Monday, February 9, 2009

Brume sur le lac du Bourget





It's been raining for a week now in San Diego. It's odd because the rain here doesn't come with thunder or lighting. It's a very still rain. I have been studying a French poem called Le Lac by Alphonse de Lamartine and it nails the emotions that accompany an impending deployment. The closer I get to Jason's deployment, the more time is fleeting. That doesn't mean depression always follows. Instead it means things feel more essential, bolder, more in depth.

So today looks like the images above:

And it feels like this:
The Lake

And thus, forever driven towards new shores,
Swept into eternal night without return,
Will we never, for even one day, drop anchor
On time's vast ocean?
O Lake! Only a year has now gone by,
And to these dear waves she would have seen again,
Look! I'm returning alone to rest on the very work
Where you saw her rest!

Then as now, you rumbled under these great rocks;
Then as now, you broke against their torn flanks;
The wind hurling the foam from your waves
Onto her adored feet.

One evening, you recall? We drifted in silence;
Far off on the water and under the stars hearing
Only the rhythmic sound of oars striking
Your melodious waves.

Suddenly strains unknown on earth
Echoed from the enchanted shore;
The water paid heed, and the voice so dear
To me spoke these words:

"O time, suspend your flight! and you, blessed hours,
Suspend your swift passage.
Allow us to savor the fleeting delights,
Of our most happy days!

So many wrteched people beseech you:
Flow, flow quickly for them;
Take away the cares devouring them;
Overlook the happy.

But I ask in vain for just a few more moments,
Time escaping me flees;
While I beg the night: 'Slow down,' already
It fades into dawn.

Then let us love, let us love! And the fleeting hours
Let us hasten to enjoy.
We have no port, time itself has no shore;
It glides, and we pass away."

Jealous time, will these moments of such intoxication,
Love flooding us with overwhelming bliss,
Fly past us with the same speed
As dark and painful days?

What! will we not keep at least the trace of them?
What! They are gone forever? Totally lost?
This time that gave them and is obliterating them,
Will it never return them to us?

Eternity, nothingness, past, somber abysses,
What are you doing with the days you swallow up?
Speak: will you ever give back the sublime bliss
You stole from us?

O lake! silent rocks! shaded grottoes! dark forest!
You whom time can spare or even rejuvenate,
Preserve, noble nature, preserve from this night
At least the memory!

May it live in your peace, may it be in your storms,
Beautiful lake, and in the light of your glad slopes,
And in these tall dark firs and in these savage rocks,
Overhanging your waves.

May it be in the trembling zephyr passing by,
In the endless sounds that carry from shore to shore
In the silver faced star that whitens your surface
With its softened brilliance.

May the moaning wind and sighing reed,
May the delicate scent of your frangrant breeze,
May everything that we hear and see and breathe,
Awaken the memory of -- their love!

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