Saturday, September 18, 2010


The story is indubitably one-sided:
look up Euridyce
and you’ll be directed to Orpheus.
That’s the problem of marrying
a famous musician, who charmed
people, animals, birds, fish,
set stones and trees dancing
and stilled the punishments of hell.

We know very little about Euridyce,
so let’s shift our point of view:
she was still-born,
her near-life experience mirrors
near-death experiences:
groping through darkness
towards a threshold
beyond which there is light,
warmth and brightness
only, at the last, to be drawn back
into blackness and delusion.

Life and death are not opposites;
it is birth that opposes death.
Birth and death
book-end our life’s story;
we call one a miracle
the other a travesty.
We do not mind not knowing
where we’ve come from
but we dread not knowing
where we are going.
It would be better if like Janus
we could face both directions
with equal grace.


  1. Dear Diana
    I am a bit of a chronic commenter I know but it's nice to share with others my response to your journal and I hope it will encourage more of them to reply too. It's so good to be heard. And I'm not just talking about you being heard, but the feeling I have of being heard when I read your poems. You see, from a quite early age I asked myself 'Where was I before I was born?'. It really bugged me. I asked my mother and she said, 'Well, nowhwere', but I never believed her. It just doesn't make sense to have the 'book of life' having only one bookend, does it?

  2. Dear Diana,

    Ah, yes! So true! Having worked in the subject area of "birth" for so long, I have grown increasingly aware of the parallels between birth and death. Indeed, in my journal I have published a very touching essay portraying how pathways of the two intersected.

    Love, Diony

  3. "We do not mind not knowing
    where we’ve come from
    but we dread not knowing
    where we are going."

    This really spoke to me...perhaps because I wonder sometime where did I come from? who/what was I before...I feel like there must have been a before.