Remember Lot’s Wife


The way
to keep yourself
from yearning for the past
is to light it afire before
you leave.

Conrad Aiken: from Tetelestai

Say that I have no name, no gifts, no power,
Am only one of millions, mostly silent;
One who came with eyes and hands and a heart,
Looked on beauty, and loved it, and then left it.
Say that the fates of time and space obscured me,
Led me a thousand ways to pain, bemused me,
Wrapped me in ugliness; and like great spiders
Dispatched me at their leisure. . . . Well, what then?
Should I not hear, as I lie down in dust,
The horns of glory blowing above my burial?

Conrad Aiken’s remains lie in the dust just down the street from my house. Not sure why, but this fact makes the above lines a bit more poignant to me.