I’ve been planning on how to write this letter for many days. Little details creep in and many others leave as I rearrange the order of words , but today and now, none of them are present for the roll call. Even the pervasive mood of those times when I felt really pressed to pick the tab to write has disappeared and I wondered if like all other things, the more I kept away from you, the more I would forget of what it was to write to you and the easier it would be to not write at all.
Time is a constraint now. It always is whenever I want to speak. It has become an excuse for laying aside things to be done sometime in the future; a thing which never comes as expected. I had a bad dream last night, something that should be the result of being very nauseous in the evening , to the effect that I did not have dinner and I felt very tired. This morning, I am slightly better but tired and not anticipating any joy from food tasting still. But I shall try.
When I made this decision some days ago, I felt— and now that I’m slowly remembering—I feel freer. There isn’t a word to replace the staple with, so I hope you will not be dulled by its banal form. I decided that it would be nice to be the sort of person who could be depended on in times of difficulty or when people needed information of the useful sort. I thought about what it must be like to be very aware of things so I could give advice on various matters, take practical steps to help someone and just be useful. I have not yet decided on what exactly I need to learn in order to make that happen, but I don’t think I’ve made the serious acknowledgement before that anything of this sort could even be done by me. This means that I have decided and its something I will consciously work towards without expecting anything in return.
I have started reading a book ” open city” by Teju Cole, given to me by a friend I am trying to keep in touch with. I felt it would open up pathways for further communication in what had otherwise felt closed and on and off with long periods of silence. I also read few passages of Beowulf as well as this poem from The Bard of the Dimbovitza, First Series, p. 73:
Yesterday’s flowers am I,
And I have drunk my last sweet draught of dew.
Young maidens came and sang me to my death;
The moon looks down and sees me in my shroud
The shroud of my last dew.
Yesterday’s flowers that are yet in me
Must needs make way for all to-morrow’s flowers.
The maidens, too, that sang me to my death
Must even so make way for all the maids
That are to come.
And as my soul, so too their soul will be
Laden with fragrance of the days gone by.
The maidens that to-morrow come this way
Will not remember that I once did bloom,
For they will only see the new-born flowers.
Yet will my perfume-laden soul bring back,
As a sweet memory, to women’s hearts
Their days of maidenhood.
And then they will be sorry that they came
To sing me to my death;
And all the butterflies will mourn for me.
I bear away with me
The sunshine’s dear remembrance, and the low
Soft murmurs of the spring.
My breath is sweet as children’s prattle is;
I drank in all the whole earth’s fruitfulness,
To make of it the fragrance of my soul
That shall outlive my death.
I think it’s a beautiful poem. Its been a while since I read something this soft and memorable, may be because it takes away from the concentration on humans and fixes it on nature or maybe because the humans present have their minds also on things flitting past; time. I don’t know, but it’s a poem I will not forget.
I’ve been reading a lot too about old english, middle english nd new english. I worry about all the things I have to remember, but the subject itself has ceased to be boring, I even look forward to it now. I can say I am even dreaming of a time next month when I will spend hours on the linguistic side of quora. You have no idea how many snobs we tend to harbour in this side of the language world. Literature and language are filled with nazis and snobs, which at the end of the day can be an interesting source of entertainment, because terrible as they are, they are mostly right.