I was lucky to attend the terrific On Cue gathering in Boston this week, where poet Regie Gibson put forth the image of an archipelago — islands that appear to be separate, but that are really all connected, just below the surface.
It’s not a brand-new notion, but it is a powerful one. Here is John Donne’s version:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
And here is Pitbull’s version:
When the going gets tough
the tough get going
One love, one life, one world
One fight, whole world, one night, one place
Sometimes each of us feels like an island. Sometimes we even wish for it, longing for independence and solitude.
But even at our most individual, we are an archipelago!