By the time this posts, I should be in upstate New York, ready to begin a new semester teaching after my glorious year off. At present I’m actually sitting in bed in Dundee, my normally abominably healthy body reacting to this proposed exile by unexpectedly becoming ill. So it goes.
I’ve made little secret of where I’d rather be, but as my sweetie says, “Needs must.” so I will throw myself into my work, both writing and teaching, until the end of term and be back in Scotland for Hogmanay.
And I will recite Donne’s poem of parting and forbid myself to mourn the distance between us, as it is really nothing at all.
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A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning
|by John Donne|
As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say, "The breath goes now," and some say, "No," So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love. Moving of the earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent. Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it. But we, by a love so much refined That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion. Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two: Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do; And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like the other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.