Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drawer of Circles

"The life of man is a self-evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new and larger circles, and that without end."
-Emerson, from Circles

Who we are dictates how we ought to live.
A series of concentric circles,
Heaven-bent on perfection, enfolding
Circle within greater circle upon further
Evolution of circle-culture and gene-helix.
And I learned something new today
About why my body shimmers with panic
Even when I'm not doing anything.

So then. We ought to live like circles
That roll and leap levels and tumble down hills,
That need help up mountains and that
Fall down and collapse in on themselves too.
We ought to live like the odd geometry we are,
Like the hand-shaped hands and heart-shaped
Loves and tender-colored days that we are,
We ought to live like the stories we wish to tell.

Who we are dictates how we ought to live.
The spontaneous expression is the field
Of experience — Delicately, sensitively,
Skillfully, with Euclidean precision, we trace
Our ever-widening circles with our own hands,
We meet the world, join arms, and folk dance.
But the rub, I ironically tell my student, is that
The human hand could never, not in a million lifetimes,
Draw a perfect circle, not even with a forceps pen.

When I say this, she picks up her pencil and tries,
Promising me that she can, that she can and she will.