"We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time."------Little Gidding, Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot
"...in the stillness/ Between two waves of the sea./ Quick now, here, now, always---/A condition of complete simplicity." (Ibid)
(For Franco and Perla Patricio)
A condition of stillness pursues you,
wherever you find your exile, at sea
or in any exploration. You will be there.
It is your image on the mirror: an old
longing for the simplicity long lost
in the shuffle of life, loves, and losses.
Every wave that beats on the ballast
asks: Are you happy at last? Will this
outlast the lingering left-over dread?
Out there where waves break at the edge
of the firmament of quiet stars on stars
you can see through the moving darkness.
Where have all the pains remained?
On what shores did you neglect to load
them, overstaying albatross of gloom?
Your heart leaps with the bobbing bow
and stern, and you whisper a prayer
drowned quickly by the sea. You laugh.
They cannot haunt you anymore than
dead memories can bear you down.
You have built a mansion of dreams.
You have been here before, haven’t you?
Exploring the depths of what happiness
you could grab, you will hold them,
and will never let them slip away; you
have earned them. In this brief exile
on the sea, would you hold on to this
sudden grace of simple stillness?
Will this still simplicity pursue you
wherever you roam? Come home then.
--- Albert B. Casuga