Monday, July 27, 2009
remember how you held your hands
over your ears singing
"na, na, na i can't hear you"
to drown me out?
that word once thrilled me
nowadays, it's awkward to text
way too many characters
size doesn't matter
but form does
it takes deliberation
to be brief
only the birds twitter meaningfully
me, i need depth
substance or silence
sometimes i hate the sound of my own voice
gobble gobble gobble
drivel rant babble
just shut the fuck up
so don't blow me a kiss in passing
i want to taste your lips
feel your tongue
or forget it
My grandmother Mary Virginia Leonard was a person I admired immensely. I like to think she had a profound influence on my life, she and her husband John W. We grandkids called our grandparents Bobo and Bebop. They were stalwart, resourceful, vital, wise.
Bobo lived to be 103, her mind pretty sharp until the end. She had a stroke, about five years before she died, which left her speechless. Nor was she able to write. When I visited her she would try to tell me something, and from the look in her eyes I knew it was important, but she couldn't articulate the words, and the tears spilled in frustration.
What if words were like money? A resource, a treasure? What if an evil fairy cast a spell, giving me only 50 words, after which I would fall mute forever? The equivalent of one tweet, what would I say? And to whom?
We spend our words like chump change, and so often the words are thoughtless, inane, cruel, or just clutter the air, rain down on the floor, devoid of any value.
I'd like to take a vow of silence, at least for a while. I'll start with 60 seconds. Beginning now.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass Ifrom Song of Myself
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged.
Missing me one place search another
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
by Walt Whitman
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I've recently discovered the Roman writer and philosopher Boethius (480-524), who wrote The Consolation of Philosophy while he was imprisoned, and before being executed. I seem to share many of his ideas of finding happiness within.
This morning, while trying to organize a heap of old journals, I came across some scribblings I made during a 3-week ocean crossing with Bob aboard Topaz. (If you've ever been to sea you can probably relate to the prison metaphor, and it was an 18th-century English author and wit, Samuel Johnson, who said What is a ship but a prison, with the chance of being drowned...)
June 5, 2001
At sea, somewhere near the equator…
Salty, damp, hot
as we pound our way through
glorious but brutal humps of
water. Feeling pretty dogged, both
of us. A long journey home.
I’m still at the wheel, Bob is
below, and I start singing. I sing
every song that comes to mind, every song I know.
This cheers me immensely and
gives me a burst of euphoria
and love of life. If you can’t
be happy when times are hard or
you are physically miserable,
what good is happiness?
Saturday, July 11, 2009
nothing stays the same
it all comes to this
and then this too
tomorrow someone else
will build a castle
of the very same sand
you'll be long gone
you'll forget your house of sand
but the sea remembers
washing your feet, your hands
as you played
Friday, July 3, 2009
Asked by a fellow blogger (Not Rocket Science) to disclose ten things about myself, I nearly had a panic attack. What to confess to? I'm so fickle, things change, I'm hard to pin down. OK, feel the fear and do it. Here are ten random (subject to change) facts about me:
1.I sometimes take myself too seriously, except when I’m making light of myself. (OK, that doesn't count. Too evasive. How about this: I've been called aloof, a term that surprised me when I heard it, though I admit I do occasionally hide behind that persona...)
2.I admire green-thumbed people who like to garden but personally, I’m more of a hunter-gatherer.
3.My favorite color changes from hour to hour, but red and red-orange always rank right up there at the top.
4.I wish I had done LSD in my youth. "Just to see what the fuss was about" (Sheryl Crowe.)
5. If I were going to change my first name, I would probably choose Ann, Anne or Annie. So many of my favorite female writers have that name…
6. I love Wyoming and West Virginia; deserts, and the Ocean. On the other hand I love New York and Paris.
7. Dogs are cute but I kind of feel sorry for them. Cats, on the other hand, are to be emulated. And obeyed.
8. I quite often tear up when talking to people.
9. I hate politics and current events. I never read People Magazine, I don't care what or who the Personalities are doing. I try to avoid Trendy Hipsters.
10. I think I’m on the edge of discovering time travel, so if it seems like I'm not really all there, maybe I've gone..
Care to trade ten for ten? I'd love to know you better...