Read sonnets? Not a phrase I have used very often in my life, to my slight shame as an English teacher.
From ‘The Eye’ by Don Paterson
The empty mind you finally display
ten weeks into the yogic agony
of your silent retreat, you will discover
in the latter stages of a gin hangover.
To be found in 40 Sonnets by Don Paterson.
The words rang true. The sense of that moment in a long hangover, whereby you have finally transcended pain, and suffering, and self-loathing, and vowing never again, in order to arrive, sometimes only briefly, at a point whereby you know that you are actually going to get better. And so, you can just –exist. And everything is okay. And because it wasn’t before you feel amazing. And you’re not a bad person.
Except of course, Don Paterson puts it a lot more elegantly, which of course, is the point.
The poem goes on to consider those other, elusive, moments of transcendence, when you can just be. Its conclusion hints, I think, at something darker in the desire for that emptiness.
What I like about Don Paterson (so far) is that he clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously. Unlike, it seems upon reading it back to myself, this post.