I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, eyes – I wonder if It weighs like Mine – Or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long – Or did it just begin – I could not tell the Date of Mine – It feels so old a pain – I wonder if it hurts to live – And if They have to try – And whether – could They choose between – It would not be – to die – I note that Some – gone patient long – At length, renew their smile – An imitation of a Light That has so little Oil – I wonder if when Years have piled – Some Thousands – on the Harm – That hurt them early – such a lapse Could give them any Balm – Or would they go on aching still Through Centuries of Nerve – Enlightened to a larger Pain – In Contrast with the Love – The Grieved – are many – I am told – There is the various Cause – Death – is but one – and comes but once – And only nails the eyes – There's Grief of Want – and grief of Cold – A sort they call "Despair" – There's Banishment from native Eyes – In sight of Native Air – And though I may not guess the kind – Correctly – yet to me A piercing Comfort it affords In passing Calvary – To note the fashions – of the Cross – And how they're mostly worn – Still fascinated to presume That Some – are like my own –
we tell ourselves down here;
the same chambers fed by veins,
the same maze of love and fear.” —Josh Ritter, “In the Dark”
You might have asked it, but I’m sure I didn’t give you a single answer, as I simply don’t have one to give. I love way too many books way too much to ever narrow it down beyond maybe a top ten of sorts. Off the top of my head, the following books (for different reasons and what they meant to me at different times in my life) would be included on such a list:
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
American Pastoral, Philip Roth
Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy, Irvin Yalom
Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides
Home, Marilynne Robinson
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
That’s a good question about the Fall Mix. And here’s the thing, it is made. Has been for almost a week now. But I’ve been so insanely busy with real life things that I haven’t a had chance to zip it or upload it, let alone post it. I feel silly putting out a fall mix this close to the end of November (with snow falling as I type this, no less), but I’m going to do it anyway, hopefully tomorrow. It’s the thought that counts, right?
As for Dawes, I’m sorry to say my age is probably showing: I’ve never heard them.
Though I’m probably not, I like to think of myself as a fairly simple person, and so I’d go with a basic sandwich that I always eat, and always love: sourdough bread, jack cheese, mustard, mayo, pickle.
I wish I was fancier sometimes.