his family hid in Hospital. Iraq has never felt very far away.
I recalled a conversation I had last summer with a classmate of mine, who lived down the street from me growing up. She stopped to talk with me on her way to see her mother in her mid 80's. Jaundice and breathing with great difficulty she was home visiting, while awaiting a liver transplant for herself. Living down wind, close to the Twin Towers NY was as close as the tiny table we sat at drinking coffee.As I listened, it was her eulogy that I could hear her sharing. How glad I was to have heard it from her then and not later this past spring when her husband eulogized her at a service here in RI.
Who do we want to become? At least from time to time, and in the measure that we can less quarrelsome lovers, that would be good.
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