Memorial Day, a day for remembering the passing of loved ones and of those who fought in battles–who died not knowing and perhaps not caring about the fighting’s outcome. I find it hard to move past the significance of the day to talk about publishing or writing careers. Instead, my mind and heart turn to those who have gone before us.
Emily Dickinson wrote this tribute to those we miss:
If anybody’s friend be dead,
It ‘s sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive,
At such and such a time.
Their costume, of a Sunday,
Some manner of the hair, —
A prank nobody knew but them,
Lost, in the sepulchre.
How warm they were on such a day:
You almost feel the date,
So short way off it seems; and now,
They ‘re centuries from that.
How pleased they were at what you said;
You try to touch the smile,
And dip your fingers in the frost:
When was it, can you tell,
You asked the company to tea,
Acquaintance, just a few,
And chatted close with this grand thing
That don’t remember you?
Past bows and invitations,
Past interview, and vow,
Past what ourselves can estimate, —
That makes the quick of woe!
And so we remember.
What will you do today to remember?