Friday, May 14, 2021

The Risk of Bad Translations

The crushed body of a milk snake on Sam Hill Road, its ancestors hovering in the form of rainblown honeysuckle blossoms, beside which I grew still for seven long summers. I'm stuck on Frankl's idea that "meaning is objective," aware of the risk of bad translations, and also general error but also, I mean, is it? Driving into New Hampshire by way of Vermont, wondering what I knew in my early twenties that I don't know now. Progressing where and by what means. Sunlight bleeds through thin clouds that move quickly across the hills. The poets who help me cross this vast dangerous river, each a stone making possible a step onto the next. Bald eagles on towering hemlocks off Dawes Road. All night it rained and in the morning we make love, padding around the bedroom after looking for clothes, saying at the same time "thank you," then laughing and going to the kitchen for breakfast and coffee. Violets in the tall grass but no bluets, as if I were forgotten in some critical way. Nothing is missing but the sense something is missing goes on, like a rowboat nosing the mist at dawn. If you know you are lost, are you still lost? Or is it that the urge to pray itself means we already know the answer?

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