A Pity. We Were Such a Good Invention by Yehuda Amichai

A pity. That’s what it comes down to. An unfortunate development. I remember Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a brave woman, who flew all over the world, holding her heart in her hands:

“…For Sayonara, literally translated, ‘Since it must be so,’ of all the good-bys I have heard is the most beautiful. Unlike Auf Wiedersehens and Au revoirs, it does not try to cheat itself by any bravado ”Til we meet again,’ any sedative to postpone the pain of separation. It does not evade the issue like the sturdy blinking Farewell. Farewell is a father’s good-by. It is—‘Go out into the world and do well, my son.’ It is encouragement and admonition. It is hope and faith. But it passes over the significance of the moment; of parting it says nothing. It hides its emotion. It says too little. While Good-by (‘God be with you’) and Adios say too much. They try to bridge the distance, almost to deny it. Good-by is a prayer, a ringing cry. ‘You must not go—I cannot bear to have you go! But you shall not go alone, unwatched. God will be with you. God’s hand will be over you’ and even—underneath, hidden, but it is there, incorrigible—‘I will be with you; I will watch you—always.’ It is a mother’s good-by. But Sayonara says neither too much nor too little. It is a simple acceptance of fact. All understanding of life lies in its limits. All emotion, smoldering, is banked up behind it. But it says nothing. It is really the unspoken good-by, the pressure of a hand, ‘Sayonara.'” ()

The pressure of a hand. Your hand, on the small of my back. A pity. Goodbye.

A Pity. We Were Such a Good Invention
Yehuda Amichai

They amputated
Your thighs off my hips.
As far as I’m concerned
They are all surgeons. All of them.

They dismantled us
Each from the other.
As far as I’m concerned
They are all engineers. All of them.

A pity. We were such a good
And loving invention.
An aeroplane made from a man and wife.
Wings and everything.
We hovered a little above the earth.

We even flew a little.

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