An old thought coming around again, for Zander

Here’s the start of a poem I never reworked. I’m hoping to get back to this place for a week or two before my courses start again.

This comes to me
As I turn over
And sounds come in.
I have given myself
The gift of these empty days
The indulgence of napping
When drowsiness overtakes me.
I resist halfheartedly, then recall
Because of this gift I have
Knowledge of the red spot
Above the bananaquit’s eye
As he chatters on the deck
Demanding bath water
In his teal green tray.
I hear too what I think
is a man shouting
From a long way off
On the tower up the mountain
Or the short term rental before
Or is it one of the goats
Separated from its flock
In the valley
down the gut?
In my humid stupor
These sounds come to me
amidst thankfulness for this time
I wonder, but not too much.
No rushing about accomplishing
More than is necessary, doing some things
While Missing many others, filling
More of one lifetime with tasks
Not nearly as meaningful.
This time now is
To slow down in
Rest a while
Before speeding up again.
Why hurry?
I hear it again now,
It is sleep calling.

Pulling Weeds Volume 1

Birdsong, Windsong, Rock Bottom Farm

A family of chickadees calling back and forth in the firs brings to mind my parents’ penchant for feeding the birds, and my own history.

It is a steamy August afternoon. Even so, one element in a monochromatic winter scene becomes as vivid as the cadmium yellow gloriosa daisies in the overgrown herb garden where I am weeding.

I pull cloud grass from around the daisy seedlings that will bring next year’s flowers. Instead of a fist full of weeds, I suddenly see the cup of my own hand full of sunflower seeds. My arm is outstretched from a body as still as a stump. My fingers are curved into a bright pink bowl. Along with this image comes the recognition that this is something my father taught me to do, though I don’t remember him ever doing it himself.

I am hand feeding the chickadees.

In this summer garden I become again a child standing on the snow-covered arc of stone wall by the back door at our family home called Windsong. The four trunked birch tree is on my left, the same side as the sunrise. Chickadees are flitting from the twigs above my head, calling to one another. Then, with the magic of memory, decades pass and I am here at Rock Bottom Farm in Maine. I am fifty, standing in my own yard not far from where I’m weeding. Three birches are on my right, the side where the sun sets. From the distance comes the sound, chick-dee-dee. I continue to slide into this reverie where everything is connected.

Tentatively a gang of birds moves closer to investigate. I think of it as a cheerful mob. After several nervous passes, one bird overcomes its fear. Its wings nearly brush my head as it comes in to land. At the last minute it beats wind furiously and in a flash of reluctance, returns to a nearby twig.

I know from experience that if I wait long enough, it will return. All that is required is patience and alertness. I remember this, and the chickadees oblige. One by one they drop from the branches and land on the pad of my bright pink palm.

In time the birds become choosy. They begin to shuffle through the seeds, testing for plumpness. They carry away only the choicest ones, those full morsels that will sustain them through the hungry days ahead.

© 2010 Jennifer M. Pierce, All Rights Reserved

At the Dentist

While having my teeth cleaned I overhear an old lady in another cubicle who says, “My tooth hurt until I called and made this appointment. Now it don’t bother.“ Then, ”I don’t know what to do about it.“

”Why’s that,“ said the dental assistant. ”You’re here now, the Doctor will figure it out.“

”Well I’m ninety and I keep thinking I’m going to die.“

The hygienist and I snicker at the same time on hearing this. It reminds me of my mother in her mid seventies with a broken molar. She wondered if it was worth getting it fixed. She decided to have it pulled, rather than undergo an expensive high tech treatment that would last thirty years.

Then I think about the twenty-two year old gold crown in my own mouth. It’s been sensitive lately. Gold’s awful expensive right now, but if it needs replacing, another gold one should last the rest of my life. Then I smile at my own thought.

One bite at a time I’m becoming an old lady too.

”Put your money where your mouth is, Jennifer,“ I chuckle to myself. But the dentist tells me the crown is fine. I’ve probably been chewing things over a bit too intensely.

Twists and Turns

I got thinking this morning how we need to keep learning some of the same lessons over and over again, and even then sometimes, they don’t sink in, connect. This brought me back to the point of beginning again, but I found I was on the opposite side of things. And this, with a little twist, brought me back into my continuing identification with the mathematical finality of the Möbius Strip.

The Möbius Strip is really just a solid representation of a mathematical description of an unavoidable fact of life here in the cosmos. You can’t deny it. Take a piece of paper sometime and try making one. Here’s a great link showing you exactly how to make one for yourself, and in that way, become intimate with how my mind works.

I adopted the Möbius and how it occupies space as a means of understanding the unfathomables of life, many years ago. Adopting this notion as an answer to all gave me great comfort until my brother-in-law Richard showed me a math book with a mathematician-artist’s version of a Sudanese Mobius Band or modified Klein Bottle on it. That added another dimension to my vision. That forced me to look inward and discover that if I applied Möbius to the third dimension, I would be turning inside out forever.

Back to now, though. Just when I think I have broken out, found an aspect of life that is linear, that doesn’t double back on itself eventually, there it is again. Now I find I’m on the foruth experiment commonly done with a Möbius Strip. That’s the one where if you slice and scissor the strip in just the right way (you can almost never do this on the first or second try) it becomes a tidy chain with three links.

© 2010 Jennifer M. Pierce