As I  have continued to ponder the wisdom of Willie Nelson (seriously, that Willie meme gave me some food for thought), yesterday morning I found myself with a few lines of a poem in my head: “Margaret are you grieving/Over goldengrove unleaving?/It is the blight man was born for/It is Margaret you mourn for.”

They are the first and last lines of the poem “Spring and Fall,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I was introduced to it when I was a kid, in Lois Lowry’s book A Summer To Die. One of those books that is part of the great sadistic publishing tradition of marketing books focused on death to preadolescent girls while they are in the midst of an epically emotionally tumultuous age.

Which eventually led me to recall “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional,” from Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

And then I gave up on writing this for a while.