Times Winged Chariot


Each day now more precious will dawn,
And loved faces turn dearer still,
And when sunlight is withdrawn,
There, over the mountain’s black profile,
The western star reigns
In splendor, benign, arrogant,
And the fact that it disdains
You, and your tenement
Of flesh, should instruct you in
The paradox of Time,
And the doubleness wherein
The fleshly glory may gleam.
Sit on the floor with a child.
Hear laugh that creature so young.
See loom its life-arch, and wild
With rage, speak wild words sprung
From vision, and thus atone
For all folly now left behind.
Learn the gravity of stone.
Learn the ecstasy of wind.
Robert Penn Warren in Rumor Verified

I know that this "tenement of flesh" is all too temporary. I learned it in Vietnam, leaving too many friends behind. The media has never let me forget it. I know all too well the gravity of stone.

My grandson Gavin helps me rediscover the "ecstasy of wind," forcing me to live in the moment. He has no name for me, but when he sees me he reaches out his arms to be picked up. That’s name enough for me, a print-oriented bastard who surely spends too much of his life looking for meaning in words.

Spending a day with him is a day of extremes. He lives for the moment, and not a moment longer. Joyful one moment, irate the next. And for at least that moment with him on the floor stacking blocks to knock down, the outside world no longer exists. No Twin Towers, no bin Laden, no Afghanistan, no terrorists threatening our existence.

Live in the moment and there is no time for an irrational fear of anthrax, no time to worry about the could-be’s or might-be’s of terrorists who would rob you of all you have, the sheer ecstasy of this moment.