We Can be Absent

Michael Silverblatt talked in March 2006 with Jorie Graham about her work on KCRW's Bookworm. I was startled by her articulate and logical yet passionate way of describing the challenge of attempting to remaining awake to the present.

This is what is wrong: we, only we, the humans, can retreat from ourselves and
not be
altogether here.
We can be part full, only part, and not die. We can be in and out of here, now,
at once, and not die. The little song, the little river, has banks. We can pull up
and sit on the banks. We can pull back
from the being of our bodies, we can live in a
portion of them, we can be absent, no one can tell. 
 
Jorie Graham, "Other," from Overlord (HarperCollins, 2005)