The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday

One Being Inside All
By Jalaluddin Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks

Lovers, it is time
for the taste of fire.

Let sadness and your fears of death
sit in the corner and sulk.

The sky itself reels with love.
There is one being inside
all of us, one peace.

Poet, let every word tremble its wind bell.
Saddle the horse with great anticipation.

Flute notes are calling us into friendship.
Begin again. Play the melody
all the way through this time.

Sun-presence floods over.
Quietness is an empty cup.

Accept that you
must hide your secret.


I am home from another lovely day in Williamsburg, starting with an enormous hotel breakfast buffet (at which younger son burned his fingers on the waffle iron, and later burned his tongue on hot chocolate -- he had a somewhat rough day). We met dementordelta in the visitor's center, watched the movie Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot, and visited the cooper, the cabinetmaker, the printer, the blacksmith, the tailor, the silversmith, the apothecary, the pewter and coppersmith, the gunsmith and the shoemaker, as well as the capitol building, courthouse, armory and gaol. The weather was a bit iffy with periods of cold rain, but we had awesome soup and cheese and stuff in one of the taverns for lunch, and again we had the place practically to ourselves. The governor's home was closed for repairs and we never made it through Peyton Randolph's house, so we will just have to go back. More details in photo captions over the week!

The Capitol Building of Williamsburg, where the Governor's Council and the House of Burgesses met. (Guess who had the posh chamber? Photos to come later.)

The Governor's Palace, with the symbols of the Crown above the gate.

The courthouse, where non-felony cases were tried as well as civil cases largely brought by creditors against debtors.

The magazine, emptied of its powder by the Marines when the governor started fearing that the Virginia militia might cease to represent the interests of Britain and follow Massachusetts toward insurrection.

The prison, which was not a place of discipline or punishment, but a hideous holding cell for those who committed capital crimes until they could be sentenced, and, if necessary, hanged.

Greenhow's store, where we bought sugar and ceramics yesterday.

And the Bruton Parish Church where the representatives met to pray for the citizens of Boston afflicted when the British closed the port, something the burgesses feared could happen in Virginia.

We watched the Oscar nominations while we ate breakfast; I was glad Viggo Mortensen got one though I still haven't seen Eastern Promises (and might root for Johnny Depp when it comes down to it), and delighted that Cate Blanchett got two. But of course all movie news has been totally overshadowed by Heath Ledger's death -- I found out via CNN text message and thought at first I'd misread it. I've loved him in every movie I've seen him in -- The Patriot, Ned Kelly, Casanova, The Brothers Grimm, Ten Things I Hate About You, A Knight's Tale which is the first film in which I was aware of who he was and which remains one of my favorite movies, and of course Brokeback Mountain. I'm probably forgetting a couple...I never stopped before to take stock of exactly how much I appreciated his work. What an awful tragedy. Only half-watched Boston Legal which was not remotely one of my favorites (and they showed it on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, ugh).

I'm not even going to recap the episode because anything I might otherwise have found witty or quirky, like Xanadu as musical therapy, was overshadowed by so much really grotesque stuff: white woman sucks black man off to obtain his sperm so she can have a "little Obama" as she puts it, Alan agrees to represent the aggrieved boyfriend who wants to force her to have an abortion because, as it turns out, he's still smarting from a college girlfriend who had an abortion without telling him in advance that she was pregnant. Moral: Use a fucking condom and don't let a woman you consider a bimbo suck you off -- didn't we all learn that from Bill Clinton and the blue dress already?

I did appreciate Lorraine's contempt, Katie's intensity in the courtroom and Shirley's fury...I really hope she never sleeps with Carl again, because god knows I'd never sleep with a man who believed he had any right to tell me what to do with my body, one way or the other, if I got pregnant. Denny is very nearly a saving grace pointing out the obvious extension of Alan's position: "Marriage, divorce, abortion, we were much better off before women got a say and the courts are taking us back there." Plus Denny has wet dreams about Hillary Clinton whom he now finds, as he puts it, "so hot in a dominatrix praying-mantis sort of way." Let Alan go to bed jealous and contemplating all the forms of his misogyny instead of how he always portrays himself as the wounded party, like the woman he impregnated didn't suffer on her own in deciding what to do about what was happening to her body.

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