- another entry
- September 28
- yours truly as MacDuff
- Leon pre show Radio MacBeth
- 19 september 08
- more stuff
- coming home
- some thoughts on the final evening
- Final Group Practice
- Interps of some of the choreography
- Marielle & Joanne
- Fiona Millward dancer in DH's group dance GROPE FI...
- from a loved one and patron
- 5 September 08
- ... 4 September
- the altar
- home sweet home
- some reference
- 4 September 08
- 3 September 08
- ▼ September (22)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I've just arrived home after a week with SITI in Calgary performing
RADIO MACBETH and a week before that in St. Cloud, MN.
In all that time, as I've told you, I've found time on stage before or
after the company training to either do a performance practice of I'LL
CRANE FOR YOU, or simply do a performance practice without the shapes
of that dance.
I felt at one moment this week like I'd had some sort of breakthrough,
but then just wondered whether I'd formulated yet another question/
obsession with the work. I'm hyper aware of what I might call a
"style." What it looks like. I imagine a time will come that my own
patterning will dissolve and the essential shape of the piece as I do
it will begin to emerge. Maybe I'm still too self conscious about how
I move and am not really interested in that, but how this body REALLY
works vis-a-vis this dance. It has to do with Bondo's own learned, or
life choreographed patterning, and what I have seen and love in what I
see on stage. Two strong influences which I fear get in the way. And
now I've taken to simply moving for as long as I can or have the
time. Move until the moving is strange again. Move until the
patterns become discernible and then keep moving until that
discernibility breaks down. "Remove the sequencing from the sequence
of movement directions" as Deborah directs. And so as the company was
saying that they were watching me on the green room monitor doing my
dance, I said, No I was just moving. I seem to have to do this for a
long time. Move every day. And then flip the switch in my head and
turn that movement into performance practice.
All of this has certainly altered my thinking about being on stage in
ANY medium. Acting for example. What is acting? "Acting is the
reality of doing?" as a celebrated mid-century acting teacher from the
actors' studio has said. Well, so yes, but so is dancing and painting
and playing an instrument. What the hell does that mean? Doing what?
Okay, so there is the surface score of what an observer would SEE. Is
this what the actor is doing? This is a sequence of events. And what
is the consciousness that ties this sequence of events together to
make it worthy of the stage?
I'd thought of the metaphor of a pearl necklace. A string of pearls
held together by a silken thread. When did it become a necklace?
What makes it a necklace? What makes it a "pearl" necklace? "Pearl"
would be the local, or folk, or specific cultural / tribal signifier.
"Necklace" would be the meta understanding of the thread and pearls.
The "thread" is hardly noticed, but could be the consciousness that
strings together the unrelated, independent events - the pearls. The
movements of a dance. The events of speaking, moving, singing,
dancing of a "play."
Text is the problem because it brings with it feeling and emotion and
psychology. Emotion is what we call feeling after the fact. Feeling
comes first, then emotion, and then psychology which seems to me our
reaction to the emotion as it drags with it the weight of the past and
the anxiety over the future.
Now in life we are unconscious much or most of the time. Virginia
Woolf speaks of moments of Being and Non Being that make up the fabric
of a life. But this is life, not art. Is it true that dance is
simply conscious movement? What changes a sequence of movement into a
dance, or a sequence of events in a "play" into a performance?
Let's go back to the pearl necklace metaphor.
- question: What are you doing?
answer: pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl, pearl (that's
like the game of saying a word over and over until it has no meaning)
- question: What are you called?
another question then: Show me the necklace. Where is it really?
What is it? It doesn't really exist does it?
- question: What do we not see?
answer: The thread holding it all together.
I'm looking for the implication that there is a kind of "concentration"
running through the dance / performance. A string of moments of
being. Something to do with Attention.
Remember: "What if my choice to surrender the pattern of fixing on a
singularly coherent idea, feeling, or object, when I am dancing is a
way of remembering to see where I am in order to surrender where I
am? What if how I see while I am dancing is a means by which movement
arises without looking for it?" Deborah Hay
So I'm mixing things up here. I'm working on the "dance" and thinking
about my work in the "theater" and it is clearly more and more
impossible to separate the two.
In the dance, I'LL CRANE FOR YOU, there is the score underneath that
holds it all together remember. The movement is just the local and
temporal way of addressing the score. "Use of Time is the creative
act, not the movement."
It is certainly true that when we are working on a new piece in SITI
or reworking a created piece that we speak frequently of the TIME and
how it functions. Surely an artist who works in time must ultimately
deal with this element primarily in order for the What (the movement
of the dance, or the text of a play, or the "story" as it were) of
the piece and the Space of the piece to be visible.
And how do we deal with Time? Well, DH suggests that the
proposition: "Get what you need" is translated as Time.
Okay, enough of this heady stuff for now. You'd think that I'd simply
try to get my body moving every day. Work out the kinks and stiffness
and pain of the body. That's enough isn't it? Much less this
THINKING about it. But this is the formative work that one must do.
Ultimately "the body is the teacher" and I have the gift of working on
that. It is true that the body knows before the brain and this
blogging requires language which just tangles it all up.
This is a sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim (am I writing that correctly?)
which was in Calgary attained for a limited time by the entrepreneur
who owned the hotel we stayed in and the restaurant that he took us to
and who sponsored our opening night and who is a collector of
contemporary art and really a lovely man to meet and speak with. It's
called DEVICE TO ROOT OUT EVIL.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'm in St. Cloud, MN this week with the SITI company performing our RADIO MACBETH. Next week in Calgary. And then we'll do a 1 month sit down at the Court Theater in Chicago, IL in November. It is a pleasure to be touring this production. I think it is something and should be seen more and more. I was saying to Anne (Bogart) last night that this is one of those pieces one feels one wants to grow old with. (I feel that with DEATH AND THE PLOUGHMAN too.) I believe in works against which one can measure oneself over a long period of time - to measure one's growth, one's progress, one's belief system, a lifetime in and with an art work. I imagine one can think this way about a painting one sits with at home every day and mark over time the changes in response, or a book one reads over and again through the years and finds new information, new and REnewed interest, and of course with a dance. And that is what this is about.
I simply wanted to note that I've had the luxury of practicing I'LL CRANE FOR YOU on the stage pre and post SITI company training before the performance of RMcB. There I am off stage right doing my practice and working through ICFY while the other actors are doing their own work: Ellen doing work she did in rehearsal with T. Suzuki this summer, some doing yoga, some working over the language, some also working on other productions in repertory at the moment, and me doing practice. It's beautiful. Everyone is very curious about the dance and the practice and anxious for me to do the dance, but I remind them that I am contracted to practice for at least 3 months before a showing. And so they watch me work out of the corner of their eyes (as I do them.) They are curious of course. We are curious about one another. I think too that curiosity is essential in any work and in any relationship. It's fantastic to be on stage with professionals like this doing one's own work. We are all growing together. We've been through the trenches together to be sure over the last 16 years and some of us for even longer than that. We have our own interests - and we make room for one another which is the really big deal. Maybe we've matured over the time together. I hope so. And so we cheer each other on (and up) in our private work as we do in our work together. It is a great source of energy to be there with them. Believe me I know how lucky I am. It doesn't come easily; it costs and has cost personally over the years; but it is sustaining and gives back in spades.
It occurs to me that any work, anything one chooses to do, is, works as, can be a kind of lens through which we see one another (and ourselves) AGAIN for the first time. Each production. Now I'm on stage with Ellen or Barney or Akiko or Kel in THIS way. How do I see them now? And what am I this time 5 or 10 or 16 years later? Which brings me to Leon. I simply want to acknowledge that Leon is taking on quite a fight. He is assaying the scottish king this week while Stephen has been doing another production. Leon hasn't had much time to rehearse, is swinging wide at it, and really moving to watch negotiate this terrain day after day. It certainly does change one. It's fun to watch him "practice" and change and make little baby steps which play out like victories in the moment. (And then I get to "kill" him in the end.)
And so "practicing." What are we all practicing?
I'm practicing with this group.
I'm practicing alone I'LL CRANE FOR YOU.
We are all practicing something. We adjust. We lose interest and energy. We find renewed interest and reasons for doing.
We win little battles and modest victories.
We keep going.
Which I'm going to do now.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
This is just to say that the daily practice is going fine. It is a
little bizarre to go into a room alone and practice after having the
support and eyes of Deborah and many fine and compassionate souls over
the past 2 weeks. But I am holding to the contract and doing the
daily practice. As DH says, if you have to, just walk into a space,
whatever space available to you, drop your bag, and do it. And then
walk away without a thought. Just doing the practice on a daily basis
will yield results. I'm counting on it. I am in no way interested or
able to do more than just practice. I have no take on the piece, no
interest in judging or choreographing (which is against the spirit of
the thing anyway) but only to get the thing as deeply into my bones as
possible and being present with it.
I have with me the heading quote from one of the chapters of Deborah
Hay's MY BODY THE BUDDHIST which is: "My body commits to practicing
Robert Wilson" -Robert Wilson. And that is just it. I can certainly
hear him saying this and recognize it in him. And in Deborah. And
now I think of it every time I go to work. Every time I practice the
DH work and I'LL CRANE FOR YOU. Every time - well you can imagine.
It is a brilliant thing to think about - solo - in a studio or any
empty available space and just running through what it is you do. It
is solitary work. It's not a matter of trust or confidence at this
point - just fun and - just work.
But it is happening. It feels a little like a secret mission (which
I'm telling all of you!) that is occurring and silently changing the
way I see things and feel about things and about work in general and,
well, about myself and how I see myself fitting in to this world and
my work place within it.
Anyway this is the solitary place any choreographer understands every
morning walking into the studio before the dancers arrive I imagine,
or any solo artist, or any artist of any kind who either works alone
or with collaborators, but necessarily must spend time doing what s/he
does first before the public work. Working alone is one thing.
Training alone is an entirely other can or worms. And there is where
I feel the uniqueness of this project for the time being.
Anyway just wanted to let you know that it is happening and moving
toward the eventual and as yet unscheduled public performance date.
But so much to do before then. Lots of work at Skidmore, and lots and
lots of work with SITI before any dance will happen for me.
I think of all of you working away in your solitary moments practicing
or doing what? Finish this statement: " I commit to practicing
______________." Well done.
By the way I hope that it is okay to post this picture of Deborah. Am
I breaking any laws? Jeez.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
man Karl who works for BodySurf Scotland who really runs the day to
day and helps us out is bringing some of the local single malt. I am
awfully excited about that. I haven't had any yet - and some of you
will drop a jaw to hear that. But it's true.
Today we saw 6 solos. Marielle, Celine, Shelly, Brenden, Melissa,
Fiona Bryant. Couldn't be more different. And couldn't be better
examples of just how MUCH progress has been made in 10 short days. I
don't know how it's happened and I only hope that I have been able to
make such progress too. Really just impressive performances - better
yet instances of how each of the dancers has opened over the days.
Now I'm disappointed that I didn't get to go again, but we did do a
final group practice "without the shape" as Deborah H. says, meaning
not practicing I'LL CRANE FOR YOU. And then we did a practice "with
shape." As we were working she paused us and asked us to do it as a
group dance - not simply 20 people doing their own version, but that
we worked together to create a group dance. It was fantastic. All
doing the same choreography, all doing a completely different
adaptation in the moment, all at the same time. One feels finally that
when we are released to our own worlds, our own lives, our own
rhythms, our own solitary practices, we will always have the feeling
of not actually being alone in the practice, but that we have the
other 19 moving all around us to inspire the movement. It's quite
moving actually. And we'll also understand that the 19 others and
Deborah as well will be finding some moment, some time, some space,
some stolen opportunity during the day, each day, to do a practice for
1/2 hour, or 20 minutes, or 1 hour of I'LL CRANE FOR YOU. And each
will be finishing the practice sometimes mystified, sometimes
disappointed, sometimes frustrated, sometimes no doubt just elated,
and thinking about their "frame" for the piece and about when in fact
they will do their first public performance - not before 3 months time
of daily practice. It'll be a laugh to think that we'll be spread all
over the world, finding time to do the same thing. And then I think
of other Solo Performance Commissioning Project dancers living the
same rhythm with their own dances all over the world - some 140 of
them - and suddenly the world seems an even smaller and even
Okay, I'm getting a little sentimental and I apologize (and I haven't
even had any of the scotch yet) but I cannot help but think about it.
Remember my friends, my patrons, and collaborators that you've made
this possible - not simply so that Bondo could go and do something
exotic and cool, but that all of the spcp'ers could go out and make
something unique, to keep Deborah Hay in the world (which is very
important) and to make art.
I'll leave you with a quote Deborah gave us early on - from where it
comes I don't remember:
"The purpose of art is to make life more interesting than art." [Deborah reminds me that this is a quote from Robert Fillou. Thank you Deborah.]
Not bad. Okay, off for a snort.
Good night and see you all very soon.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Good Morning Everyone,
This is Friday September 5. It is the final day of the Solo
Performance Commissioning Project 2008. I suspect more of the same
practicing - alternating solos and group practice sessions beginning
at 9 a.m. and ending at 6. We've all got to have some time for
packing and a party at Deborah's house at the end of the day. But
before thinking about that ....
I hope that I get to solo today. I went early in the last round and
may have used up my solos. My last attempt turned out funny. Not
funny Ha Ha, but funny Odd as an experience. I've been having issues
with focus - which is probably a bad word to use - I should rather
say SEEING. The issue with my seeing has been that it has been too
fixed and too far away. Now this makes me think of something that
happened to me during the running of SITI company's BOB. I remember
Mary Overlie came to see the show and found me afterwards to talk
about it. She enjoyed it I remember, but one of the things which she
said to me, which really changed things for me since then, was that I
had a good close focus and medium focus, but that I had to work on
infinite focus. Well this just blew my mind and I realized that she
was right. One of the 'hooks' I had into doing BOB was the extremely
near focus, and alternating that with a medium focus - or the room in
which I was playing. This would take into account the presence of the
audience, but not allow me to "play" them too much - but play with
them and with their own focus and expectations. And so after this
conversation with Mary I've been working on far and/or infinite focus
For my first solo attempts here for Deborah she has said to me that my
focus A) is too fixed, and B) is too far away. And so I've been
working on seeing nearer - rather seeing what I'm seeing. Deborah and
I have a laugh about it because I told her the Mary story. Now this
may sound really trivial, or obvious, or you may think, "Well good
grief I'm always seeing what I'm seeing, what else am I seeing?" Ah,
but bring your noticing to that and ask yourself, are you really? I
think you'll quickly find that you are, yes, looking at things which
allows you to navigate your surroundings without tripping or stubbing
your toe, or casually reading warnings and directional signs, purely
superficially and functionally. But there is a difference between
Looking and Seeing as you know. And the seeing remember is what feeds
your work - it is the quality of seeing that keeps you going at all on
the stage - an it is the seeing which feeds the 'what ' you do with
Anyway, with the last solo I did, I decided really to work on the
seeing nearer myself and also not to do so much. I thought of Mary's
"do the NOT to do" and remembered Deborah's note that I am reaching
too much for the dance (probably a function of my infinitely far
seeing) and that I am initiating too much with my arms, rather I
should maintain a tension in the legs and hips and initiate from there
and see where the arms might find themselves. So I really reigned in
the dance - or the showing. Consequently the dance seemed very short,
and I wondered that I might have missed some sections. The others
said no that I had not missed anything and that the sections of the
dance were very clear and readable. (In fact a few people said they
enjoyed the dance and thought it my best crack at it so far.)
Deborah, however, looked a little mystified. She thought that I
missed a lot of the dance and couldn't read much of it. She felt that
I had "blown off" the dance a little too much. But she was very happy
that I did because the seeing was better (though far too close to
myself) and the body was too released or relaxed. Brother! I went
too far in the other direction. But she was very clear that she was
glad that I did that. It was movement in the right direction - I just
overshot. Which is my nature anyway. I called it "the dance that
didn't happen" which she thought was very funny and really liked the
idea. But as it was this wasn't quite it.
And so I am hoping to have a crack at it again today. There are some
other dancers who've yet to do their final solo so we'll see if there
is time. Of course I will be able to do group practice, and group
I'LL CRANE FOR YOU. I've been hoping that we can do duo's or trio's
of the dance. It was so beautiful when we did groups of 6 or 7.
Perhaps I'll suggest that we do these smaller groups just to give us
all one more chance and to have the visual stimulus of more intimate
groups. There'll still be the performance pressure, but there will be
the visual information of 1 or 2 others there to help us. We'll see.
Okay, I've been typing this from bed this morning. It's 7:15 a.m. and
I've given myself the gift of a bit of a lie in this morning. I've
been up so early every day to do yoga and meditate and just get my
body moving before going to practice. I'm not getting more limber as
the days go on, but more sore and stiff. So it takes some time to get
going. But today, the last day, I don't want to be tired, so I've
stayed in bed and luxuriated here with you for a few minutes. Now it's
time to get moving, and EAT, my god I'm ravenous all the time here!
From the moving, the exhaustion, the sea air, all of it I'm sure.
Okay, more later, again I hope this is interesting to you and helpful.
More later. In fact I'll write after this final day, but once done
here, there will be the required daily practices for the next 4 months
(I think DH is extending the required practice period) which I think
I'll keep a record of as well ....
Thursday, September 4, 2008
invite "being seen seeing."
Now this is the big deal really (for me today that is). Seeing is the
conversation. As I may have quoted earlier, "What if how I see while
I am dancing is a means by which movement arises without looking for
Right. So not only is, not what you see, but how you see, the source
of inspiration to keep moving AT ALL on the stage, but to "invite
being seen seeing" also creates presence and visibility - on both
sides - and a kind of creative equality between the spectator
(audience) and the spectatee (performer). Does this follow? I hope
so. Again, sitting in the middle of it as this new life is flying
around me and assimilating language and feelings (and sore muscles and
brain cells) makes it difficult to be, sound, feel articulate. But
some of these ideas are truly related to work and discussions -
certainly that we've had in SITI company. Like the idea that the
audience doesn't see what you see, but sees you SEEING what you see.
All toward the issue of visibility as a performer.
And again, "Don't give the audience anything they can go on in you."
Now this is not for the sake of obscurity, but for mystery. "What if
the depth of the question is on its surface" which is something Robert
Wilson certainly says and repeats. I get it better now though (even
though I quoted that line for 10 years doing BOB.) But as theater
performers (and DH asked me about this today in the group practice
whether it is the same in the theater - which I affirmed) we know that
the audience is incredibly smart and has all the advantage -
especially if the story is HAMLET or some well know text. And so the
moment the audience can pin down what you are doing, you are dead in
the water, and will have a devil of a time getting back. Not
impossible. But really hard. The goal is not to hold back, but to
make ALL of it possible ALL at once. It's actually more generous in
the end isn't it.
or ... "make choices that can't be read in any one way -- IN THIS
MATERIAL" she is clear to say. In this material. This is about
being smart. As smart as the audience. To stay ahead if not with
them so that both sides can live in the mystery of what is going on.
On the surface. As Robert Wilson says, "underneath it can be
complicated, about a million things. The surface has to be about one
Know that I am quoting DH and also interpreting, going on about, filling you in on MY take on it so far, etc. so don't hold me to anything for the moment. I'm not giving you "anything to go on."
Okay, super hungry.
I hope this is feeding you in some way.
I RECOGNIZE MY CHOREOGRAPHY. This from that :
"I recognize my choreography when I see a dancer's self-regulated
transcendence of his/her choreographed body within in a movement
sequence that distinguishes one dance from another."
The entire article is worth the reading and explains some things about
this project I am on.
Just a quick note on lunch break. Now going to "skype" Paddo
I should say right away that I've been using the word "rehearse" and
this is a misunderstanding. Really we are performing each time. After
each solo Deborah gives notes or comments on the "performance." And
so there is the "performance" pressure. We work as though always
performing. It reminds me of the suzuki work in that one practices
always with the understanding, or the created fiction, that one is in
performance. In this way there is always the extra edge to the work,
there is a particular kind of attention one must pay to the moments,
and a minimum of energy required.
The word "articulation" came up. Someone asked about program notes in
our performances of the adaptations. DH is very clear that program
notes are helpful and good. Her thinking is that any time an artist
has the opportunity to articulate to the audience, or to the
performance community, or to the culture at large, then one should
take that opportunity. We have to. It is what we do. And necessary
- especially in the USA where it is so hard to make and create work.
She read to us the opening lines of a Sam Beckett story called THE
END. (Which is ironic because this is one of the stories required for
the students of a class at Skidmore that I am co-teaching). But these
lines for DH are a statement of the situation of the artist at this
time in the American culture. Look it up. I don't have the book with
me at the moment, but I'll transcribe them a little later. Anyway
this word "articulation" is very much a word we are using in the SITI
company. Tell the story we say. Anne has spoken and written about
the "violence of articulation" in one's life and in one's work. You
can read more about that in Anne's writing.
"Surrender" is a big word right now. "What if my choice to surrender
the pattern of fixing on a singularly coherent idea, feeling, or
object, when I am dancing - is a way of remembering to see where I am
in order to surrender where I am?" This is one of the questions we
"practice." And ultimately IS the dance. There are more which I
won't reproduce here.
I have to be here in order to surrender being here - in order to
surrender the moment.
This is a mind blowing thought. It is not just about giving away each
moment. But the absolute presence in each moment which is then
surrendered to the next. But one cannot simply always surrender
submissively. One must absolutely work in such a way that one is
really here before one can surrender. It's a beautiful and incredibly
difficult thing to practice. But the results when I see them in
others are variously powerful and touching.
If it is true what the Sufi master says, that "you are not your
thoughts" then who am I? Well I have a body, and it has it's own
intelligence and can save me from my own thoughts which constantly
interrupt, judge, second guess, sabotage, and freeze the dancer. And
this is dance after all, so we get moving and listen to what the body
wants, what it is saying, getting what it needs, SEEING where I am,
and then surrendering to the next moment.
Again, this is heady and difficult to write out like this - especially
as I am just in it and struggling with it and feels a little unfair to
lay out here in this format. It is artist work. It is radical in
this practicing. But what I am seeing in the dancers is just
I will come back home and do "performance practice" every day for the
next several months before attempting a public showing - as will all
the other participants. We can talk about it more then.
So now to more dancing. Thank you for reading and listening. Have a
great day! Or night for most of you.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
It is 8:30 a.m. here in the studio.
I am here to get what little internet reception there is available and
make some contact. DH is here next to me and Celine is too. We just
exchange some laughs about the Bush speech last night. Am I right? I
was just told that NBC broadcast the speech to the convention from the
white house with gaping silent holes in the speech where there should
have been applause and cheers? Is that true. What a surreal
experience it must have been to see it.
And what is the news on New Orleans? Bless them.
DH just told me that some of her family in Cecilia, LA are reporting
flooding, power outage, trees down and they are camping out. This is
near Lafayette I believe isn't it which too a major hit during the
last flood. That's what news I have.
Here it is getting cooler during the days and especially at night.
Wet to be sure, but not stormy. Very dramatic sunrises and sunsets.
The rhythm of the days unfold with DH and participants arriving early,
sitting in a line along one wall of the studio where internet
reception works and there you would see if you were sitting center of
the studio a row of macs and pc's, bowed heads and the tap tap of
furiously typing fingers. Some laughing and chatting for those
skyping loved ones or business associates around the globe. It is a
funny sight. Some disembodied voices from the computers speaking in
all kinds of languages .... But we cannot let the world intrude too
much. There is a deep meditation on this dance. We are rehearsing
from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day. Individual practice, group
practice, and repetitions of solos over and over again. Bodies are
getting tired. Spirits are good I think. But the information
gathered from the bodies and the space and from one another builds and
the "attempt" to "do" it one realizes gets more and more difficult -
even though there is simultaneous clarity. And to see a dancer after
20+ minutes of solo'ing gasping for air, or sweating, or limping to
the side lines for notes from Deborah is inspiring I think. It is
hard work. It costs. 20+ minutes of solo almost entirely improvised
based upon choreographic prompts from the choreographic "script" is
hard work. One loses one's way, one loses hope, one thrills to the
moment when the practice is present, or one manages to remember the
practice. In fact, as DH has said, the choreography is really a trick
to get you to doing the practice. In fact I should be clear that "the
practice" is not a good thing to say. As she has insisted, there is
no "practice." It is not a noun. It is a verb. We are practicing.
Practicing what? you might wonder. Well I have to go practice
now ... so ponder that for a time and I'll get back to you in a little
while ..... meanwhile some pictures of the tide out in the bay,
Celine from Paris, Sandy (living in Brussels I think) and Deborah and
Tanya (from Luxembourg I believe)
Links of Interest
Poem of the day (or whenever I change it)
Always the setting forth was the same,
Same sea, same dangers waiting for him
As though he had got nowhere but older.
Behind him on the receding shore
The identical reproaches, and somewhere
Out before him, the unravelling patience
He was wedded to. There were the islands
Each with its woman and twining welcome
To be navigated, and one to call ``home.''
The knowledge of all that he betrayed
Grew till it was the same whether he stayed
Or went. Therefore he went. And what wonder
If sometimes he could not remember
Which was the one who wished on his departure
Perils that he could never sail through,
And which, improbable, remote, and true,
Was the one he kept sailing home to?