Friday, March 18, 2016

DOUBT IS A BEAUTIFUL GARMENT



Where CAN we live but days?

That was my last post almost a month ago. And the days they are going by. Not so terribly unpleasantly, although they are most certainly filled with a certain kind of frustration. And there are good ones and less good ones and better ones. 

At least the heat hasn't started yet. 
At least the garden is going well.
At least the mom is healthy, if not always with it.
At least someone dear is newly cancer free.
At least I am paying down my debts.
At least the smells of spring citrus and jasmine float in the doors and windows.
At least I am still reading.
At least I got the sewing machine up and running.
At least I started embroidering.
At least I started seeing a dentist after far too long.
At least I can mostly sleep at night.

So there's a move toward positivity.

Okay, parts of this silent time have been harder than others. There was a significant Mom meltdown in there, with me raising my voice and all. However, she seems to have listened to me and has been trying to be both more active and compliant.

I was downright sick with a cold, although it took me a few days to figure out that it wasn't allergies. And I was barely over the illness peak when I went to the dentist and had a tooth pulled. Wasn't expecting that. Then the sickness came back and the general pain. Nothing got done.

I REALLY HAVE TO CLEAN UP THE GUEST ROOM. I use it as my box room, throwing things in there that need to be dealt with. I can't even take naps or watch television in there as the bed is covered with THINGS THAT NEED DECISIONS and THINGS THAT NEED SORTING.

And then a most dear one is having such a terrible time in life that I cannot make heads or tails of how things could have devolved to such a thoroughly fucked-up state. My heart hurts for this person. Sometimes, that one's depression gets me rather down. I wonder if I will get a call telling me that that pain is ended for what seems to me the wrong reasons. I wonder if there is any way, at all, to help other than to be a supportive voice in the wilderness.

I am still trying to learn to NOT get pulled in and definitive about my own sadness and state. To let my despondency and aimlessness float on by.

I chastise myself for not writing. I miss you. I miss me. I need this. I am challenged with prioritizing. I am mostly motivated by not cleaning the guest room. I need to get away. The dental work has put a significant kibosh on the Spring in New York plan, although it is not 100% impossible.

from BLACK SERIES

Then a dusk like this, a subversion of surfaces,
a vague expectancy of absence. Blurrings. Wings.
I watch the edges break and flee; they are Ophelias.

Soft town that settles on this land, town of inconclusiveness,
encryption, I touch your dateless air, your scaffolds
upholdings. What covenants do you carry as you come,
what summonings provisioning your kingdom, and all the footless
crossings that move through you? What treaties and what pacts?
Blown leaves against the rotting fence, the jutting tilted heads
of rusted nails, they drift in a suspended radiance
that floods the kind like fear but it isn't fear.

The yellow mullein stand tall against the house
as though they know they must negotiate this passage
as you conjure them away, your brain-darks reeling,
your glimmerings revising, interceding,
yet somehow they return by morning.

Now the sun's transit has gone under. The smallest splintering
asleep it seems. Asleep the clear-lit custody of knowing.
Soft town, I am our citizen, though I am knot and barb
among your wanderings, and can feel the fraught circuitries
first calm then slash themselves into me, resisting,
the wanting-to-be-calmed extending itself to you
then pulling fiercely back, self-maiming,
and then the anxious glances rising, peering round,
and this grazing of fingertips like wind, these nervous fingertips
like wind —

doubt is a beautiful garment, if only I could wear it,
all silk and ashes, on my skin.

— Laurie Sheck, The Best American Poetry 2000



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