The Idealist-Realist Dialectic

I’ve already hinted at “the idealist” and “the realist” being at odds in the way they perceive the world through Lin Yutang’s pseudo-scientific formula:

Reality + Dreams = A heart-ache (usually called Idealism)
Reality + Humour = Realism (also called Conservatism)

I hear you say “Why?” Always “Why?” You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?George Bernard Shaw 

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Gilberts’s Icarus: Reframing Failure

Failing and Flying

by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph. Continue reading

Life’s A Raft

gericault-raft_of_the_medusa
 
My ship, my Titanic

Has hit an Iceberg

Her last passengers

Move to the tip and

Near-vertical

gaze at  with

foundered horror

the last lifeboats’

departure

Continue reading

Lookin’ Up, Lookin’ In

There was too much to look around, so  I looked up… Continue reading

Hide and Seek at Rosh Hanikra

 Dolce Far Niente or …

My idea of a holiday is far niente, dolce far niente, to my husband’s dismay. Not even reading. And I have an outstanding talent at doing nothing without any feeling of guilt. Continue reading

Tamar and Yehudah

I wish I were Tamar

Who kept her pledge

And cast her net

wider than Yehuda’s,

whether he liked it or not

Who are you, Tamar?

“A lethal woman,

methinks”,Yehuda’s

delusory prejudice.

Beware the fatherless

widow’s oppression.

Disgrace.

I know who you are,

whether you like it or not

Chagall-Tamar_the_daughter-in-law_of_Judah

-Who are you, veiled

woman?

– Don’t you know?

For money, but a kid

shall do, you may know

me better. No kid, no mo-

ney? I bet you can pledge

thy seal, cord and staff,

whether you like it or not

-Who do you think

you are, Tamar?

You show, my girl

A harlot methinks,

and only fire may pur-

ify thy offense. Pray,

Who’s the father?

-The Man who  pledged

this seal, cord and staff,

Whether he liked it or not

-Whether you like it or not,

You are more in the right

than I, Tamar: I did not give

you to my son Shelah.

Who am I?

I am Tamar, a woman of

valor who, to establish seed,

no shame, no scruple

may stop at hollow men,

made him swallow

hook, line and sinker,

so his sons

find their way home

and fulfill his pledge

Amen

Happy Heuristics

Image credits

http://www.rogallery.com/Chagall_Marc/Book-Lithos/Drawings_Bible/chagall-tamar.html

Scheherazade

Scheherazade

I wish I were, the daughter’s vizier,

sly Scheherazade,

Who wished she’d never had

her nakedness to hide

from king Shahriyar,

with one thousand

and one veils.

 

For, as the Persian story intim-

ates: ardent King once bitten,

three thousand shy, slaughters

bride, after bride, after bride,

after bride, until the kingdom,

Shahriyar’s bleak landscape,

of noble virgins runs dry.

 

Queen! Must always deceit and

intimacy pair to make

hearts in the end unite?

 

Ours, was love at first sight,

but oriental intimacy un-

veiled a two stories house

encumbered with,

at the bottom,

your Mum and Dad’s apart-

ment, your boyhood room

atop, tear our alcove apart.

 

Only bedtime stories,

veiled parables, intim-

ideation will the ancestral intim-

idation, one veil at a time,

strip off, un-

till our souls coalesce.

 

 

For Rim A.

Happy Heuristics