Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling.
― Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
There are a lot of hits on the Simone Weil playlist, many piercingly apropos for this moment, such as,
The sea is not less beautiful in our eyes because we know that sometimes ships are wrecked by it, and, Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. The philosopher and teacher had a good deal to say about oppression, and the forces that sustain it. That we are not feeling the crush of the crowd presently, that we are not collective, resets, but need not diminish, our attention, the rarest and purest form of generosity, says Weil. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it...The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.
We're all ears, eyes, and dry, cracked skin, ready to take it all in. Share something, stay with us awhile.
Yesterday around East 86th,
streets empty and stores closed,
the only people about
were noisy teenagers
who will live forever
and creatures with frightened eyes
who moved away when I came too near.
I saw only one person I knew,
a man who used to be a Buddhist
until he found Jesus
and he hurried along.
Sunny, with cherry blossoms,
not a cheerful afternoon.
fired by President Trump,
says that we all will be
forgotten over time,
including Donald Trump.
In the distant future
the name they remember
could well be Neil Armstrong,
first to walk on the moon.
George Ryan was born in Ireland and graduated from University College Dublin. He is a ghostwriter in New York City. Elkhound published his Finding Americas in October 2019. His poems are nearly all about incidents that involve real people in real places and use little heightened language.