Saturday, 28 March 2015

"You Learn"

Lemme just squeeze in a short poem of mine, as a prelude to a well-known poem. Okay, I think it's well-known. And not just by many, but by heart. Someone introduced me to it when I was in my late teens. At the time, it was attributed to good ol' Anonymous. Enter, Google. The writer was Veronica Shoffstall - or so I thought. The Keepers of the Knowledge of Rightful Attributions - okay, that's not a thing, but it should be - came to the defence of Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentinian writer, pointing out that his was the beautiful soul that had penned those poignant words. It reminds me of Marianne Williamson's "Our deepest fear..." constantly being attributed to Nelson Mandela. But, I digress. The jury should be back by now on "You Learn". (It's sometimes referred to as After A While.) It's the Internet, who knows? What I am sure of is the high degree of relatabilty that burns within the poem. Well, "high degree of relatability" for some. For others, I think you'll appreciate it, nonetheless.

*squeezes in*

All In My Head

Fool me once - shame on you
Fool me twice - shame on me
Fool me thrice - I must like it when you "fool" me.
For a fourth time? I have been fooling myself.

It was all in my head.

Now, over to you, Jorges. (Yes. #TeamJorges.)

You Learn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,

And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn…
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.

 - Jorges Luis Borges


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