On a recent morning bits from Mozart’s Requiem were playing in my head, and when I got to Confutatis I began to translate it in my head:
When the accused are convicted
To the acrid flames sentenced
Call me among the blessed.
I pray supplicant and prostrate,
Heart contrite as ash.
Show care for my end.
And I felt a strong desire to grant these prayers. My first impulse was to identify - not with the prayer, but the one to whom the prayers were directed. My first thought was not, how much like my own sentiments, but how terrible it is that someone might think I wouldn’t rescue them from the flames.
And then I remembered that I don’t have the power. I can’t just call everyone among the blessed. And I cried.
An acquaintance - not yet a friend, I think, though we have mutual friends - has been going through a very tough time, and meditating on their struggle, I wrote this poem, drawing again on my self from several months ago. So it’s not quite about them - as usual, I write the poem I’d have liked to read from someone else: Continue reading