Posted tagged ‘stafford’

“For it is important that awake people be awake…”

April 4, 2020

These days, with most of us striving to keep up with best practices in containing and mitigating the pandemic, a powerful line from William Stafford’s poem A Ritual to Read to Each Other has been coming to mind:

“For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep…”

I’ve always appreciated this observation as a quite gentle reminder that human beings are always at risk for losing track of important realities. Just try not to touch your face.

I did ponder for about twenty years the meaning of the image of the breaking line. What could Stafford be talking about? I found myself settling on the idea perhaps it is as obvious as moving from a conscious state into a dissociative experience/enactment.

If you are not familiar with the poem, check it out. It is quite an orientation for all who talk.