Doors were left open in heaven again: drafts wheeze, clouds wrap their ripped pages around roofs and trees. Like wet flags, shutters flap and fold. Even light is blown out of town, its last angles caught in sopped newspaper wings and billowing plastic â€” all this in one American street. Elsewhere, somewhere, a tide recedes, incense is lit, an infant sucks from a nipple, a grenade shrieks, a man buys his first cane. Think of it: the worlds in this world.
Yesterday, while a Chinese woman took hours to sew seven silk stitches into a tapestry started generations ago, guards took only seconds to mop up a cannibalâ€™s brain from the floor of a Wisconsin jail, while the man who bashed the killerâ€™s head found no place to hide, and sat sobbing for his mother in a shower stall â€” the worlds in this world.
Or say, one year â€” say 1916: while my grandfather, a prisoner of war in Holland, sewed perfect, eighteen-buttoned booties for his wife with the skin of a dead dog found in a trench; shrapnel slit Apollinaire's skull, Jesuits brandished crucifixes in Ouagadougou, and the Parthenon was already in ruins. That year, thousands and thousands of Jews from the Holocaust were already â€” were still Â¬â€” busy living their lives; while gnawed by self-doubt, Rilke couldnâ€™t
write a line for weeks inViennaâ€™s Victorgasse, and fishermen drowned off Finnish coasts, and lovers kissed for the very first time, while in Kashmir an old woman fell asleep, her cheek on her good husband's belly.
And all along that year the winds kept blowing as they do today, above oceans and steeples, and this one speck of dust was lifted from somewhere to land exactly here, on my desk, and will lift again â€” into the worlds in this world.
Say now, at this instant: one thornless rose opens in a blue jar above that speck, but you â€” reading this â€” know nothing of how it came to flower here, and I nothing of who bred it, or where, nothing of my son and daughterâ€™s fate, of what grows in your garden or behind the walls of your chest: is it longing? Fear? Will it matter?
Listen to that wind, listen to it ranting The doors of heaven never close, thatâ€™s the Curse, thatâ€™s the Miracle.