We all struggle with our thoughts: irrational intrusive images, idyllic might-have-beens-and-might-be-yets, complicated explanations for our actions gone awry, rehearsals for tomorrow’s audience. We strive for originality, for lucid new responses to the News. I have been thinking hard the last few days poring through a book manuscript, trying to think into, around, and ahead of the arduously worked thoughts of a friend. (You’ll hear more about this book when it hits the printed light of day. Stay tuned. Let it be a mystery.) It made me think about thoughts and all of those who have thought them or something like them. We pass them on like hand-me-downs, still useful, still attractive.
Even as we try to think afresh about our lives, we are also aware that others, named and nameless, may have thought like this before, perhaps in another language, with other points of reference, other worlds of meaning. They may have been in caves painting animals upon the walls, or looking up at stars when no lights despoiled the sky. But they were thinking. And I, like you, am a recipient of this accumulated cogitation. Is there nothing new under the sun, as Ecclesiastes claimed? Well, perhaps nothing. Perhaps Heraclitus would have recognized and loved our quantum theory. But even as the same sun sees a different world each day, there is a little different sheen, a little different shape when it has guested in our minds. So this is how this little poem emerged.
As is my practice, I will keep it up here for a month and then remove it for further polishing and possible publishing in some wider public. The audio remains for your aural enjoyment. I hope it echoes with your own thoughts.
My thoughts are old round stones
rubbed silken smooth by rivers
springing from the mountains,
stirred over over over
in the frothing rapids.
Tumbled over cliffs in rainbowed foam…