Experience Expressed

M. Travis Lane in “Skindeep” (collected in The Crisp Day Closing on My Hand) has a stanza setting off these lines

can bruise. It sometimes mends.
It can not teach.

I’m not so sure that once lifted out of context that the lines express a perennial truth though they seem poised to do so. The lines concluding the previous stanza provide an entry into the link (or not) between teachable moments and experience.

Does experience teach?
I thought that once,
and held my inexperience as a shame.

Of course inexperience is a quantum of some sort of experience. And co-learning occurs. Even between people of unequal experiences. Worth thinking a little more about what is teaching. Of course the answer is in the line just before the question quoted above where the poem’s voice asks “Does it matter that I get things wrong?” And the answer is no. And the answer is yes. In the reader’s voice I ask “Does confirming what is known amount to teaching too?”

Experience teaches us that we desire to begin anew.

And so for day 847

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