If I could be reincarnated, which I can’t, I’d come back as a person who could write poetry like Ray Carver.
It was November 1968. I was in Vietnam and it was my last Sunday there. I went to the base chapel to give thanks for what I presumed was my safe deliverance from the war. I was surprised when I found I was the only person at church services. I have always been perplexed by that. Some people say war makes you more religious.
I’ve been a devout atheist for the past fourteen years. I am comforted and consoled by it. I laugh the same laugh and cry the same tears as I always did. I am and will always be worm’s meat and I don’t mind. The well written sentence in a good poem and the proof of a profound math theorem that even I can understand still delight me and make me feel somewhat divine.
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess. — Billy Collins, from “Nostalgia” (via proustitute)