Last night I wandered around a downtown park filled with strange, beautiful, confounding, mesmerizing art: dancers, sculptors, glass blowers, painters, musicians, weavers, poets, mask makers. It was nightfall in the city. Skyscrapers glowed around the periphery of the park, light rail trains glided by, and storm clouds gathered and dispersed overhead. At one point I sat on the base of a sculpture and took it all in, the voices and laughter and absorption on the faces of the crowd.
Somehow there was a stillness to the whole scene, and a stillness in me too. No one around me was familiar, but my heart ached because I wanted to give something to them all. A conversation with a friend last week came back to me, in which she said she craved connection above all, and how there was both pain and relief in accepting that it didn’t have to come from romance. This morning I woke up and remembered this poem, by the incomparable Milosz.
Love, by Czeslaw Milosz
Love means to look at yourself
the way one looks at distant things
for you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
without knowing it, from various ills–
a bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
so that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.
For more information about Czeslaw Milosz, please click here.