The world lost a friend this week. I often think that if we had stopped writing after the epic of Gilgamesh everything about us that needed to be said would have already been said. This may, in fact be true, but then we would have missed out on the beauty of having a friend like Lou Reed. May his poetry keep us company in all our solitary worlds as long as we live and grieve.
“All that is left to one who grieves
Is convalescence. No change of heart or spiritual
Conversion, for the heart has changed
And the soul has been converted
To a thing that sees
How much it costs to lose a friend it loved.
It has grown past conversion to a world
Few enter without tasting loss
In which one spends a long time waiting
For something to move one to proceed.
It is that inner atmosphere that has
An unfamiliar gravity or none at all
Where words are flung out in the air but stay
Motionless without an answer,
Hovering about oneʼs lips
Or arguing back to haunt
The memory with what one failed to say,
Until one learns the acceptance of the silence
Amidst the new debris
Or turns again to grief
As the only source of privacy,
Alone with someone loved.
It could go for years and years,
And has, for centuries,
For being human holds a special grief
Of privacy within the universe
That yearns and waits to be untouched
By someone who can take away
The memory of death.”
-from the epic of Gilgamesh