Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This Day in History

Everything you know
And what is vastly greater, everything you don’t
Fits into little vessels of time, just twenty four hours
Containing everything that has ever happened
Like debris tossed into bottomless wells.

You know the day you were born and the day you were married
Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are easy to remember
Easter is more difficult, depending on certain lunar calculations
But Easter comes as no surprise.

Yet one of these days will be your last
Study the calendar all you want, you can’t find it
Until you stumble on something incomprehensible
The limits of your awareness, no more abstractions
Only life in a suddenly particular case
You cannot feel the motion of the earth
Nor regret the speed of each degree of orbit
But you study each pain like a magi studies the sky
Each sign in the heavens, each tremor of earth.

After death, there will be the usual business
Your obituary will appear on one of those dates
Someone will read it and comment on your age
But no one comprehends the perpetual calendar
The very small, the very large, or the very old
The distance between stars and the flicker of prices
The way nature and markets use whatever is lying about
The designs of work, of love, and suffering
The hope that the next day will be better
The source code of the human heart.

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