[Jason] Isbell is a slow, careful writer. He worries the little things. “What keeps me up at night is stuff like the consistency of pronouns,” he says. He’s a grammarian. “My dad, as much as I love him, has one of those signs — ‘The Isbell’s’ — on his front door, and he’s got the damn apostrophe in there. I haven’t strangled him yet.”
I was going to wait until later in the Fall, or at least Sept 21, but I wore a coat to work this morning, so here she is. Fall Mix 2014.
At home what is ‘wonderful’ tends to be an exception that’s arranged; it is useful, or at least edifying. In Persia it might just as well spring from an oversight, or a sin, or a catastrophe which, by breaking the normal run of events, offers life unexpected scope for unfolding its splendours before eyes that are always ready to rejoice in them.
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You’ve seen the refugees going nowhere,
you’ve heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth’s scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the gray feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
Beyond a certain degree of hardship or misery, life often revives and heals the scars. As time passed, deportation [to the concentration camps for the young woman] had become a kind of voyage and even, thanks to the almost terrifying capacity of memory to transform horror into courage, a voyage that she could easily mention. Any way of seeing the world is good, as long as one returns.