I spent my electricity-free day finishing up the book review I'm writing for Beloit, so that's one task I can x off the list of things to do. And now I'm back to the enjoying the comforts of a wealthy industrialized nation--e.g., running water and refrigeration. It's too easy to forget what a gift cleanliness can be.
So here I sit, in the fat lap of luxury. Hot coffee, cold water, lamps in a dark room. A laptop for writing, and a thousand books for reading. Music, a telephone. A freezer that freezes, and a stove that heats.
And people who think of me. This past week I played music with a friend, was invited out to dinner, went for a walk with a friend, had another stop by for a drink. People sent me email notes and I got a card in the mail. Everything conspires to make me feel less lonely.
Plus, today is my wedding anniversary: 25 years! Of course we can't spend it together. In fact it's probable that Tom has forgotten all about it. I only barely remembered it myself. The day has never been that big a deal for us, though we do love birthdays. Still, 25 years married, 31 years of attachment. We met when we were 19, and here we are, still speaking to one another. How strange! So even though he won't be reading this letter, I will leave a small present for him here. If there's a greater love poem in the language, I don't know it.
The Sun Rising
Busy old fool, unruly sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motions lovers' seasons run?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices,
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.
Thy beams, so reverend and strong
Why shouldst thou think?
I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
But that I would not lose her sight so long;
If her eyes have not blinded thine,
Look, and tomorrow late, tell me,
Whether both th' Indias of spice and mine
Be where thou leftst them, or lie here with me.
Ask for those kings whom thou saw'st yesterday,
And thou shalt hear, All here in one bed lay.
She's all states, and all princes, I,
Nothing else is.
Princes do but play us; compared to this,
All honor's mimic, all wealth alchemy.
Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world's contracted thus.
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.