blog post

Jul 2019
9:58 pm

Any Case - Wisława Szymborska

Any Case - Wisława Szymborska

Any Case

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Closer. Farther away.
It happened, but not to you.

You survived because you were first.
You survived because you were last.
Because alone. Because the others.
Because on the left. Because on the right.
Because it was raining. Because it was sunny.
Because a shadow fell.

Luckily there was a forest.
Luckily there were no trees.
Luckily a rail, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A frame, a turn, an inch, a second.
Luckily a straw was floating on the water.
Thanks to, thus, in spite of, and yet.
What would have happened if a hand, a leg,
One step, a hair away?

So you are here? Straight from that moment still suspended?
The net’s mesh was tight, but you? through the mesh?
I can’t stop wondering at it, can’t be silent enough.
How quickly your heart is beating in me.

--Translated by Grazyna Drabik and Sharon Olds


“How strange it is to be anything at all” - Neutral Milk Hotel

What a bizarre suspicion that coincidences might happen to oneself more often than others. Surely almost everything must have happened to someone. How could you ever tell when everything is in some sense equally likely( or so the mathematician would say)?

“It had to happen… It happened to someone, but not to you”

Could you ever recognize how each small detail has shaped you? A particular shadow or falling leaf rippling ever outward. What of everything that hadn’t happened. We see them only when they are too close. A near miss. That could have been me. Never able to see what possibilities lie just beyond the veil in an endless sea of what if. All the potentialities exist in the realized product.

How quickly your heart is beating in me.”

--David Collins