"The truth, which is the single body alone in the universe against its own best time." Referencing running again. As in life, we are all trying to beat our personal records. In terms of mortality, this would be to outlive, live as long as possible or avoid death all together. The truth of this whole piece, and most unnerving message I found was that we are alone. Any illusion of partnership, with or without love doesn't change that when you die, there will not be anybody holding your hand afterwards. We are all single bodies, single souls, individuals who are all in the game of survival. In the universe there is no such thing as 'friends' or 'lovers' or 'family' there is just emptiness and solitude. This being the truth, it's every man for himself, everyone "against its best time."
You may have a perfect love. A picturesque family. But are all experiencing your own separate realities. We will never know how anybody sees the world. Perception is so starkly different from person to person.
In a nutshell, Olds is brilliant. The poem still makes me uncomfortable to the point of having existential crises and second guessing all that I hold sacred. Especially the end. Maybe it's because I know it's true to a degree. I just am afraid that if I fully accept this truth that it will be even more difficult for me to connect with people. To have friends. And most of all, TO TRUST. It seems so futile. I love people though. I love romance, my lovely boyfriend who I would never trade for the world. I can't even handle my shit when we are apart.
Maybe there is a new spin to take away from Olds. If I have the ability to feel so deeply, truly one with a few people, it only seems to indicate that we are not individuals, but all the same. I'm getting new-age on you now, but if we were of the same energy and while on Earth in flesh-form had ego, personality and individuality to keep us occupied with the illusion of structure and boundaries- but after, were rejoined as a large plasmatic, undulating intangible mass, I would be at peace. Not heaven. Not God. Energy can't be created or destroyed, so its just a reorganization. We're like cups of water in glasses. After we pass away we rejoin the ocean again.
I love how this poem pushes me to places I don't always like to explore in my head. It started with carnal, animalistic sex and has now evolved into something much more.
With Love and Dissent,