Thursday, March 01, 2007

Get Drunk

As I normally do on weekday mornings while drying off from the shower, getting dressed, blowing my hair, putting on makeup, and packing my bag; I was listening to CBC Radio One this morning. I believe I was listening to the radio show The Current with host Anna Maria Tremonti when I head Charles Baudelaire's poem "Get Drunk" being read.

One should always be drunk. That's all that matters;
that's our one imperative need. So as not to feel Time's
horrible burden on which breaks your shoulders and bows
you down, you must get drunk without cease.

But with what?
With wine, poetry, or virtue
as you choose.
But get drunk.

And if, at some time, on steps of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the bleak solitude of your room
you are waking and the drunkenness has already abated,
ask the wind, the wave, the stars, the clock,
all that which flees,
all that which groans,
all that which rolls
all that which sings,
all that which speaks,
ask them, what time it is;
and the wind, the wave, the stars, the birds, and the clock,
they will all reply:

"It is time to get drunk!

So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time,
get drunk, get drunk,
and never pause for rest!
With wine, poetry, or virtue,
as you choose!"

And I thought, what a beautiful poem. What a wonderful way to start the day. What an incredible thought; to be drunk with poetry. There is something mystical about the way a poem seeps into your life and changes the way you look at the world; or rather, the way you wish the world to be. Dan told me I was a romantic. 'Tis true, and I wonder if that has helped determine who I will be in life. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

This is an escapist poem, and yet I feel guilty for even saying that. I feel guilty for writing about getting drunk, even if it be off of poetry, even if it be off of virtue, (and even if it be off of wine). I feel guilty for buying into the romantic escapism. Yet, I don't want to be guilty.

This is what I want. I want to be carried away by the wonders of the world. I want to be at the wedding where Jesus turned water into wine. I want to be in The Eagle and Child, drinking beer with the Inklings. I want to be engulfed by a world of virtue and beauty and aesthetics. Why can this not be so?

I always look forward to tomorrow: to the days that will be long and that will allow me to find the time to really submerse myself into these mysteries. But where will this passion take me? Will I instead find myself lost in the continuous, monotonous, ticking, of, time, that, push, us, ever, onward, until, we, go, no, further? No. NoNo. I will resist that. I will fall in love with the world around me. I will drink with those who have drank before. I will not hold back. I will not be a martyr to Time.

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