Today was the first real day of fall, reminding me of this poem. Though not about fall, necessarily, I thought of it throughout the day:
may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old
may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
for even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile
I was reminded of this first when I was walking out of the library this morning at 3, that time when night hasn’t quite said goodbye, but morning is rubbing her eyelids and tumbling haphazardly down the stairs to brew her coffee, she woke up like this, flawless. It’s when you can hear the morningbirds twittertweet and the sound of the nightsmell shifting from indigo to lavender. It’s that feeling that you’re walking through a nightime that’s moss-soft like lakewater, and not steelsoft like the ocean.
I was back on campus today at 9:30, and I was walking from Methods to Macroeconomics, and I was suddenly struck by a feeling of having been everywhere at once and nowhere at all. It’s that feeling that I sometimes get when I realize that I’m walking in the world but that I’m not part of it. Or the feeling that I’m part of the world but I’m not walking in it.
Like I’m sitting above it, as if it’s a diorama, watching everything that has happened to me in one moment, as if time has condensed itself into one point that I can observe, with all the Kristinas of every moment standing still in that one. As Kristina of now walks by the Belk Tower she sees at once this Kristina, and the Kristina of four years ago walking out of the International Studies’ office after declaring her major, and the Kristina of three years ago hobbling across the brick pathways to her first ballet class in Rowe. She sees all of the versions of herself that have been iterated, even as she walks in real time as a real person in that permanent iteration that is she, here and now but not forever because in a second she, too, will be another permanent stamp on time, isolated forever in that one moment that is a cage she can never escape.
Can you imagine? Kristina’s free life is an amalgamation of caged moments, the caged bird sings with a fearfultrill of thingsunknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distanthill for the cagedbird sings