What’s The Big Tragedy?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What’s the Big Tragedy?

The great tragedy in life is that meaning is individual

The things we assign meanings to are ours alone

And we are often surprised when someone close gives

No meaning to what we treasure or will obsess over what we ignore

The great divide between parent and child is made of meaning

The accrued meaning of the adult against the whims of youngsters

Our children simply cannot see things we see, or understand what

We have lived through, perhaps fought through, but still

These meanings they can never know, until time passes

And even then, though they be separate from their own kids

They will still see differing meanings from our own, because

So much of our understanding comes from our trials, our milieu,

Time is a gap that can never be bridged logically, only by heart and blood.

Even in the pews on the Sabbath, we pray abreast but never

To an identical god—our meanings define our concepts our priorities

And our values—my creator is not equal to yours and yours is not a

Duplicate of anyone else’s, what we each care about and how much we care

Can never be exactly the same. To quote T.S. Eliot: “Words reach..”

And we all do likewise, reaching towards each other from within

Our separate universes, which differ by being centered in my head or

in yours. Do you scoff? If you’re thinking that the differences are tiny

And insignificant, ask yourself how you can be certain—question

Why conversations take so long, why we argue so often, why we cry.

I’ll never know precisely why you love me, or just exactly why you

hate me so—you’ll never feel the hammering of my heart when you

Are close; you’ll never know the sadness you bestowed-you

Cannot know, me neither, we can’t know. We’ll never know each other

Only marvel at the thrill of love that binds us and shake our heads

At cruelty and at blame. Is there no way we ever touch, mind to mind?

Perhaps not, but this call is about the trying, the will we use when

We try to see things their way, the sacrifice that makes all of us a

Part of one, the charity that shares with others, the tenderness

That keeps our children safe, the honesty that never hires a lawyer

The ignorant, the cheaters, make it harder, but their bile has

A reason, they weren’t newborn cruel, and so their troubles come to

All of us, they need mercy more than to be caught, their violence

Calls for restraint more than torture. And that is why the civil of us

Keep on going—because there is no other way.

May 2012  Xper Dunn

'Tension' by XperDunn

‘Tension’ by XperDunn

Saturday, May 12, 2012  Prose Version:

So, What’s the Big Tragedy?

The great tragedy in life is that ‘meaning’ is individual. The things we assign meanings to are ours alone and we are often surprised when someone close gives no meaning to what we treasure, or will obsess over what we ignore.

The great divide between parent and child is made of ‘meaning’—the accrued meaning of the adult against the whims of youngsters. Our children simply cannot see things we see, or understand what we have lived through, perhaps fought through. But still, these meanings they can never know, until time passes. And even then, though they be separated from their own kids, they will still see differing meanings from our own, because so much of our understanding comes from our trials, our milieu.

Time is a gap that can never be bridged logically, only by heart and blood. Even in the pews on the Sabbath, we pray abreast, but never to an identical God—our meanings define our concepts, our priorities, and our values—my creator is not equal to yours and yours is not a duplicate of anyone else’s.

What we each care about and how much we care can never be exactly the same. To quote T.S. Eliot: “Words reach..” And we all do, likewise, reaching towards each other from within our separate universes, which differ by being centered in my head or in yours.

Do you scoff? If you’re thinking that the differences are tiny, insignificant, just ask yourself how you can be certain—question why conversations take so long, why we argue so often, why we cry.

I’ll never know precisely why you love me, or just exactly why you hate me so—you’ll never feel the hammering of my heart when you are close; you’ll never know the sadness you bestowed-you cannot know, me neither, we can’t know. We’ll never know each other, only marvel at the thrill of love that binds us and shake our heads at cruelty and at blame.

Is there no way we ever touch, mind to mind? Perhaps not, but this ‘olly-olly-oxen-free’ call is about the trying, the will we use when we try to see things ‘their’ way, the sacrifice that makes all of us a part of one, the charity that shares with others, the tenderness that keeps our children safe, and trying to keep to the honesty that never hires a lawyer.

The ignorant, the cheaters, make it harder—but their bile has a reason—they weren’t new-born ‘cruel’, and so their troubles come back to all of us. They need mercy, more than to be caught; their violence calls for restraint, more than torture. And that is why the civil of us keep on going—because there is no other way.

But that doesn’t make it any easier—do you know what I mean? (Probably not.)

3 responses to “What’s The Big Tragedy?

  1. I love your reasoning but it makes me think the un-civil have used this logic to find another way, hence we have people blowing themselves up to outdo our civilness,
    how uncivilized of them and this seems to create a much greater tragedy as now I have to take my shoes off at the airport!

Leave a Reply to Madeleine Begun Kane Cancel reply