Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Beside me, a red begonia blooms against a window. Beyond it, under a clean blue sky, cold fingers of sunlight stretch across the bleached grass. The temperature is ten degrees. It is spring.

Today I will continue editing a scholarly manuscript about Thoreau and begin checking the first proof of my own unscholarly reader's memoir, The Vagabond's Bookshelf. I will be thinking about the workshop I'll be teaching on Friday and remembering the grapevines I ought to start pruning. I'll be driving to pick up my son after track practice and listening to the Red Sox play their opening-day game in Cleveland. I'll be shopping for eggs and coffee, and I'll be cooking black beans and rice for dinner. It will be an ordinary day.

I wonder, I wonder, what will happen to me?

The first, the last, the ancients and the never-born . . . where are they now? Under a clean blue sky, cold fingers of sunlight strain across the bleached grass, across a fat parade of robins, across scattered shriveled leaves, letters from a lost autumn. There are too many trees to count.

My son is reading Faulkner, I am reading Fowles. The comma is a necessary erratum, but I cannot tell you why. Nor can I explain the flicker of snow still patching the sun-spattered moss.

A few weeks ago my friend Angela said, "I love living here because it is so hard to live here."

No, and yes, and always. And always: why?

1 comment:

David (n of 49) said...

"The first, the last, the ancients and the never-born . . . where are they now?"

We know there must be consciousness in things,
In bits of gravel pecked up by a hen
To grind inside her crop, and spider silk
Just as it hardens stickily in air,
And even those things paralyzed in place,
The wall brick, the hat peg, the steel beam
Inside the skyscraper, and lost, forgotten,
And buried in ancient tombs, the toys and games.
Those starry jacks, those knucklebones of glass
Meant for the dead to play with, toss and catch
Back of the hand and read the patterns of,
Diversions to beguile the endless time,
Never to be picked up again….They’re thinking,
Surely, all of them. They are lost in thought.

- Mark Jarman, "Astragaloi"