Saturday, October 10, 2020

Today will be a this-n-that day . . . garden laundry housework groceries bread baking . . . and we'll also begin to suss out the new walkway to the shed. There are various obstructions to ponder--ancient asphalt, giant tree roots--not to mention Tom's obsession with square corners and perfect leveling. (I am happy-go-lucky in that regard.) We've also got to plan for tomorrow's outing to Swan Island. Paul, unfortunately, has to work, but Tom and I will be catching a 9:15 ferry over the Kennebec, which means we'll have to leave Portland bright and early, with our bikes and our picnic lunch . . . which means I'll have to re-figure out how to attach the rack to my car.

But for the moment, it's Saturday morning, and I'm enjoying doing nothing. Shortly I'll need to take stew meat out of the freezer, to thaw for tonight's dinner. Shortly I'll need to start stuffing sheets into the washing machine. There's no rush. I'm still feeling the residual ease of my birthday: a calm that is not becalmed; an attentiveness without dread.

For months I have struggled with myself: as a family member, as a worker, as a poet, as a citizen. Somehow, this week, that struggle has softened. Nothing in public life has gotten better. But I wrote two poem drafts last weekend. I talked to my friends. I had a birthday, and people sent me love. I learned that I've got a new book to plan for. A couple of published poems have gotten attention. It's been a rich week, in my small world.

Now, at the foot of our little street, a freight train slowly rumbles past, wheels squealing on rails. In the dining room the cat is noisily licking up his breakfast. My boys are abed. A trembling V spans the small sky: Canada geese are flying south.


nancy said...

Got up at 5:30 to stars just brilliant after last night's crazy rain and wind storm. Since then I've watched the day slowly "break" -- only one lone star/planet is left from my recliner's vantage point. I've been thinking about your line "a calm that is not becalmed." That, I think, is one of the gifts of growing older. I'm about to turn 63, and I have to say that the 60s have been tough, but becoming calm has been a lovely side effect. Yesterday I was able to take a walk with my daughter, who recenty turned 40, and she is in that period of life of constant multi-tasking, attempting to be mother, teacher, scholar, artist, librarian, wife, daughter, granddaughter, while also keeping the house in some semblance of cleanliness. I remember that.
I should be grading or planning or sewing or sorting the crabapples that sit on the counter. But I think I'll sit here a bit longer and watch the the last star fade.
p.s. Thank you for writing every here every day.

Dawn Potter said...

I still feel enmeshed in those multiple demands, and yet my body requires me to give in, far more than it used to. In a way, I'm grateful for that: the compulsion to just rest.