Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And in fact we can’t live like that

No one ever told us we had to study our lives,
make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history 
or music, that we should begin 
with the simple exercises first 
and slowly go on trying 
the hard ones, practicing till strength 
and accuracy became one with the daring 
to leap into transcendence, take the chance 
of breaking down the wild arpeggio 
or faulting the full sentence of the fugue. 
And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on 
everything at once before we’ve even begun 
to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin 
in the midst of the hard movement, 
the one already sounding as we are born. 

From “Transcendental Etude” by Adrienne Rich

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

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