Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the answer lies within

Something about the air this morning sparked in me an extreme desire to read Walden in its entirety, (something I have never done before. I have only thumbed its entrancing pages). Not able to find the tattered copy I once owned, I made a trip to Books a Million and ended up spending $70.

I wish I could be in the park right now, guarding the light pages of this huge, beautiful Oxford Book of American Poetry from the wind, but I have to do laundry before work. Instead I have thrown open every window. It will have to do for today.


But I Can't

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really do want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.

-W.H Auden, 1940.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

dreaming of your enumerations

This last time coming back to Florida felt different. It felt like coming home. And it's never been that way before. I don't know what that means, but I'm not trying to figure it out either.

I have been rather blissful lately for reasons that I cannot understand nor even attempt to communicate. Admittedly, the past month or two have been a bit of a blue period for me, again for reasons that I cannot touch or see. The weight came and left without a greeting or farewell. It laid still at night, silent but looming. During the day it made itself known only by casting everything in translucent light. And then it parted, and left in it's wake the visibility of thousands of reasons to smile.

It's something simple, whatever it is.

The simplicity of God. His Love.
The simplicity of breathing, of music, of words.
Of life.

I'm aware of the complications of all these things, especially the first and last, but I'm not thinking about them for a change. That's one reason to smile.

I'm reminded of something Kurt Vonnegut's uncle told him: "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim, or murmur, or think at some point: 'if this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

I've found myself thinking that about a lot of things lately.

I'm finding myself wanting to say I Love You to so many people and things.

I love you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a poem and some cuteness

My mother recently gave me a book of poetry by Pablo Neruda called Winter Garden. It was an unpublished collection found on his desk after his death. I was thumbing through it on the plane ride home, and must have read this one four or five times before turning the page. I love it, though have no words to say why...

The Egoist

Nobody is missing from the garden. Nobody is here:
only the green and black winter, the day
waking from sleep like a ghost,
a white phantom in cold garments
climbing the steps of a castle. It's an hour
when no one should arrive. Just a few drops
of chilly dew keep falling
from the bare branches of winter
and you and I in this circle of solitude,
invincible and alone, waiting
for no one to arrive, no, nobody will come
with a smile or a medal or a budget
to make us an offer or ask us anything.

This is the hour
of fallen leaves, their dust
scattered over the earth, when
they return to the depths of being and not being
and abandon the gold and the greenery,
until they are roots again,
and again, torn down and being born,
they rise up to know the spring.

Oh heart lost
inside me, in this man's essence,
what bountiful change inhabits you!
I am not the culprit
who has fled or turned himself in:
misery could not exhaust me!
Your own happiness can grow bitter
if you kiss it every day,
and there is no way of freeing oneself
from the sunlight except to die.

What can I do if the star chose me
to flash with lightning, and if the thorn
guided me to the pain of so many others?
What can I do if every movement
of my hand brought me closer to the rose?
Should I beg forgiveness for this winter,
the most distant, the most unattainable
for that man who used to seek out the chill
without anyone suffering because of his happiness?

And if somewhere on those roads
--distant France, numerals of fog--
I return to the extent of my life:
a lonely garden, a poor district,
and suddenly this day equal to all others
descends the stairs that do not exist
dressed in irresistible purity,
and there is the odor of sharp solitude,
of humidity, of water, of being born again:
what can I do if I breathe my own air,
why will I feel wounded to death?

Being home has been wonderful. My sister Colleen also flew in from Portland, so there has been lots of much needed quality family time. Tonight I was able to hang out with all three of my nieces, and my sisters new puppy. The cuteness of it all was almost unbearable.

I already know I'm going to be one of those dads who carries pictures of his kids with him and shows them to everyone he knows, all the time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

illegal cinema

Florida's crappy movie scene has caused me to resort to illegal downloads. I cannot tell you how many films that I've been dying to see have not been playing around here... not even in Tampa or Orlando! Crazy. So I pirated a copy of The Wrestler, and am about to pop it in. My first movie-going experience of 2009 was Doubt, which, honestly, might already have earned its right as the best of the year, it was that good. But I've been hearing a great deal of wonderful things about Aronofsky's latest, so I'll hold off on that judgment for the next two hours or so.

To any of you who have some moral discrepancy with such downloads: I sympathize, and will make up for it by paying to see it again in theaters next week when I make my way back up to my beloved northern State, where you never have to worry about whether or not a movie will be playing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

writers block

It's been a really long time since I've written anything on here - over a month actually. I could list off a million reasons why I have taken this intermission, but I'll dispense with the pretense: I've simply been uninspired. I could also list off a million reasons why I've been uninspired, but I won't.

I think it's mainly because there is so much I want to say, but have no means by which to say any of it. And... I guess I'm not exactly sure what it is that I have to say. I've undergone a recluse from emotional expression, possibly from some sort of overload. It is as if for the past few months I've felt everything so acutely that my brain has taken refuge in numbness.

So I do not know what to say... but for some reason i miss you comes to mind.

That phrase fits like a jigsaw in the scattered pieces of my mind, but it doesn't complete the picture. It just rests atop the wreckage, and makes sense.