Are you on countdown this week? I keep ticking away days as if life is being divided into BE (before elections) and AE.

I know this is historically myopic.

The crow, the hawk, and the falcon are not counting down. They will keep flying regardless. As their kin have done for centuries.

As the poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in The Book of Hours:

“I am circling around God, around the ancient tower, and I have been circling for a thousand years, and I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.”

This week, instead of bringing more thoughts to you, I offer a poem instead.

This one comes from the Irish poet and Nobel prize winner, Seamus Heaney and was published în The Cure at Troy in 1991, to honor Nelson Mandela. (Heaney’s book was based on Sophocles’ play Philoctetes, which, truthfully, I haven’t read.)

It speaks to today.

From The Cure at Troy   (I added the bolding.)

Human beings suffer
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave…

But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.

May we reach that farther shore.

Till then, keep the faith!

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