That feeling of being privy to a new and great truth just because you were lucky enough to pick up a particular book is a source of endless delight and amazement, yes, but in particular times and with certain literature (okay, poetry) it can almost be a source of blessedness, of certainty there is an order for good in the universe. I have to think, “Someone who could put this feeling into words exits in the universe, was lucky enough to have the words ready for the feeling, was lucky enough to be able to share these words, and I was lucky enough to discover them when I didn’t know I needed them.”
Or something along those lines. This is actually carved above the water feature that’s in the south end of the Gallivan Center. I found it in college and, indeed, thought I was lucky.
Visions of the end may secretly seduce
our thoughts like water sinking
into water, air drifting into air;
clouds may form, when least expected,
darkening the glass of self,
canceling resemblances to what we are.
Even here, while summer sunlight
falling through the golden
folds of afternoon
brightens up the air, we mark
our progress by how much
we leave behind. And yet,
this vanishing is burnished
by a slow, melodious light,
as if our passage here
were beautiful because
no turning back is possible.
It is our knowledge of the end
that speaks for us, that has us weave,
as slowly as we can, an elegy
to all our walks. It is our way
of bending to the world’s will
and giving thanks.