Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Metaphorical Sailing

Hopefully when you were in high school your English teacher made you read Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. Spoon River is a collection of poems that are epitaphs of denizens of a fictional Midwestern small town. I enjoyed reading it in high school and still do. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty depressing, but it just sucks you in like an early 20th century version of 'Jersey Shore'. But in between some sad lines, I have found glimpses of inspiration. One in fact, was the inspiration for the blog title - the epitaph of George Gray. Here's his story...

"I HAVE studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me--
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire--
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid."

So here I am, sails unfurled, leaving behind restlessness and vague desire, catching the winds wherever they drive the boat....

...although ironically I'm not a big fan of sailing. But I still love this poem. I suppose I can just be a fan of metaphorical sailing, so there's that.

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