Cannot Understand 

Two Quests For Meaning
by Tim Robertson 

Introduction by the editor.

Two Quests For Meaning...

...seemed a good title for these two poems.  It may very well be that all real poetry is such a quest––perhaps even all art.  But these poems seem especially naked in their quest for meaning in love and sex and religion.  

When I asked the poet for a brief bio he responded:  “Tim Robertson was born in Toronto in 1956, grew up in North Bay, quit high school to join the army, quit the army to go back to high school, accidentally studied drama and theatre arts at the University of Waterloo, married Karin who started a storytelling club, ...fell in with the Conspiracy of Three [a local literary group] over twenty years ago, and is currently interested in how we can mean anything at all."

It is entirely possible, even plausible, that we don't "mean anything at all".  But it is indisputably in our nature to search for the meaning of our existence.  Artists and scientists search in different ways, as do lovers, dreamers, and mystics.   

What we discover is often paradoxical and contradictory.  Science and reason have given meaning to much of our experience.  Our understanding of the universe and where we came from is so very much deeper than that of our ancestors. But what we now know seems to suggest that our own existence has no special transcendent meaning.  Yet personal experience of passion and beauty, all our conscious experience, argues (quite empirically) that our lives do have meaning. The existentialists may have had it right in saying we all somehow create the meaning of our own existence.

How this is possible remains a mystery.  But that we do it is evident in the things we have created:  art and science and our loving relationships.  It is manifested in our experience of lust and love, curiosity and awe, and in all the magic moments of our lives.

Robertson's two poems are about those magic moments.  They are about wanting the incredible reality of a dream to actually be real.  They are about wanting the brilliance of myth to illuminate the mundane. Not surprisingly, this means they are about the entanglement of spiritual and carnal knowledge.  They are both sacred and profane.  

And damn good poems.

Two paths...

Dreams Are Something More

Back In The Day


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