I've been thinking a lot about connections this week. I visited Gina's journal where she had posted two exquisite photographs of a spider web. Gina is a gifted photographer. The web looked so delicate; it reminded me of the hand crocheted scarves that my maternal grandmother carefully placed on the tabletops in her home and on the arms of overstuffed chairs. But spider webs are actually quite strong; their delicate appearance is deceptive.
I also stopped by to visit my friend Marc's journal. Marc is all about connections. When I think of Marc, I am reminded of a line from John Donne's Meditation 17, "No man is an island, entire to itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind..." In addition to being an extraordinarily decent human being, Marc is also quite witty, and he makes me laugh.
Marc led me to a blog by one of his friends. It's called kickin tina. There's lots of good stuff there and I've book marked it so that I may return. If you visit, be certain to read the entry entitled "everything zen." It's about connections or perhaps the lack of connection. It made me start thinking about how so many of us are constantly seeking connections, about how we often fall into pseudo connections, mistaking pale imitations for the real thing because we have deluded ourselves into believing that anything is better than being alone. A couple of years ago, I wrote a poem about the need for connection, at least in my mind, that's what it is about. The poem is below.
There Is Nothing Original In Suffering
For every poem about love fulfilled,
there are written
one hundred times one hundred of love forsaken.
For every promise of love forever,
Jove’s mirth fills the arch of heaven,
for it is written that love’s perjuries conjure laughter.
swaddled in denial,
believe aches of the heart
to be a solitary pain,
newly born to the betrayed.
And so poets,
knowing there is nothing original in the sufferings of the heart,
write one hundred times one hundred of hearts mangled,
blinding lovers to a knowledge
much sharper than love broken--
that it has all been done and will be done again.
The music is an a cappella version of a folk song,
Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair, that I heard
back in the 1970s performed by Joan Baez. The origins
are Scottish but it is also attributed to being popularized in Southern Appalachia in the 18th century. As with most folk songs, the lyrics vary a bit from version to version.
In full disclosure, I should add that the recording of the song is by yours truly.