Quote For The Week:
"The mystery which binds me still:
...From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view."
---from the poem Alone by Edgar Allan Poe
Poe wrote his poem Alone when he was a young man in his early twenties. It reminds me of a trend during Medieval times where people would keep memento mori, a "reminder of death," an object such as a skull that would constantly remind them of mortality so they would live each moment as though it were their last. Poe's poem Alone serves this purpose for me. I first read it when I was fourteen. The "demon in my view" has represented various things to me during the course of my life: fear of my own death, fear of supernatural evil, and recently, fear of losing a loved one.
As I have cared for my mother who is battling incurable cancer, my fear of losing her has hovered in the back of my mind constantly, casting a shadow over everything. Still, Poe's poem reminds me that the rest of Heaven is blue--that my mother is still here, that she can still tell me her stories and teach me about history, art and literature, that she can see the blue sky and gold Autumn leaves, that I can share this day with her. Her illness serves to make each moment of beauty more significant than before I was aware of her cancer. It also makes my older memories of her more vivid. Things long forgotten push to the surface and surprise me, and I rediscover happy memories anew. Now, whenever I am with her, I want to live in the moment and treasure the Heaven that is right there with me. I also treasure all my loved ones and my time with them even more. I challenge everyone else to do the same. Don't preoccupy yourself with the demon in your view. As starkly as its darkness stands out against the blue sky, it only makes the blue sky appear that much brighter.
Find the beauty in your own life and celebrate it. Allow your fears and sorrows to make you more aware of the Heaven around you and within you.