Changing Temples Pt. 8

“Tomorrow is another day”
Gone With The Wind

The Sister Of The Black Night

“All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream”
Edgar Allan Poe

It was a wake you up dream:
Dark, very dark, labyrinthine,
Oh so narrow, old Venezia street.
Sense rather than know
The four nuns coming on abreast.
Jump. Sidle. Dart to make way.
Whether sidle bumped or fallen,
A withered, disabled old Sister needed help.
Help instinctively given. On their way again,
How do we see or seem things in dreams,
The Superior called out: “God bless you Wayne.”
The thousandth of a second reply,
“God bless you Sister”, powered wakefulness,
And the constant reminder of mindfulness
Of the vulnerable hearts of others.
Vernal Equinox, Venezia 3/20/13

I honestly do not know if it is a “guy” thing or just a particular barnacle on my psyche, but notice that the vulnerability of hearts was deemed to exist in others. It is no deep insight to recognize that much of that exists within the inside heart as well.

I initially described this sojourn of mine as an “undertaking”, a Shakespearean excavation of my attempt to escape a broken heart. There have been brief moments in Venezia where the old, adventurous me seemed to make progress in treating that which ought to be buried with the spritely, gallows-humor of Hamlet’s diggers. However, like many of those weak of mind and spirit, I harbored hope. Please forgive the overly florid nature of what follows – sometimes merely reciting experiences of the human heart leaves only the shallowest of understanding. Also, i did promise Metaphor in this written enterprise! I frankly admit to harboring deep in the sea of my heart an always visible light house of hope. The real harbor has always very likely been my inability to take no for an answer. At any rate, yesterday, yet again, the no answer came, this time with the finality of a tsunami. The light house is now merely an historical structure waiting the eternal waves of memoryless time. Consequently, I’m a bit at sea. “And at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”.

Last night as I returned from my lezioni l’Italiano, walking the rainy, dark nighttime labyrinth of Venezia, I realized for the umpteenth time that an absolutely predominant feature of human culture is companionship – almost universally that of a man and a woman. Nary Ristaurante nor Trattoria, nary Cafe nor H’Ostaria contained anything but couples or people wanting coupling – well, OK, I did see one very attractive exception, but her conversation with another woman didn’t look amenable to any get to know you conversation. When one observes established relationships, it becomes readily apparent that true, meaningful, reciprocal companionship is so ferociously difficult to maintain, it is always a wonder that we almost instinctively keep trying.

I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting alone and eating while having only my mind to stare at. “The mind is a dangerous neighborhood, don’t go in alone”. I didn’t. I went home, drank wine, pretended to read news on the internet, and went to rediscover whether Tennyson still was correct when observing: “sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care”. Or, as Scarlett rightly observed, today is another day to appreciate and make significant.

Continued . . .


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