Will the Roses Bloom (Where She Lies Sleeping)

March 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today I am sad about Adrienne Rich and Earl Scruggs and death in general and the fact that it is so overcast outside that I cannot see the mountain, which has been my only solace these lonely days.

We make so much more of the deaths of great artists, and yet they die so much less, when they die. Their deaths so much less final than death tends to be for most of us. Ars longa, vita brevis et et et et…

You want to think it must be quite a thing, quite a nice thing, to die knowing that you made such an impression, that you affected so much, that you left some meaningful oeuvre behind, be it beautiful feminist poetry or genre-defining Jesus people bluegrass. You want to think that there would be a certain ‘dying happy,’ in that. But of course that isn’t true. Of course there isn’t such a thing as ‘dying happy.’ Death is not an event. It is not the type of thing one can have a feeling in or about or during because it is the very antithesis of feeling. It is a nothingness. And it makes no sense to say you can die one way or another. At least not of the person doing the dying.

And that’s the real crux of the issue here. I want to figure out a way of being happy-ish. But I first have to figure out a way to make things matter, which is somehow so much larger a quandary.

And as I sit here, dreaming when I should be writing the last report of the day, I try to figure out whether the impermanence of life and the permanence of art is the source of a great joy or a great sorrow or some other thing that doesn’t have a name.

Praise the lord I saw the light.
No more darkness, no more night.
Now I’m so happy, no sorrow in sight.
Praise the lord, I saw the light.

If this were a map,
She thinks, a map laid down to memorize
Because she might be walking it, it shows
Ridge upon ridge fading into hazed desert
Here and there a sign of aquifers
And one possible watering-hole.

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