Thursday, August 18, 2022

Czeslaw Milosz


In advanced age, my health worsening,
I woke up in the middle of the night,
and experienced a feeling of happiness
so intense and perfect that in all my life
I had only felt its premonition.
It didn't obliterate consciousness:
the past which I carried was there,
together with my grief.
And it was suddenly included,
was a necessary part of the whole.

As if a voice were repeating:

"You can stop worrying now;
everything happened just as it had to.

You did what was assigned to you,
and you are not required anymore
to think of what happened long ago."

The peace I felt was a closing of accounts
and was connected with the thought of death.
The happiness on this side was
like an announcement of the other side.
I realized that this was an undeserved gift
and I could not grasp by what grace
it was bestowed on me.

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