Monday, September 29, 2008

james joyce - simples

life begins so simply - in an instant - a person begins. from this singular moment unfolds a second moment detailed to the second order and a third moment detailed to the third order and so on.
life unfolds, with each instant a myriad fractals of choices, reflections, convergence, divergence, possibilities known and unknown, felt and dealt with, followed, ignored and then in a moment not entirely dissimilar to the first moment from which all this emerged - it ends as we know it. echoes of the presence of the person are felt as memory, and in the legacy of a world forever changed by the choices and actions of that person. change that is perhaps not easily identified or isolated, but change that is there all the same.
somewhere along the arc of that journey from singularity to singularity comes a moment or moments in which a pronounced awareness of the moment - a letting go of the attachment to the surface of things - becomes either an extraordinary event or a feature of daily experience. this sensitivity to the allness of everything as contained inside a single moment can be arrived at through all sorts of means including simple good fortune or grace - its essence is a heightening of availability to what is.
james joyce described such a moment inside his poem “simples”. a moment - long and eternal - caught in words that extend fractally into whatever constitutes eternity for words.


of cool sweet dew and radiance mild
the moon a web of silence weaves
in the still garden where a child
gathers the simple salad leaves.

a moondew stars her hanging hair
and moonlight kisses her young brow
and, gathering, she sings an air:
fair as the wave is, fair, art thou!

be mine, i pray, a waxen ear
to shield me from her childish croon
and mine a shielded heart for her
who gathers simples of the moon.

james joyce

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