The day will come, if it hasn’t already, when my notes about living in this world will seem quaint, if not childish. I like to think that I assume nothing; that my observations are my own; but this is far from the truth. In terms of knowledge, I have inherited a working farm, the ground of which was well broken and planted before me. The great astronomers have given me my casual, dreamy understanding of the stars. The philosophers have expanded my sense of the universe. I am a novice with the glad duty of ringing the temple bell. I peel the carrots and gather the herbs. I light the fire. I carry the water. I change the straw. I sweep the floor. I empty the chamber pot. I am needed no more and no less than anyone else. It is, simply, my turn to help.
Out Like a Light
Last night at nine-thirty the birds were still singing.
By four-thirty this morning they were at it again.
Who was last? Who was first? Do they know?
Does it change from one night to the next?
Does it mean anything to them?
Or do they simply go out like lights?
And rise in the morning to relieve the stars?
And what of the man who is miserable and important, who is miserable because of his importance, and important in his mind because of his misery, which he wears like armor and is afraid to remove? Does he not also go out like a light? And make way for a sweet child to rush in?
Recently Banned Literature, June 19, 2018
[ 991 ]