nothing remains but certain shreds of the wall

 

“Of these houseswalls shards of color

Nothing remains

But certain

shreds of the wall.

 

Of so many

Who were close to me

Nothing is left

Not even that.

 

Of my heart

No room still stands

Where it lies

In the most tortured village.”  – Giuseppe Ungaretti

 

Wow.

When I read these words … well … I was almost stunned into silence.

Now.

To be fair to Giuseppe … I found multiple translations of this work and this was my favorite … and because he is dead I can’t ask him if I got the right one.

To me?

I got the right one.

 

Ah.

Those words … and what I thought when I read them.

 

Memories are a mixture of good and bad … gains and losses.

 

But these words are about loss … about a heart standing in a tortured village … with no room still standing.

 

Well.

 

I have never lost to the extent of the poem’s author … however … we have all lost something in our lives … or known someone who has.

 

And I mean lost something truly meaningful.

 

I say that because those real losses in Life, to me, are not really about pain … they are about emptiness.

A lack of … well … anything.

 

The loss simply can be found in some black empty hole … holding neither pain … nor regret … nor joy <of course> … just emptiness. It is some space in which nothing exists. A black hole of emotions and feelings.

 

How can this be?

 

walls nothing leftThe walls surrounding that which was … are gone. Simply shreds remaining.

 

And not even walls remain of those who were … just empty space … nothing to hold any feelings inside.

 

Well.

Maybe it is because I believe what I just wrote that I have always struggled when people give advice that suggests you should accept and face the pain when dealing with extreme loss … or as a corollary … the infamously flippant remember the good and happiness.

Why do I struggle with that advice? Because I sense there is nothing to embrace.

There is nothing to face.

And there is often nothing to remember.

 

 

No walls remain.

No rooms are still standing.

 

I know this is my own opinion … nor am I a doctor.

 

But I just finished rereading Simon Wiesenthal’s “Murderers among Us” <about hunting Holocaust war criminals after World War 2>.

In one part I was struck when Wiesenthal stated one of the biggest struggles in bring justice to bear was that many of the concentration camp survivors did not want to testify.

Yes.

The people who you would have most likely envisioned wanting justice to be brought down like the hammer of God … were the ones who were most likely to remain silent.

 

No walls remain.

No rooms still standing.

Their hearts standing alone in a tortured village.

 

That is how I finally resolved that in my own head.

 

We would have asked them to speak of emptiness. To explain a dark black hole of nothingness.

 

Anyway.

 

Losing something, or someone, meaningful is never easy. walls withinAll I know from my own perspective is that I will imagine it is dealing with emptiness. And treat it accordingly … seeking to rebuild something from which I could find some room, some meaningful room, to stand in.

For I imagine once you have done that … you have begun rebuilding a home for your heart.

Until then … your heart has no home, village or country.

 

Oh.

In one of Ungaretti’s other works … he also wrote:

… my heart is the most tormented country of all …

 

It has been some time since I have found other words that have captured this kind of emotion and made me stop and think.

 

I always find it thoughtful that tormented and tortured memories can create such powerful poems.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Written by Bruce