The shadows of the clouds are moving

I was in the lift of the grocery store.  There was only one person there with me:  a man, perhaps in his mid-40s. 

There was sadness pouring out of him and filling up the elevator. I pulled down my sleeves as far as they could go.

“Are you sad?” I asked. 

“Is it that obvious?” he said.  When the lift stopped, we got off, nobody around. He waited until the elevator doors closed as though someone were in there. 

Of course, she was there.

He turned to me without looking and said:

“A friend took her life yesterday.  We were in a group together. She was very bright.  She was a geek and had a very good job. She could not live with the experience of her childhood.”

 

——————-

The North Americans say that the grasses remember with reference to the return of horses to the continent with the Spanish conquistadors.

 

The poet Tomas Tranströmer says the grasses also offer amnesty.  

 

This poet was always between our reality; what is hidden and is probably going on; our memory; the memory which we did not ourselves live (our collective unconscious); our imagination; and possible change – possible – but only because cloud shadows move. 

 

 


 

 

Open and Closed Space

Tomas Tranströmer, 1931-2015, Swedish

Translated by Robert Bly, The Half-Finished Heaven: Selected Poems, 2001, 2017

 

 

 

DSC00054-1

 Hope is:  Wanting to Pull the Clouds, 1992, polyester resin and acrylic on canvas.  Sigmar Polke, 1941-2010, German.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

 

With his work as with a glove, a man feels the universe.

At noon he rests a while, and lays the gloves aside on a shelf.

There they suddenly started growing, grow huge

and make the whole house dark from inside.

 

The darkened house is out in the April winds.

“Amnesty,” the grass whispers, “amnesty.”

A boy runs along with an invisible string that goes right up into the sky.

There his wild dream of the future flies like a kite, bigger than his town.

 

Farther to the north, you see from a hill the blue matting of fir trees

on which the shadows of the clouds

did not move.

No, they are moving.

 

 

 

DSC00055

Detail of Hope is:  Wanting to Pull the Clouds, 1992, polyester resin and acrylic on canvas.  Sigmar Polke, 1941-2010, German.  National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The shadows of the clouds are moving

  1. I was very moved by your “moment in a life” and also the juxtaposition of pointers towards amnesty and hope alongside this encounter. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Susannah.
      The first I heard of the horse once again on the Great Plains, I saw how distinctive must be the feel on the earth of the hooves of a galloping horse. Let alone many of them. We don’t know that there is not a memory imprint of that because, certainly, the grasses and the original horses co-evolved until one was eliminated!
      Amnesty and forgiveness: all we have in the end?

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