"Suddenly everything has changed, the tone, the air; you don’t know how to think or whom to listen to. As if you’ve been led all your life like a little child, and suddenly you’re let out–go, learn to walk by yourself. And there’s no one around, no family, no authority. Then you’d like to trust the main thing, the force of life, or beauty, or truth, so that it’s them and not the overturned human principles that guide you, fully and without regret, more fully than it used to be in that peaceful, habitual life that has gone down and been abolished."
–Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
"You are the blessing of a fatal step,
When life’s more sickening than illness,
Yet courage is the root of beauty,.
And that’s what draws us to each other."
–"The Poems of Yuri Zhivago"
Character is tested by its courage, its will,
the secret of willing into being what was never there
by attending to its absence.
Zhivago declares courage the root of beauty.
Bobby looks under the leaves to find roots.
He looks to Katya’s photograph for beauty.
He reads Pasternak’s Safe Conduct and I Remember,
My Sister–Life, and the two-volume biography,
believing the more he knows the more vivid the world.
That’s what Bobby believes, how long has he known?
He swears he will find the path to an answer
making his life underground unnecessary thereafter.
Better to face your accusers. Therefore, he goes home.
Her car’s there, not her. He would seek Paula
his life long and always miss. She lives life as it is,
neither Lara nor Tonya . . . , Bobby’s poems suck,
or so he decides. Bonnington declared it was time.
Time for David Copperfield, Bottom Dogs . . .
The Story of My Life: I'm born, I think I loved
amply if not well, I tried to make art,
the weather changed, I continued, I died . . .
If he stops here, stays in the bungalow and sleeps,
he may wake to the sight of her looking at him,
lying down beside him, kissing him kiss for kiss.
If he goes, he will return to where he came from,
where what is expected of him
is nothing: nothing he does will be anything.
He stays. He assembles his clarinet and riffs,
then sings this song he’s been hearing at Christina’s
playing over and over, "Crown of Life . . ."
A part of him is outside the bungalow, listening.
A part of him is inside the song and its voice.
A part of him enters the door bringing love in.
(5, 20 June 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander