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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What a find!

Still foraging through these boxes and in the process happened upon two additional verses of the lyric included in the entry of Thursday, May 19th. They include a reference to my young husband, Mel Reid, and some indication of the loneliness that balances off the defiance. It's all there.

the gods (if there be) surely knew in their infinite wisdom
that life's gifts are safer in storms held in branches that bend
trees rooted in earth cradling seedlets of life gone before it
a Woman am I - and the day of my dawning is now!

If I could but know in my soul of these truths I am singing
if he could but show in his living of time that he sees ...
and if we could but grow toward this light that these years might be bringing
this woman could cry - that the day of my dawning is now!

© Betty Reid 6/1961

And today is May 24, 2005. I was married to Mel on this very day in 1942 -- only months after Pearl Harbor and the beginning of more milestones that are undoubtedly stashed here in these papers -- waiting to be rediscovered ... .

It should, but it doesn't strike me as odd that I would have discovered this never-sung, long forgotten psalm on this day. I sit with tears of obscure meaning coursing down my cheeks quietly as I remember him and the innocence of those years, and the hunger for I knew not what ... but that I knew in my heart that he could never fulfill. My suspicion was that no one could because I could neither name it nor recognize its source ... .

Find myself wondering if you've noticed that I was witness to so many of the major social, political, and ceremonial events of my century. I've not really been aware of that until now. It's like knowing the taste, feel, and exact time of the tragic assassinations of the Sixties. All of the affect comes up for me in the act of fingering letters, fragile news clippings, song lyrics, poetry, sketches in margins.

Wish I'd thought to do this long ago ... but I would not be in my years of summation, I think. Maybe introspection takes considerable aging and mellowing before candor kicks in and one can step outside oneself and look back without a sense of involvement except as an observer. Don't think I could have done this before now.

Now back to foraging ... .

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