Perishing – 1


“The very perishing of what we love might be an essential moment in the clarification of the worthiness of that which perishes.

Is Whitehead right in suggesting that only that which perishes can be of infinite significance?


There is weeping and gnashing of teeth; there is stony impassivity; there is ribaldry, and vacuous staring.  There is confusion.

But there is pure gentleness, and it is in this vein that perishing speaks.”


— Henry Bugbee, Thurs. Aug 6, The Inward Morning



3 comments on “Perishing – 1

  1. dmfant says:

    Reading Moby-Dick at 30,000 Feet by Tony Hoagland

    At this height, Kansas
    is just a concept,
    a checkerboard design of wheat and corn

    no larger than the foldout section
    of my neighbor’s travel magazine.
    At this stage of the journey

    I would estimate the distance
    between myself and my own feelings
    is roughly the same as the mileage

    from Seattle to New York,
    so I can lean back into the upholstered interval
    between Muzak and lunch,

    a little bored, a little old and strange.
    I remember, as a dreamy
    backyard kind of kid,

    tilting up my head to watch
    those planes engrave the sky
    in lines so steady and so straight

    they implied the enormous concentration
    of good men,
    but now my eyes flicker

    from the in-flight movie
    to the stewardess’s pantyline,
    then back into my book,

    where men throw harpoons at something
    much bigger and probably
    better than themselves,

    wanting to kill it, wanting
    to see great clouds of blood erupt
    to prove that they exist.

    Imagine being born and growing up,
    rushing through the world for sixty years
    at unimaginable speeds.

    Imagine a century like a room so large,
    a corridor so long
    you could travel for a lifetime

    and never find the door,
    until you had forgotten
    that such a thing as doors exist.

    Better to be on board the Pequod,
    with a mad one-legged captain
    living for revenge.

    Better to feel the salt wind
    spitting in your face,
    to hold your sharpened weapon high,

    to see the glisten
    of the beast beneath the waves.
    What a relief it would be

    to hear someone in the crew
    cry out like a gull,
    Oh Captain, Captain!
    Where are we going now?

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