Before we say farewell:
This evening just after sunset, I stood above my beloved Mississippi, on a
bridge in the cutting wind, watching moon rise over river's eastern bank.
Below, dark, cold water, ice floes moving under me in the current, scraping
against the sheet of snow-covered ice extending from shore. The bridge's
tramelling supports sunk into black depths, allowing fossil-fuel-guzzling
cars to move people faster, faster, easier on their heedless ways. Across,
lights along the next bridge, 2 miles downriver, radio tower winking red
light, powerful steel structure sprouting from among leafless trees, smoggy
haze on the horizon, river stretching to its next bend in mist. Above,
lights of jets taking off and landing at the airport, about 10 miles
downriver, stars visible amid city lights winking into sight. Behind,
traffic on the bridge, an oil truck, a speeding sports car, further upriver
the next bridge, graffiti on the road sign where I'm leaning. Everywhere
snow twinkling, wind blowing, lights burning, trucks rumbling,
techno-industrial life going on. And moon's cold, gentle light falling over
How much of this can I love? How much of this can I not love?
I thought of Whitman, invoked by John in the original article that started
this seminar. And, rats, now I can't find my copy of Leaves of Grass. It's
something like, "Urge, and urge, and urge/Always the incessant urge of the
world." Not incessant--procreant?--the whole quote is inexact--do you know
the passage? My river and big, full yellow moon taught me tonight what
we've been talking about all week. Words can only point to it, refer to
it--moon and river know and their lannguage is the language of the heart.
I feel as if I've travelled a tremendous distance in the past seven days.
John, and all of you here, even still-cloaked lurkers, have been my
companions on this road. It has been a significant journey, and I thank and
bow to each of you and all of you. May your continuing journeys be sweet
A multitude of blessings,