Friday, August 14, 2009

No Human Power...

The poem below by Kathleen Bonnano struck my tragedy-is-always-just-around-the-bend-bone and how when it comes - you now belong to it - for the rest of your life, in a world beyond fix or explanation. A place where we have to accept that that no human power is big enough to overcome tragedy. Where it's not the GPS taking you to your destination - its your very soul and it is insisting that you "recalculate".

A friend wrote: "No human power. Means especially you. But also experts and fixers and those we hope will know. No one knows. If anyone understands that in the depths of their soul it's you. You know what's right. We all do. Just a question of whether we choose to listen. Stop and ask. What does the kind spirit want me to do in this situation. You'll get the answer."

The last line of the poem, "From now on, you write about me" is the powerful voice of the tragic occurrence letting you know who is in charge. It is also the voice of love and wisdom that understands that you cannot control or predict what will happen.

Six years ago Kathleen Bonnano's 21 year old daughter, Leidy, was found dead in her apartment, strangled by her ex boyfriend with a telephone cord. Her Mother has published a collection of poems called Slamming Open The Door. This is one of the poems from the collection:

Death Barged In

In his Russian greatcoat,
slamming open the door
with an unpardonable bang,
and he has been here ever since.

He changes everything,
rearranges the furniture,
his hand hovers
by the phone;
he will answer now, he says;
he will be the answer.

Tonight he sits down to dinner
at the head of the table
as we eat, mute;
later, he climbs into bed
between us.

Even as I sit here,
he stands behind me
clamping two
colossal hands on my shoulders
and bends down
and whispers to my neck:
From now on,
you write about me.

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