April 17, 2007

Some (precious little) comfort

I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening at the college in town, where the kids had rehearsal for their play after dinner. I listened to the muffled sound of a janitor's vacuum cleaner, students whispering over their homework, far-off children singing and shouting, and thought about the events of the day which, really, could have happened anywhere.

No. 419
by Emily Dickinson

We grow accustomed to the Dark —

When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye —

A Moment — We uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

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