Professing * Reflecting

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday poem, Gerald Costanzo

The Meeting

Somewhere along the road
you meet up with yourself.
Recognition is immediate.
If it happens at the proper
time and place, you propose
a toast:

May you remain as my shadow
when I lie down.
May I live on as your ghost.

Then you pass, knowing you'll
never see yourself that way
again: the fires which burn
before you are your penance,
the ashes you leave behind are
your name.

--Gerald Constanzo

I first noticed Friday poetry blogging over at Dr. Crazy's place, but I only recently noticed that there seems to be a weekly theme. I just go with my own theme each week, according to what is going on in my life.

This week I have been thinking about the disciplined work me versus the wild gypsy me. For the past few weeks, my life has been highly regimented. In order to get the article done, I kept a very regular schedule of writing (or being at my desk) for a certain amount of hours, running for 30-40 minutes, cooking dinner, shower, bed--every day for days on end. I was also eating healthy food at regular times and (gasp) not drinking a drop of alcohol. Despite the stress and panic and isolation, I felt happy and centered.

After I clear my desk of the next few projects (article revisions, planning a class, ordering books, etc.), I will quite likely board a tour bus and cruise around the country for x number of days. I will not know where I am going, when I am eating, when I am sleeping. I might find time for a run or two but I cannot imagine the roadie lifestyle will allow for much more than that in terms of healthy living. I know I will feel blissfully disoriented and as happy as a child.

So I wonder which is more "me" or which me would be my shadow and which would be my ghost. Which will face the fires of penance and which lives in the ashes, in my name?

Finally, I just love a poem with a toast and I secretly refer to this poet in my head as "George Constanza," which makes me laugh.




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