My heart is not always easy to understand.

Repetitiveness in “I should not dare to leave my friend”, by Emily Dickinson, facilitates reappraisal and encourages me to slow down and assess how my independent spirit contributes to the turmoil when a dilemma of split loyalties occurs.

I should not dare to leave my friend,
Because – because if he should die
While I was gone – and I – too late –
Should reach the Heart that wanted me –

If I should disappoint the eyes
That hunted – hunted so – to see –
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me – they noticed me –

If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I’d come – so sure I’d come –
It listening – listening – went to sleep –
Telling my tardy name –

My Heart would wish it broke before –
Since breaking then – since breaking then –
Were useless as next morning’s sun –
Where midnight frosts – had lain!

If my loyalty toward a friend or loved one is important to me, and if their expectations and mine collide, there is a problem. 

The worst case scenario is not that he might die. But, if I am off with my own priorities, he died, “While I was gone — and I — too late — ”.

While I pursue the only life that makes sense to me, “If I should disappoint the eyes / That hunted — hunted so — to see — ” as much of life as they were capable, am I being true to myself? Perhaps. Am I troubled by what I see of myself in their hypersensitive hunting for more? Is it him or me who “.. could not bear …” such need to be noticed? What could be more important when “They ‘noticed’ me — they noticed me — ”. What?

So, now I am neither fully here nor there. But hovering somewhere with only radical questions; “If I should stab the patient faith” on their part. Perhaps I am jealous of another’s certainty: “So sure I’d come — so sure I’d come —”

To be near death is to sharpen the senses. “It listening — listening — went to sleep —”. The poem’s use of presumed sensations while dying may be asking about the isolation of awareness that no one can get inside me and feel what I feel. “My Heart would wish it broke before —” if I must remain trapped by such loneliness. Or, if while engaged in reappraisal of my life, perhaps I can employ what divides us – dramatized by contradictory needs – to discern illusions that permeate even the best relationships. Do I have to choose between being useful to myself and to “you?”

Illusions render insight “useless as next morning’s sun —” if I cannot see what’s really there. 

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way

 

Advertisements