As I read in the morning paper of fist fights in shopping malls, I am grateful that I don't need anything. I find it curious. The day after Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day to shop and yet, it seems out of all proportion this year. I am also surprised since it seems that on-line shopping is so easy. Jeff and Jan's wedding gifts were delivered here, and it appeared that almost all were ordered from their on-line registry. There was no need to go to the mall for a fight. Most odd.
We are cozily settled today, and soon will beckon out into this embrace of green trees and blue sky. I am reading William Stafford and I sink into this poem of his this morning.
The Discovery of Daily Experience
It is a whisper. You turn somewhere,
hall, street, some great event: the stars
or the lights hold; your next step waits you
and the firm world waits - but
there is a whisper. You always live so,
a being that receives, or partly receives, or
fails to receive each moment's touch.
You see the people around you - the honors
they bear - a crutch, a cane, eye patch
or the subtler ones, that fixed look, a turn
aside, or even the brave bearing: all declare
our kind, who serve on the human front and earn
whatever disguise will take them home. (I saw
Frank last week with his crutch de guerre.)
When the world is like this - and it is -
whispers, honors or penalties disguised - no wonder
art thrives like a pulse wherever civilized people,
or any people, live long enough in a place to
build, and remember, and anticpate; for we are
such beings as interact elaborately with what
surrounds us. The limited actual world we successively
overcome by frictions and by the mind's inventions
that cannot be quite arbitrary (and hence do reflect
the actual), but can escape the actual (and hence
may become art).
- William Stafford