This is the top down season I think I look forward to the most. Cap required to keep my balding head from getting too cold, windbreaker on, heater up, and top and side windows down. I slice through the morning crispness and pass through a multitude of scent fogs. Wood smoke from a fireplace (yep, fall is certainly here now!), bacon-ish breakfast smells past those houses, composting leaves as I pass the remaining copses of trees (one smelled more of composting lawn clippings, so someone must be dumping their cuttings in there), a strong marijuana-like smell (always) just before I pass the copper domed church, and cigarette smoke from some of the cars I follow.
Returning to the office after another chunk of time away means cutting through the brambles of overgrown tasks and duties. No matter how well I position myself before leaving, I return to a pile of fresh undone things.
This Wednesday morning I strongly feel Jorie Graham's frustration and exhortation in the poem, The Guardian Angel of the Private Life when she says:
the heart—there at the core of the drafting leaves—wet and warm at the zero of
the bright mock-stairwaying-up of the posthumous leaves—the heart,
formulating its alleyways of discovery,
fussing about the integrity of the whole,
the heart trying to make time and place seem small,
sliding its slim tears into the deep wallet of each new event on the list
then checking it off—oh the satisfaction—each check a small kiss,
an echo of the previous one, off off it goes the dry high-ceilinged obligation,
checked-off by the fingertips, by the small gust called done that swipes
the unfinishable’s gold hem aside, revealing
what might have been, peeling away what should ...
There are flowerpots at their feet.
There is fortune-telling in the air they breathe.
Oh look at you.
What is it you hold back? What piece of time is it the list
won’t cover? You down there, in the theater of
operations—you, throat of the world—so diacritical—
(are we all waiting for the phone to ring?)—
(what will you say? are you home? are you expected soon?)—
oh wanderer back from break, all your attention focused
—as if the thinking were an oar, this ship the last of some
original fleet, the captains gone but some of us
who saw the plan drawn out
still here—who saw the thinking clot-up in the bodies of the greater men,
who saw them sit in silence while the voices in the other room
lit up with passion, itchings, dreams of landings,
while the solitary ones,
heads in their hands, so still,
the idea barely forming
at the base of that stillness,
Really, it is tempting to simply quote the entire poem here, because it speaks so strongly to this (my) Wednesday morning. If you have not discovered this poem before now, I encourage you to follow the linked title above and read it now. Read it before you check another thing off your to-do list for the day, or add this to your list, if you must. I do not think you will regret the time.
As for me, I look at my email inbox, my calendar, my list of projects, and roll around the as-yet-unrecorded tasks inside my memory, and.... "All this was written on the next day’s list. On which the busyness unfurled its cursive roots, pale but effective, and the long stern of the necessary, the sum of events, built-up its tiniest cathedral ...(Or is it the sum of what takes place?)" ....I start working.
- Posted via Hermes.