The Keeper of Meaning

A poem about Perspective by Rocco Jarman


your life is a tapestry,
so many threads, woven
a tremendous going on, 
a relentless unfolding, 
of thatching and unravelling, 
a picking loose and a tying off,
a coming together of chapters; 
of beginnings that are noticed only now, 
but which when traced back to stitches made 
sometimes so far back, 
we discover, began, actually very long ago.

and a vividness and a contrast
coloured at once in fine detail and sweeping fullness 
depending on how close we dare to stand
or how far back we venture 
to take it all in.

and of endings, 
whose thread was running out already somehow, whilst a new theme was just blooming 
onto the scene,
announcing its future disappearance 
in plain sight 
in a way that can only be seen 
once it has taken up 
a different kind of room in your heart 
in the shape of your remorse.

and then there are ways 
in which a pattern emerges. 
which betrays at once 
the repeated leaning of our choices
and an invisible hand that seemed to always know
exactly what it was doing 
even in those moments
where we had been invited 
to steer the design.
strangely, especially in those times
and unsurprisingly, exactly 
when you thought yours 
was the only hand at the loom.

and then of course
as we arrive at the unfolding event horizon 
of what is emerging in often alarming confusion only now, 
that bright exciting edge where today is splicing into tomorrow, 
that moment of infinite potential 
we call Now
being as it is, 
not yet hemmed in by the selvege of fate,
and we arrive at the same time 
at a place of enough courage wound around the spindle of our hearts
to allow the whole incredible picture, 
replete with its many flaws and knotted regrets 
that refuse to allow the eye to forget,
if we can love that enough
and choose 
the whole of it, 
with all its tragedy of promises that unravelled
as the shuttles of requited and unrequited love
struck their rhythms to the weave of your own heart
that seeming failing of the world 
and of deeply significant others 
to give us the kind of love we thought we wanted
rather so often instead the kind we needed.
if we can remake the frame of our minds 
to regard all of it 
with the honour of acceptance,
a beauty is revealed which takes us by surprise,
whose other name is Meaning
and we discover with profound humility 
we are both weaver and weft,
and more
that each of our wonderfully complex tapestries 
are both impossibly and inextricably 

and then, when we forget again, 
and drawn back in, 
as we undoubtedly will, 
to the narrow and engrossing task of living, 
the secret beauty 
of every snag, 
every rude break in our rhythm,
and every frustration, is 
in its invitation 
to re-embrace the wider view
to be reminded, again,
it is always 

Rocco Jarman, October 2022

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