a poet’s two ways to dispel an unwanted feeling

on an Amtrak train

When we put our feelings in the boxes of perspective we feel safe. I just read some poems by a favorite poet in past gone years, and this is one stanza that I picked at random,

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. (by Pablo Neruda [1914-1973] )

Feelings are really one of the least safe things in life. How to stop a feeling that disturbs and even hurts? There are two ways. One way is to write a poem, or in my case, write a haiku, short and terse. Then I put away my unwanted feeling into the 17 sounds/syllables. For example, here is my haiku based on the above stanza from the famous poet.

go not a day long

vacant stare waiting forlorn

train not arriving

Another way of stopping an unwanted feeling is to pack it into a box. Label the boxes into perspectives. A dictionary’s definition (not exhaustive) of perspective includes: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. A picture drawn in perspective, especially one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance.  A true understanding of the relative importance of things; a sense of proportion. You can name it whatever (just fill in the blank). And then put it aside.

Actually the key is “put it aside”. Can you do it?

Can I? Well, I have the haiku as a backup plan B. So one day if I find it real hard not to hear from you for a long long time, I may choose one of the two ways like a DIY dispenser of feeling numbing/removing fail-proof actions.

If I forget your name? Never

I too feel fascinated by some names, especially the names of shops or brands. Here are some Names which I found a year ago in my last visit to a shopping mall in CA. Shops are named: Pink in Life, The Picture People, Walking Company. I particularly like the idea of a shop named “Things Remembered”. We all have things we do not forget. There was an old song titled, “Don’t forget to remember”. Love is something hard to forget. Humans are by nature remembering creatures. The older we get the more we have accumulated things we like to remember in our memories, some vivid, some vague. Some real and some imagined. Some with sad endings, some good. I stumbled on a Tv program that helped long separated old friends to find each other after decades. Quite touching stories emerged. When I grow old enough perhaps I too write a letter to the long lost one and ask for an appointment with a poem.

If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda

Listen to a reading of the beautiful poem at the following link:
https://youtu.be/hWI9J5HFRfI

Notes about the shop: Things Remembered began over 40 years ago as a small engraving and services shop called “Can Do”. And today, Things Remembered has grown into the nation’s leading, and most successful, retailer of personalized gifts. (online information quoted)

forgetting is so long: a haiku (and a prose)

never let me gomillions memories

locked in time and space stories

this shore and that shore

~~~~(Concerning your recent thoughts of our past.) I HAVE BEEN THINKING LATELY TOO. Our past. Because there are too many memories. After all we have accumulated 23 years (8395 days, 201480 hours, 12,088,800 minutes, 725,328,000,000 seconds) of being together. I think of the time that had passed. I think of our marriage life together. I would consider our life a good life. We were very close, like the best of friends and much much closer. When I think of the sands running out in the hour-glass of time, I wonder why I never managed to grab them and refuse to let go. I admit I am a mortal. There are things I cannot change. When I was very young, in school, I read a novel titled, “The Foolish Immortals”.  I was drawn to the title. Only fools try to become immortal. I know there are impossibilities in human lives. We cannot change certain natural pre-arrangements. We trust science but we know whatever changes we perform down here are not changed in the spiritual realm. There is a fixed registry there for each mortal. Even marriage. Even love between two individuals. The span, the length, the breadth, the depth, the height. 725.3million seconds is not a short time. But it is too short for me. Far too short. I cannot retract each second much as I want to. Instead of going back to the future I would want to have a vehicle that will bring me back to the past, yes, way past, to before I was even born. I want to ask the Creator to give me a different registry. I would beg for a change in my life history. I would not let go until He says yes. If only I have that miraculous vehicle to go back. I would live differently, still with you, my love, but much much differently. I would not need to let go. Never. Like Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

Excerpts from a poem by Pablo Neruda: Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
…She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes

…Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her….
My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
…Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

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