Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Stone, A Leaf, an Unfound Door

Thomas Wolfe, 20th Century novelist, rhapsodic on our constant search for grounding, presence, and hope . . . seek the light and go beyond.  Wolfe writes in the prelude to his novel Look Homeward, Angel:

A stone, a leaf, an unfound door; 
Of a stone, a leaf, a door.
And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile.
In her dark womb 
We did not know our mother's face; 
From the prison of her flesh we have come 
Into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison 
Of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? 
Which of us has looked into his father's heart?
Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? 
Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? 
O waste of loss in the hot mazes, lost, 
Among the bright stars 
On this most weary unbright cinder, lost! 
Remembering speechlessly 
We seek the great forgotten language, 
The lost lane-end into heaven, 
A stone, a leaf, an unfound door.

Where?  When?

O lost, and by the wind grieved,

Ghost, come back again.

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