Monday, August 19, 2013


What does it mean if I am willing to look for a silver lining? I wouldn't say today was one of my better days, mood-wise. I have a vague, on-the-verge-of-crying feeling ... and allow me to digress here. Does anyone know a word for that feeling, plein du larmes? Prés du larmes? (Full of tears and close to tears.) Some language must have a word or even a better, more poetic expression for it.

Here's another interesting (to me) observation. I've mentioned before how much trouble I have falling asleep and the dark thoughts that visit me. When I take an afternoon snooze, the same thoughts do not tend to invade that space. Curiouser and curiouser.

Back to the silver lining. I've decided that in any number of ways, I need to slow down. I tend to eat fast because I often want to get it over with (I know, that is incongruous with my love of food but bear in mind that the creativity and pleasure of others are higher on my motivational list). I am not as "be here now" as would be healthy for me. And the demonstration of that was this:

I drove over to take a walk on the bike path after stopping at the library. Getting out of the house is always a bit of a struggle (worth looking at why that is the case). I parked, found my place on the audiobook of The Brothers K, managed my damaged headphones, and walked across the street without looking where I was going, which was a storm drain. I badly twisted my ankle, but I immediately thought how fortunate I was that I didn't seriously hurt myself. I was able to walk for an hour, whether or not that was advisable is still to be seen. But I did not get angry. I just thought, "Damn it. Slow down. Pay attention."

I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

I'm in the homestretch of The Brothers K, by the way, only about 120 or so pages. I am trying to postpone the Kermit Place Readers until after Labor Day so that I can get up to Schroon Lake a bit sooner. Larry and I have really not had much hanging out Larry-Sally Anne stylee (some junk shopping, more music watching), etc.

I picked up Greil Marcus' quite uneven treatise on Van Morrison again, When That Rough God Goes Riding. One would have imagined that I would finish such a slight book, under 200 pages, but I did not. So, it becomes the upstairs bathroom reading again. Marcus quotes Jonathan Lethem.

"What defines great singing in the rock and soul era is some underlying tension in the space between singer and song. A bridge is being built across that void, and it's a bridge we're never sure the singer is going to manage to cross. The gulf may resides between the vocal texture and the actual meaning of the words, or between the singer and the band, the musical genre, the style of production, what have you ..."

Fly in the Ointment, 2009

I'm going to muse upon that.

The beautiful, fabulous, and generally all-around talented Patty Ramona has been touring Europe this  summer. I came across this poem and had to post it for her (and you, of course.)

The Barcelona Inside Me  

Give me, again, the fairy tale grotto 
with the portico-vaulting overhead. 
Let me walk beneath the canted columns 
of Gaudí's rookery, spiral 
along his crenelated Jerusalem 
of broken tiles, crazy shields. 
Yes, it's hot as hell and full 
of tourists at the double helix, 
but the anarchists now occupy 
the Food Court, and the arcadian dream 
for the working class includes this shady 
colonnade cut into the mountainside. 
I've postponed my allegiance to 
the tiny house movement, to the 450 
square feet of simple, American maple 
infrastructure and the roomy 
mind suspended like a hammock 
between joists. Serpents and castle 
keeps shimmer, and a mosaic invitation 
to the Confectionery gets me a free 
café con leche on the La Rambla

where honeycombed apartments bend 
on chiseled stone and host 
floating, wrought-iron balconies. 
I think I'll move into Gaudí's dream 
of recycled mesh, walk barefoot 
on his flagstone tiles 
inscribed with seaweed 
and sacred graffiti 
from pagan tombs. 
O, Barcelona of chamfered corners! 
And chimneys of cowled 
warriors! From Gaudí's Book 
of Revelations, I invite the goblet 
and the stone Mobius strip 
to a tapas of grilled prawns and squid. 
Gaudí's book of Revelations.

— Robin Becker

1 comment:

  1. Hey there...loved this poem and hope your ankle gets some love. Thanks for the slow down.....xo