This is my sacred kind of day, and, of course, every day is sacred, and I love it when I have time to gently grocery shop and come home to cook. I made Winter Minnestrone and Chocolate Rum Balls. I will make pesto for the soup, though the basil this time of year is not like August basil with that overwhelming fragrance, but it is softer in scent and that is okay for the light of today. My hands smell like Rosemary, pruned from the yard.
A friend posts the following poem on her blog and now I borrow it and share it too. That is the wonder of the internet. She searched for it because she was down about the latest news. I mean who wouldn't be. Sometimes I think I am deluded, and yet I seem to live with an inner hum that keeps me steady most days. I don't know why I believe we'll make it through, but I do, and, of course, one might ask what "making it through" is.
I read an article today making fun of all the people dragging suitcases on wheels. He asks if we really need more stuff than we can carry over our shoulder or on our back Probably not. I think of the book and movie Into the Wild. He underestimated what he needed, and yet, with a different twist, he would have made it. I am rambling. I want to share this poem. In this moment, I am a blend of ingredients, like minnestrone soup. I am tasty, nourishing, nourished, enough, and I love this poem.
Ah, one more thought. Marion Rosen says we are here to feel, and, as we know, sometimes it really hurts when we feel, and yet, now I think of how I feel when I just have to go to Muir Woods and I scurry down into the valley of embrace, and practically run in, flashing my yearly pass. Tears fill my eyes each time I go because I am so happy to see and be with the trees. "Tears are liquid love," and we are here to love, love, love, even as we cry and try to understand the complexity we share.
One day it will all vanish,
how you felt when you were overwhelmed
by her, soaping each other in the shower,
or when you heard the news
of his death, there in the T-Bone diner
on Queens Boulevard amid the shouts
of short-order cooks, Armenians, oblivious.
One day one thing and then a dear other
will blur and though they won’t be lost
they won’t mean as much,
that motorcycle ride on the dirt road
to the deserted beach near Cadiz,
the Guardia mistaking you for a drug-runner,
his machine gun in your belly –
already history now, merely your history,
which means everything to you.
You strain to bring back
your mother’s full face and full body
before her illness, the arc and tenor
of family dinners, the mysteries
of radio, and Charlie Collins,
eight years old, inviting you
to his house to see the largest turd
that had ever come from him, unflushed.
One day there’ll be almost nothing,
except what you’ve written down,
then only what you’ve written down well,
then little of that.
The march on Washington in ’68
where you hoped to change the world
and meet beautiful, sensitive women
is choreography now, cops on horses,
everyone backing off, stepping forward.
The exam you stole and put back unseen
has become one of your stories,
overtold, tainted with charm.
All of it, anyway, will go the way of icebergs
come summer, the small chunks floating
in the Adriatic until they’re only water,
pure, and someone taking sad pride
that he can swim in it nimbly.
For you, though, loss, almost painless,
that Senior Prom at the Latin Quarter –
Count Basie and Sarah Vaughan, and you
just interested in your date’s cleavage
and staying out all night at Jones Beach,
the small dune fires fueled by driftwood.
You can’t remember a riff or a song,
and your date’s a woman now, married,
has had sex as you have
some few thousand times, good sex
and forgettable sex, even boring sex,
oh you never could have imagined
back then with the waves crashing
what the body could erase.
It’s vanishing, as you speak, the soul-grit,
everything you retrieve is your past,
everything you let go
goes to memory’s out-box, open on all sides,
in cahoots with thin air.
The jobs you didn’t get vanish like scabs.
her good-bye, causing the phone to slip
from your hand, doesn’t hurt anymore,
too much doesn’t hurt anymore,
not even the hint of your father, ghost-thumping
on your roof in Spain, hurts anymore.
You understand and therefore hate
because you hate the passivity of understanding
that your worst rage and finest
private gesture will flatten and collapse
into history, become invisible
like defeats inside houses. Then something happens
(it is happening) which won’t vanish fast enough,
your voice fails, chokes to silence;
hurt (how could you have forgotten?) hurts.
Every other truth in the world, out of respect,
slides over, makes room for its superior.
- Stephen Dunn