Wednesday, June 22, 2016

the patina of memories

nostalgia, how sweet? how sad?

when a piece of wood is handled by many hands over years,
it acquires a patina from the oils,
a soft rich transformation of layer after layer
that do not change the thing
but subtly add to my perception of it,

so do places I’ve been
seem to remember me and my visits,
at least in my perception,
as I look at them I feel earlier times echo
as if I can feel the layer after layer of memory
enrich and deepen what is here today
with what has been here over the years,

sometimes nostalgia is sweet,
sometimes it calls up tears,
sometimes I realize that the patina only exists in memory,
and, when I’m gone, the surface, and thus the moment,
will be fresh and new,
ready for new patinas to be added,

I love to find an artifact from long ago,
and then I love to imagine how the world came to be
for those here way before,

I live the present,
I seek to know the past,
I fear and joy to imagine 
the tomorrows that might and that will come. 

by Henry H. Walker
June 20, ’16

No comments: