‘Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.’
‘One of the most beautiful lines in Latin, and also one of the most famous . . .A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this. It is about loss, about overcoming the worst, but the word ‘perhaps’ is important. It may not be a joy to remember. It may be a bloody misery.’ Robert Fagles
Forsan (Perhaps) Take us, fate. We are adrift, the waves and the current decide. Home lies scattered behind us; my consulting room, her hanging silk, toys, garden tools and pans. I hope the dog died cleanly.
et haec (even this) There’s rest in this moment. As if on a holiday trip we lost sight of pebbles on the sea bottom and let the deep take us. It is like sleep, the swell rocking the boat and these packed bodies around us.
Olim (some day) If we survive we will re-root. If the foreign soil is fertile I will remake the pattern. The children bilingual, our grandchildren natives.
Meminisse (to remember) our cousins are behind us, our friends scattered in another boat. Whatever happens I will remember my mind’s picture of their faces.
Iuvabit (one will rejoice) Who will ever boast of winning through? Take credit for chance? It is unsayable.