Sunday, October 14, 2007

What are days for?

Hours disappear each day, slipping through my fingers, rolling down the stairs.

I've planned Albert's memorial concert at Juilliard (and it will be quite wonderful), tomorrow is the opening Symposium of the Helicon season, next week is the Rihm concert at Miller Theater, tonight I sight-read principal oboe in Carmen with the NYCO, and tomorrow morning I play the funeral of another friend who's taken his leave this fall.

A thousand details attended to does not balance the scales. Grief is neither measurable nor containable. Loss is only and always loss and nothing can take the place of the missing.

My phone feels heavy in my pocket these days, dead weight waiting for a call. Incoming, outgoing, there is so much left I wanted to say—so much I hoped to hear.

The unaswered question is simply, "How are you?"

by Philip Larkin

What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.


Anonymous said...

Another from Louis MacNeice. This is how time is for me -- all we have with each other.


The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

James Roe said...

Thanks, SOHJ! Beautiful addition.