The Cruelest Month

In his poem "The Wasteland," T.S. Eliot says that "April is the cruelest month...mixing memory with desire..." It seems that every spring, I find myself agreeing with this line in a slightly new way. My interpretation shifts with age and situation. Six years ago, I found myself single and lonely in April, wandering through mild spring evenings and wild spring colors alone, my memories of college friends and past lovers mixing with my desire for celebration and companionship, aching to grill feasts and go on hikes and dance through the April twilights with friends I had lost or hadn't yet found. I could no longer curl up inside of my winter lair and lick my heart-broken wounds. Spring demanded more of me.

Now, my view of April being cruel seems a bit more primal, in a sense. Because our dreams shake to life in April. Through winter, we  hatch plans and scheme, envisioning the greatness of the spring, the wonder of the summer. We plant invisible gardens and plot festivals, dancing, travel, poetry, magic. The memories that haunt me now seem more like archetypes, more mythic; they aren't just my memories but shared memories. And in April the myths turn to realities; the memories and desire mingle and churn.

I find it difficult to write about this in the singular, because WE seethe with spring! WE teem with new life! WE shake off the dust of winter and want to taste it and feel it all! April, you fickle bitch. You give and then you take away. You smile rainbows and then lash down cold rains. You tease with warm breezes and then snow down on our gardens. You bless us with blossoms and curse us with slugs. You are a sadistic lover, but oh, how we love you! How we worship!

No comments:

Post a Comment