On The Road Back
Serious illness instructs its victims
In the miracle of the normal life.
Spend time starting over on things you never think of,
And a new appreciation dawns
For the marvel of Being-in-the-World.
Crisis finally ended, they move me down
So I may eat like a human again and gain the strength
To walk geriatrically about the ward
Creepingly, yet exulting in my newfound freedom
From the Sargasso Sea of lines that bound me for so long.
Soon they would send me home
To where Gulliver's god asserts his primacy.
There is in every life that question never asked aloud,
Yet waits for its whisper in misfortune's ear:
Why go on?
Why the trouble of going on
When we know all things, after all,
Make an end of themselves?
What purpose served when Summer's light gives way again
To Winter's dark, itself to give way once more
Before the furious blooms of Spring,
This cycling of changes running blindly 'round
'Til all together, when at last we're called away from being
Will soon enough leave not even faint memory
That ever we, or they, had been?
Why go on,
When all are orphaned in the end,
When in due time Time itself will cease to march
When even God may wonder
To what end He set it all in motion for,
Leaving only an original Mystery
To occupy Forever?
Yet still all things contrive to persevere, especially ourselves,
Despite our cursed knowledge of Finality,
Knowing that none shall escape eclipsion,
But sensing that the weight
Of whatever we have made of our lives
Will add its dram of meaning
When the sum of it all is balanced together
In the great equation of existence.
We go on for the honor of going on,
Because there is no road back
And the bridges burn themselves behind us as we go.
The going is its own meaning
Because all moments matter to those they happen to,
Are defined by those they happen to -
And in the happening
Each soul makes its bright flash in the infinite dark,
Illumines itself in silent declaration
That it once was, and dared to be,
Despite the vanishing that follows.
When all is said and over,
It's perhaps best we measure ourselves
Against the blazing stars and wheeling galaxies
To find that we come out the larger
Than they in all their magnificence,
In our tiny, burning brilliance.