Saturday, September 27, 2008

home in gettysburg

but only just for long enough to repack, kiss my cat, and head off to the midwest. i feel so impatient, but i don't know what for. it's like i must run around in circles to distract myself from whatever is sending my mind into space.

maybe it comes from reading david mccullough's john adams. he and abigail adams have always been inspiring to me; they both had such spirit, drive–passion in the vision that they shared for the future of this country. but they were apart so often and for so long, i don't know how they bore it.

what would they say of this country if they were alive today? i hope it would be positive. here, have some john donne–he always does me good:

as virtuous men pass mildly away,
and whisper to their souls to go,
whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"now his breath goes," and some say, "no."

so let us melt, and make no noise,
no tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'twere profanation of our joys
to tell the laity our love.

moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
men reckon what it did, and meant ;
but trepidation of the spheres,
though greater far, is innocent.

dull sublunary lovers' love
—whose soul is sense—cannot admit
of absence, 'cause it doth remove
the thing which elemented it.

but we by a love so much refined,
that ourselves know not what it is,
inter-assurèd of the mind,
care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

our two souls therefore, which are one,
though i must go, endure not yet
a breach, but an expansion,
like gold to aery thinness beat.

if they be two, they are two so
as stiff twin compasses are two ;
thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
to move, but doth, if th' other do.

and though it in the centre sit,
yet, when the other far doth roam,
it leans, and hearkens after it,
and grows erect, as that comes home.

such wilt thou be to me, who must,
like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
thy firmness makes my circle just,
and makes me end where i begun.

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