This morning I woke up heavy, having forgotten that I was blessed. It must’ve happened sometime in the night between eyes open and squeezed shut. Sitting in the living room playing solitaire. Making unnecessary trips down the hall in the dark. Wind roiling my blood like caffeine. I’ve felt this way before. Toss the Tao Te Ching. Ghost walk the dog. Footprints and shadow. Barely a thought, which should please me but doesn’t. Give myself a shake and still come up grey. I think I’ll name this day. Nah. Did I mention that it’s raining and the tarp’s blown off the firewood? Noticed that gem as I pulled out of the driveway with the grinning dog. Red scarf around her neck so a hunter doesn’t accidentally shoot her. Seriously. Mistaking her for what? A polar bear? It could happen. On a morning like this.
I read for an hour, then think in rough rhythm
my threadbare vocabulary, ragged-ripped
and rubber cemented over someone else’s depth.
Write a shaky bridge while piling winter’s wood.
I often question turning “what is” into words. Bang my head against it. Annoyed at turning away to turn within. I know however, that’s the nature of my writing, inspired more by the east than the west. It’s love that makes me do it. Record what is. But still. It’s the turning away that bothers me I suppose. Walk. Then write. If I could do that I might be happier. Instead I write and write and write. At the moment, I’m sitting at my desk. Low morning sun over my right shoulder making it difficult to see the computer screen. Crisp yellow light and sharp, defined shadows. I’m eating a bowl of porridge with blueberries and maple syrup. I think. I keep picking the bowl up and putting it down in any case. The bowl is almost empty but I can’t recall eating because I’m writing at the same time.
Reading Charles Wright this morning, I am awed by his use of language. It becomes a natural element. Like wind and water. His words all soul and wisdom, reflect and mingle with the landscape. Poetry as true as any rock, tree or cormorant gliding across the bay’s still surface. I bet he writes when he writes. Walks when he walks. I feel like an absent-minded reporter with one of those cheap little coil bound note pads that fit in the palm of your hand. Scribbling. Pencil breaking. Pen always near empty.
But enough. I’m running late and still have to walk the dog! I wonder how that’s going to go.
Wherever I look I see poetry. On the coffee table, sidewalk and trail. The idea makes me so excited that I close my eyes, trip over rocks, walk into trees and almost step on a frog. I get home with a head full of words but no idea where I’ve been.
If an eagle landed on my outstretched arm
and the doe didn’t run, but waited with her fawn;
I would be filled with wonder and joy.
Then I would go home, answer the phone and do my work.
This is what I am beginning to understand.
It is sunlight, water and earth that nurture us. The air we breathe that sustains. This is whose child we are. Our origin, ancestor and way.
This thin slip of self sitting at the table, walking in the woods was not meant as a burden or obsession. Just an eye and an ear. To touch and to taste. Feel things and take notes along the way.