Sunday, September 18, 2016

Her Beacon-Hand

"Her beacon-Hand" and "I lift my lamp beside the golden door" are borrowed from "The New Colossus" – the famous sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849–1887), written in 1883.

She is perfect exactly on account of her myriad shortcomings,
and beautiful exactly on account of her scars. Indeed, her
contradictions are the essence of her undying allure. So
when she beckons, as she eventually does, we all listen,
and follow, each of us responding to a different facet of hers,
one that better corresponds to our own inner disposition at
that hapless moment in our lives when we heard her fateful
call. Is she really liberty? Or is it blind fate? It’s hard to tell.
It’s always hard to tell. But the beckoning is too alluring,
and we listen, we always listen, even when we pretend not to,
even when we fail to act, or act wrongly. For her we sacrifice
our innocence. For her we sacrifice even her. Yes. We often
sacrifice her in her own name! And as her irony meets
ours, our cynicism proves no less deep, our irrationality no
less wanton, and our logic no less cold.

She brings both resurrection and death, redemption and damnation, as we grow inside her womb, continuously trying to climb out of it, only to fall right back – the perennial children that we are, that we will forever be. But her warmth is never enough for us, never enough to quell our yearning for something beyond, something vague and, perhaps sinister, something whose beckoning is far more alluring and deadly than hers. And she cannot lead us to it. Her beacon-hand is not enough guidance it seems. But then, those who still crave guidance can never be truly free. For freedom lurks in the dark, and all that bathe in the light is nothing more than an illusion.

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