(for Newton Garver)
I remember cross-country skiing with you back in the woods around the East Concord New York, home, the snow puffy with light powder as we cut through the evergreens. After all, in my early 30’s I could care less, challenging, fiercer every second and sweating mightily even in the below zero temperature. There we were: two Quakers, intensely spiritual, totally committed to silence and its meanings, determined now to beat the other, to pummel the other one into the swirling snow drifts, curling around trees, overcome with hot desire. In Wittgenstein, what we cannot speak about, the end of language and the beginning of understanding, is this ferocious competitive edge, a way of being that leads to a bottom pool of silence, arguments and propositions be damned, a truth that remains in the body just part of the breathing, pushing blood in and out, the grammar and silence of Wittgenstein flowing and going together?
Stanford J Searl, Jr., is a member of Santa Monica Meeting (PYM). This poem is from his book, Quaker Poems: The Heart Opened.