Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WHO HAS LEFT A SHAPE?

Oh, where to begin when you've already begun? 
Natural grace.

Instead of watching something on Netflix or The American Experience while I do my curatorial gig, I opted for listening to music. I have almost 31,000 tracks in my iTunes library and it's a good bet that I don't listen to quite a few of them very often. Here's where Shuffle is fun as so much of what I end up hearing is fresh. Actually, there's a new app for Spotify if that's how you listen. Forgotify. For the music obsessives among us.

John has been here all week, with some illness that is somewhat flu-like. He's been sleeping a lot (still down I think, at 11:50). It's been nice to have company in the house. 

Well, that was probably Saturday. John got well and went back to Brooklyn. I went with him and celebrated his birthday on Sunday. I came back on Monday to fun with snow. We really weren't anticipating that much. My car was hard to find in the huge parking lot at the train station, but I managed with reasonable rapidity. I had a scraper to clean the car, but no shovel to dig out. I tried just driving but got stuck. Fortunately, a fellow nearby had a shovel and kindly dug me out and gave me proper directions for driving in this much snow. I made it home, visited the kitties, and then dug myself out again as I had to run over to Best Buy to buy a power cord for my laptop; I had left it in Brooklyn and really couldn't do without it for a week.

View from the train.
Since I've been back for a couple of days, the main activity has been working on Monsterwood. Louise and I had both taken a couple of free classes from Screenwriting U and found them to be very useful. So, we've torn apart the whole script and are putting it back together again. We've spent hours on Skype. 

C&J wondered if I had run out of words as I hadn't posted anything here in awhile. I haven't run out of words, but I also haven't been sure there was much for me to say, (not that that has stopped me before.) Maybe I am shifting focus or questioning what I put time into or what you are putting your time into when you read this. 

My mental and emotional states are nothing to write home about … or really write about here, either. Not a lot has changed except I am spending more time working on Monsterwood for the last two weeks.

Today was my mom's 87th birthday! She is still out there plugging along. Her health is pretty good, she got a new car, a renewed driver's license, and is learning to use her iPhone and her iPad although learning Chinese might be easier for her. 

Pete Seeger died, as you all know, and then Philip Seymour Hoffman. I came across this Billy Collins poem in the last couple of weeks.

OBITUARIES

These are no pages for the young,
who are better off in one another's arms,

nor for those who just need to know
about the price of gold,
or a hurricane that is ripping up the Keys.

But eventually you may join
the crowd who turn here first to see
who has fallen in the night,
who has left a shape of air walking in their place.

Here is where the final cards are shown,
the age, the cause, the plaque of deeds,
and sometimes an odd scrap of news—
that she collected sugar bowls,
that he played solitaire without any clothes.

And all the survivors huddle at the end
under the roof of a paragraph
as if they had sidestepped the flame of death.

What better way to place a thin black frame
around the things of the morning—
the hand-painted cup,

the hemisphere of a cut orange,
the slant of sunlight on a table?

And sometimes a most peculiar pair turns up,
strange roommates lying there
side by side upon the page—
Arthur Godfrey next to Man Ray,
Ken Kesey by the side of Dale Evans.

It is enough to bring to mind an ark of death,
not the couples of the animal kingdom,
but rather pairs of men and women
ascending the gangplank two by two,

a surgeon and a model,
a balloonist and a metal worker,
an archeologist and an authority on pain.

Arm-in-arm, they get on board
then join the others leaning on the rails,
all saved at last from the awful flood of life—

so many of them every day
there would have to be many arks,
an armada to ferry the dead
over the heavy waters that roll beyond the world,

and many Noahs too,
bearded and fiercely browed, vigilant up there at every prow.





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