December 29, 2016
The Resolutions begin themselves.
Again–then again–and in every year, the New Year’s exercise narrows its scope. The feline curiosities and appetites that are too far afield are discarded, in favor of those simple goalmouths that might be more readily fed. (Lose weight, lose vices. Lose reliance on paper crutches.)
What, someone asks, do you want your life to be known for now? To start: honesty, passion, romanticism, endurance, philosophical intelligence. To wit: a life occupied with meaning. Hitting the marks, meeting the resolutions.
Only, do I? Do I achieve my resolutions? Or are the things achieved by each December surprises that were never targets to begin with?
Gain weight: bricks fashioned of compressed understanding and experience. Build a home of these bricks and let one’s cats roam there, nosy and pouncing. Shelter in place where one’s tribe resides, on the grounds that peace and the consummation of resolution most artlessly begins in that collective (safe or unsafe, steady or riotous).
Wheat and water, hay and mud
Construct a layer, add resolve and hope
Compress, compress, firmly pack, set in sun
Now, there is Block One
Make a duplicate block
(Make a duplicate block)
Stack these tablets and form slab
The foundation for 2017
December 9, 2016
Five years ago, her landscape had been folded over by one great and bone-rattling trembler. All the structures around her, the buildings that created a life–her heart, her whipsmart heart, her clean, clean soul–these constructs loudly broke apart and there, in the light that clinked through the floating dust, was a mirage she knew was a mirage: She knew the things she saw in the aftermath, the debris, were not real.
She turned to her old friend, the earnest and blank page, and sought to create something real. But, it was effortful, it was so effortful she worried she could no longer write. It had been a long time since she wrote anything clear or bright or smart, since she had put together something good. The quake had left the roads around her filled with matter, and she wondered if taking time to clean up rubble had made it so she could not string together words in any poetic fashion, with any dynamic motion, for any specific reason. She earned paychecks and reared young children and figured out what post-earthquake love means, but at what cost? Was the cost so high that she had lost the ability to take words in hand and break them into pieces and put them back again to create something new and beautiful? She feared for a long time this was so.
But, something new has begun, she has stumbled onto an open road that leads to a surprise clearance before her. 2017 crooks its finger to beckon and she wades into the vast, empty space ahead. The words are coming.
The words are falling out of her hands, fully formed.