magical tragical self-ery

May 15, 2008 Candace Morris 5 Comments

I have recently been moaning about the loss of reading time once graciously given me by the commute to and from work.

(truth: I used to read for 15 min before the lull of the bus put me to sleep anyway – so actually I spent about 45 min a day sleeping in public).

But still.

This reading time is now spent getting up later in the morning and returning earlier in the evenings, so it hasn’t been a huge complaint, but as my life seems to demand more and more analysis of my vocational conundrum (wtf am I doing with my life?!!), I ache and long to be lost in someone else’s words: their story, their love interest, their family, their outfits, their melancholy– even if just to feel connected again.

You see, I feel entirely isolated.

Or perhaps trapped is a better word.

I know there is something out there for me – it presses on me and I am ever closer to it, but I cannot move into that realization just yet. It is not time. I am in the dream stage still – and my dear, imagination and I have never been comrades.
I tried her as a playmate a little while back, but she will have none of it. So I keep tiptoeing around her screen door, my hair stringy-wet with summer sprinklers, my lip stained with purple soda, my skin dewy with hope.

Sometimes she speaks through the screen door…lazily sighing of things we could do.
Jumproap? Hopscotch? Lemonade stand?

But alas, off I go to collect our roller-skates – full of her whispery inspiration, afraid to embrace the relief of boredom – and I come back, and she’s gone.

I can hear the TV through her screen door, her mother shuffling in the kitchen, but I am on the outside.

So I was right in that word choice, I guess.
Isolated. Left.

my kitty cats, independence is a bitch.

matthew arnold and i, on the other hand, are dear old cronies. Despite not having time to read (aka I don’t feel like any corner of my new place is screaming as a reading spot – and this must needs be fixed, dove – it’s imperative), I realized that a 10 minute bus ride is the perfect amount of time for a POEM!!!

You see, my new cyber crush (I love this girl!) has got me thinking about poetry again. She is a gifted poet, and because my writing style is more prose – I forget how much I love the lyricism of poetry..that is, until plume reminded me. she seems to be reminding me of a lot lately.

poetry. It can capture and preserve me all at the same time.

So I felt found again today…thank you Matthew Arnold.


Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel’s prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o’er the starlit sea.

And a look of passionate desire
O’er the sea and to the stars I send:
“Ye who from my childhood up have calm’d me,
Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!

“Ah, once more,” I cried, “ye stars, ye waters,
On my heart your mighty charm renew;
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you,
Feel my soul becoming vast like you!”

From the intense, clear, star-sown vault of heaven,
Over the lit sea’s unquiet way,
In the rustling night-air came the answer:
“Wouldst though be as these are? Live as they.

Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
Undistracted by the sights they see,
These demand not that the things without them
Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.

“And with joy the stars perform their shining,
And the sea its long moon-silver’d roll;
For self-poised they live, nor pine with noting
All the fever of some differing soul.

“Bounded by themselves and unregardful
In what state God’s other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
These attain the mighty life you see.”

O air-born voice! long since, severely clear,
A cry like thine in mine own heart I hear:
“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he,
Who finds himself, loses his misery!”

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