Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remember Love?

One of my favorite poems - and the only one I know by heart:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.
Sonnet 29, William Shakespeare

This weekend I went to the wedding of two exquisite people. I've known him since he was a child, and although I just met her a few years ago, I feel as if she is my sister/grandmother/daughter/friend. They are in love and in health. They can make beautiful plans and unravel tightly wound knots with optimism. They have time. They have the luxury of taking today for granted and concentrating on building their tomorrow on a foundation of great expectations.

It was a joy and a liberation to join in their celebration. Because even those of us who have passports to regularly visit the kingdom of the sick, as Susan Sontag describes it, need to be reminded of how penetrating love can be. Love is the hand that can point us toward a better moment, the arm that can encircle us when we are shrouded in our own misery, and the essence that can metabolize a depleted spirit into something lighter and more buoyant.

L'chaim -- to life!

1 comment:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

beautiful words, thank you for a Sunday night read.