Thursday, September 3, 2020

Nothing Means Everything to Me

“The road must be open and winding, and you can’t be headed to work.”

Why is it so hard to choose
To do what makes us feel most

Contented? Partly because
So much that makes us feel fine

Shortly leaves us broke or sick.
But that’s only part of it.

For instance, I like silence
With no one to disturb it,

Just wind in the pines, the waves
On a lake, pre-dawn quiet

On an emptied city street,
Even in suburbs, any

Place quiet, any of it,
Best of all quiet in mind.

But mind’s hard to keep quiet.
There’s so much to think about

Perusing a cloud, whether
Through windows or under it—

The news, food, “relationships,”
A sudden roar of traffic.

Next thing I know, I’ve lost it.
The cloud disintegrated,

The wind’s picking up a bit.
Forget the old argument

Of dualists and monists.
Let’s admit we’re torn to bits

Between the creatures we are—
Hungry negotiators,

Wholly interdependent,
Sly hunters and foragers—

And the contentments we are
Between deployed strategies.

Sturdy breeds gave rise to us,
Put the much in nothing much,

But nothing’s still everything
Nothing much can never be.

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