Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Cleansing of the Soul

The Cleansing of the Soul
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Cleansing of the Soul

I dropped off my dirty laundry, clipped my nails, threw out an old train schedule to Bronxville and went for a long run this morning.

As soon as I got to work, I also called my doctor to schedule my annual physical.

And next week I’ll be on vacation in Florida, Monday through Friday, instead of being holed up here in the office. I just couldn’t wait for spring any longer.

On the whole, inspired by a few recent events, I’m taking action to cleanse the soul.

Along with taking the boys to Disneyland one day, I plan to run everyday and play a lot of tennis with my estranged wife while I’m away.

Even though we are residentially and emotionally separated, we’ve agreed to a few things to “keep us together” so to speak and to keep things congenial—the kids for one, and “love” on the court, especially when I’m serving and the score is 40-love.

Moreover, after 40 years of loving I’ve learned that it is important not to burn bridges. Albeit many have not been traversed in a while, I feel confident that most of my bridges are still intact.

Alas, there are always exceptions to all rules, especially if you’re the one making them.

After a while you learn that sometimes you’ve just got to make a clean break, especially when the bridge is already in peril and liable to fall apart; especially when you’re the only one interested in holding it together in the end.

Ultimately, I believe that the individual makes the difference—find a good match and circumstance merely becomes just another obstacle to overcome or merely a formality to schedule around.

Whether it’s someone you partner up with at work, play or love—chemistry is paramount, that certain intuitive understanding of one another that facilitates a smooth ride over time. Once you have this, everything else is fairly inconsequential.

However, if you begin to look beyond or overlook the core of your partner and rely on circumstantial evidence to hold things together—you’re eventually going to falter, you’re inevitably doomed. For even all the king’s men, ain’t gonna put you two back together again once the love is gone.

Thus, although it is never easy to say goodbye, once and for all, sometimes other people make bidding adieu, farewell, good luck and good riddance an easy thing to do.


Y Uno Aprende...
By Jorge Luis Borges

Después de un tiempo,
uno aprende la sutil diferencia
entre sostener una mano
y encadenar un alma.

Y uno aprende
que el amor no significa acostarse,
y una compañía no significa seguridad.

Y uno empieza a aprender...
que los besos no son contratos
y los regalos no son promesas

Y uno empieza a aceptar sus derrotas
con la cabeza alta y los ojos abiertos

Y uno aprende a construir
todos sus caminos en el hoy,
porque el terreno de mañana
es demasiado inseguro para planes...
y los futuros tienen una forma de
caerse en la mitad.

Y después de un tiempo
uno aprende que si es demasiado,
hasta el calorcito del sol quema.

Así que uno planta su propio jardín
y decora su propia alma,
en lugar de esperar a que alguien le traiga flores.

Y uno aprende que realmente puede aguantar,
que uno realmente es fuerte,
que uno realmente vale.

Y uno aprende y aprende...
y con cada día uno aprende.

Comes the Dawn*

After a while
you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand
and chaining a soul.

And you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning,
and company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that
kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises.

And you begin to accept defeats
with your head up and your eyes open
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure...
that you really are strong,
and you really do have worth.

And you learn and learn...
with every goodbye you learn.

*Albeit Internet legend attributes authorship to various authors, including Veronica A. Shoffstall (in 1971) or Judith B. Evans, the original “Comes The Dawn” poem was written in Spanish by the Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, who is often noted as one of the foremost literary figures of the 20th Century. He wrote his poem Y Uno Aprende… sometime between 1919-1929.

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