A Friend Was Feeling Down. I Read Her A Poem.

A dear friend called. She was feeling a bit depressed, aggravated, like life was not being fair on this particular day. “On this particular decade,” I think she would interject. I listened. I empathized.

When I ran out of supportive words, I offered to read her a Wislawa Szymborska poem. She agreed, which is one of the reasons I love her–she knows what she needs. I said I was just going to open the book and read whatever I open it to.

“It might depress you even more…”

“Go ahead. Read.”

This is where we landed:

            
It could have happened. 
It had to happen. 
It happened sooner. Later. 
Nearer. Farther. 
It happened not to you. 

You survived because you were the first. 
You survived because you were the last. 
Because you were alone. Because of people. 
Because you turned left. Because you turned right. 
Because rain fell. Because a shadow fell. 
Because sunny weather prevailed. 

Luckily there was a wood. 
Luckily there were no trees. 
Luckily there was a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake, 
a frame, a bend, a millimeter, a second. 
Luckily a straw was floating on the surface. 

Thanks to, because, and yet, in spite of. 
What would have happened had not a hand, a foot, 
by step, a hairsbreadth 
by sheer coincidence.
So you're here? Straight from a moment still ajar? 
The net had one eyehole, and you got through it? 
There's no end to my wonder, my silence.
Listen 
how fast your heart beats in me.

“Beautiful,” she said and then added. “They should read that poem to returning soldiers.”

She thanked me. I thanked the poet.

(Above poem: There But for the Grace by Wislawa Szymborska – (c) 1972)

Fusion: The Synergy of Images and Words (via Steve McCurry’s Blog)

A beautiful post about humanity’s relationship love affair with the book:

Fusion:  The Synergy of Images and Words Ever since Gutenberg invented the printing press which enabled everyone to read books, artists have tried to portray the relationship of a reader and his/her book. Garrett Stewart’s book, The Look of Reading: Book, Painting, Text, explores the relationship of reading and art. We are familiar with words describing images, but not so familiar with images describing words and the impact reading has on our lives.

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