Saturday, July 07, 2007

"Because isn't it time this oldest of heartaches
finally bore us some fruit? Isn't it time,
though still loving, we learnt to wrench ourselves
free of the beloved and, though trembling,
endure as the arrow endures the tensed bowstring,
becomes something more than itself in the leap
of release? For our point of rest is nowhere."

From Duino Elegies, 'First Elegy' Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Martyn Crucefix.

Rilke is talking about love, I suspect he is quite jealous ofwatching lovers in the park, he wants more to life than the pure intense thrill of initial love. There is more, even though we still love, we have to move forward.

You really have to read the first elegy complete but this totally amazed me. This is for Christine - be like an arrow, endure the bowstring and do not fear the leap...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sorrow concealed ...

"Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopped
does burn the heart to ashes where it is"

from Titus Andronicus (Act II, Scene IV)- Shakespeare.

I'm trying to figure out this phrase, although it seems obvious, I suppose it means if an oven door is forced closed rather than the oven turned off. 'Titus Andronicus' is about revenge, pure revenge and it seems to be very applicable to the situation today in NI. How do we move forward? How do we cope with the past? I don't think we cope with it by trying to 'conceal' the hurt that has been caused.

I have gone all Shakespeare, I bought a 'guide' to Shakespeare yesterday and a 'Complete Works' today and I have been reading as much as I can. The theme of revenge fits in well with my other book 'You got nothing coming' by Jimmy Lerner. Lerner in prison in Nevada USA soon realises prison is only about revenge, there is no rehabilitation programmes, nothing to encourage him to do well - 'he has nothin' coming' and deserves nothing. It seems the people of Nevada have got so sick of seeing prisoners in a 'holiday camp' that they had stripped almost all the programs and rehab functions out of prison. Jimmy aka OG (old goat) is told that the parole board looks well on prisoners who take the rehad programs and even though they are not running, he has his name placed on the list but this isn't good enough - he got nothin' coming.

When it comes down to revenge, the only people who suffer are ourselves - Shakespeare realised that and if only more people could see that today. One prisoner in Nevada is released to re-offend within a week, instead of the governer realising the damage that is being done to the ordinary citizens by the lack of rehab programs in prison, he merely stops the parole of all other prisoners, including OG.