If any should ask why we are here, together, now, let it be said that we were brought here by a force stronger than suns, which is Will.
Ours was not a random course, though chance strengthened it.
We were not always sure of the way, and some of our steps have been slow, but our next step spans worlds.
Time will not stop for the strongest: and though we must go where it takes us, without companions chosen by the will and the heart, the journey is empty, and there is nothing to measure the victories by.
One partner: I stand here with you because together we possess infinity in a finite space of time, and our combined reach surpasses the mortal.
Other partner: I stand here with you because we have seen in each other a shared task: and though the void may separate us, and matter must always fail, we shall never truly be apart, one from the other.
Together we take joint and equal command of the time still before us, to watch and to defend, to endure the cold and the fire, to stand until the last.
For against that power armies are as nothing, and Death itself comes begging and ashamed.
Each partner in turn: None commanded that I should be here: I willed it be.
Let strength and joy follow from it.
As light spreads from the birth of a star, so the stars surrounding see it, and remember.
What they cannot do is judge.
Judgement comes only from the mind and heart.
For that, we are here among all of you.
Let noble wills magnify the light.
Answer us, and know the stars hear you:
Is this well done?
-- John M. Ford, 1998
Response to an Unwritten Poem of Yours Called "Sorrow for Breathing"
You tell me I should not love you
You'll only bring me sorrow,
only die on me.
"I need what you give me
more than I need sunlight,"
I tell you I've always suspected
your vampiric nature.
"How could I not love you?"
"As well not take in air, as well
to sorrow for loving you would be
like sorrow for breathing."
And you take my outstretched hand,
drawing me on
to another city,
another of the long lamplit nights
where we pause, panting for breath,
waiting for the quill of the chronicler
to catch up.
"As well not live as not love,"
I say to you.
As well try to convince the lungs
not to draw in that next
measure of air
as teach my hand not to reach
for the curve of your cheek,
my foot not to take that
bringing me into the circle
of your arms.
Each breath, you remind me,
is one closer
to the time when all the breath there is
will do one of us no good,
and the other of us will turn alchemist
transmuting good air to sobs
Each step is one closer,
is one more bead on the string
that leads to the dangling cross
The tiny carved features look up at me.
As well not love as deny this grief,
wrapped in the joy of what is
like a sweet the color of garnets
wrapped in bright foil.
I finger the beads,
listen to your warnings,
hearing under them
"I am not sorry for loving you,"
and I know you are thinking
of inevitable losses.
You conjure a smile from somewhere.
Our eyes meet.
that pinned figure
arms splayed, mouth in rictus,
swings at the end of the string.
There are mystics who talk
about Peace in the Passion.
There are country folk who walk the fields
after the storm,
watching for the bow
across the sky
and the sparkle of rain
on bent stalks.
I remember the night
you brandished an imaginary clock at me,
"Look at the hands!
You can see them move. Is
what you want?"
What I want
of this: each breath,
each bead on the string,
and the cross, too,
if that's part of the deal.
"Only another fifty years,"
I say, "and then I promise
to let you go."
"I can't guarantee you five,"
you rasp, waving
at the bottles of meds
on your tray.
"Hell, I can't
guarantee you five months." And I
catch your hand in mine
and say, "No one
ever could, dear heart,
But as well not breathe,
as not love."
Amd whichever ending
the chronicler writes,
pray one of us
will have the wit
to step outside whatever small room
shelters that private passion play,
stand in the cool night,
and draw in
a lungful of stars.
-- Elise Matthesen, sometime around 1995 or 6
I love him. I miss him. I will love him forever.
(And, you see, both of us knew what we were getting into. Hearing me say that, he would smile, I know. It would be a smile of agreement.)
OK. Am going to go sleep now, and wake to do the things that need doing.