Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In the Presence of Mystery


It was a night like all the others. Empty
of everything save memory. He thought
he'd got to the other side of things.
But he hadn't. He read a little
and listened to the radio. Looked out the window
for a while. Then went upstairs. In bed
realized he'd left the radio on.
But closed his eyes anyway. Inside the deep night,
as the house sailed west, he woke up
to hear voices murmuring. And froze.
Then understood it was only the radio.
He got up and went downstairs. He had
to pee anyway. A little rain
that hadn't been there before was
falling outside. The voices
on the radio faded and then came back
as if from a long way. It wasn't
the same station any longer. A man's voice
said something about Borodin,
and his opera Prince Igor. The woman
he said this to agreed, and laughed.
Began to tell a little of the story.
The man's hand drew back from the switch.
Once more he found himself in the presence
of mystery. Rain. Laughter. History.
Art. The hegemony of death.
He stood there, listening.

~ Raymond Carver

Photo from tumblr


  1. What a pleasant surprise, to have your latest installment pop up on my phone, automatically, like magic!

    1. Will wonders never cease! :) Nice to see you here....

  2. Interesting to see this, given that for the last couple of days I've been pondering being in the presence of mystery, and being present to mystery. Earlier today I commented on a blog on that very subject. And I've been drawn to it as I wonder about the hegemony of death. It's a fine poem for me today.

    1. The mysteries of life and the mystery that is life itself remain at the center of my very being. I will never stop asking, for it is the very act of asking that allows for wonderfully affirming experiences. I'm so glad this spoke to you, also.

  3. It seems the real mystery is Where are we? Who are we? What will we do?

    If I ever find the answer you'll be amongst the first to know!

    The poem reminded me of my experiences (on a daily basis). Never quite here or there!

    This was thought provoking. Thanks.

    1. It's all such a beautiful mystery, isn't it, Bill?

      Oh, I'm so pleased. Do keep me posted....

      I can so readily see you in this very "place." Yeah, it fits perfectly.

      Thank you.

  4. A mystery--half dreamworld. Wonderful poem.
    Have a great Thursday and stay warm. :)

  5. I think all of us live in the hegemony of death. Even in this season. Especially in the 'dead' of winter. These days I get up in the middle of the night quite often to take a pee. The only way I get back to sleep w/o my mind dwelling on the hegemony, is to have BBC or NPR on my transistor. That works for me, unless Terry Gross comes on and brings the hegemony back.

    1. I sometimes listen to NPR in the car, but most often it's tuned to the oldies. Somehow it helps me maintain some perspective, plus it's a lot more fun than the news.

    2. and I should have asked: does this mean you are not a Terry Gross fan? :)

  6. Radios are magical. Listening intently without the distraction of visuals created some very imaginative people. Carver perfectly captures that sense. Great post, Teresa.

    1. He has this wonderful ability to take you right there...this evokes wonderful feelings for me, of that quiet love for the mystery of life. Thanks, Cletis.

  7. 'Rain. Laughter. History.
    Art. The hegemony of death...'
    Sounds about right. :)