Monday, February 21, 2011

I hope I remember tomorrow morning that the breakfast toast is in the pocket of my red coat, the one I wore for my walk this afternoon armed with bread for snow geese or mallards, whichever might hit me up first, but I didn't run into either, though I did run into the nice neighbors and as I greeted and passed them I reached in my pocket and held a slice of pecan-raisin up in the air and they laughed and said, oh yeah, they're down there all right, only when I went down there, marched down the hill doing my arm exercises with weights, turning left onto the embankment that runs along the creek that's half-frozen, half running in an icy celadon hue, there were no waterbirds of any kind that I could see, except on the other side, strange ice formations, a cluster of them, the size of geese, and I thought maybe they were the snow geese, but they weren't, only clumps of ice, and then I crossed the road and went up a hill and down another and then came back the same way and still no geese or mallards, which is why tomorrow's breakfast toast is in my pocket. It's the last of that good bread too, so tomorrow if I go by there, sans bread, I'm almost bound to run into both gaggle and flock waiting to hit me up. I'm going to have to pick another route. Maybe a drive to the conservation area - it's been a while.


Start with where you are. Thank you darling for your page hits just now. My spirits were flagging a bit, waking from a nap feeling low-energy, a little achey, in a reflective mood. Very cold and gray out. Start with where you are. The phrase reminds me of the Catholic confessional, entering the mysterious dark little booth... Bless me father for I have sinned. That was the "once upon a time" to start one's little list, but really, there is so much potential there for launching on a narrative, and perhaps many a parish priest the world over, and over time, if inclined to and of the presence of mind to be attuned to one, might have heard a remarkable story, not just decontextualized misdeeds - the ones fit - in my schoolgirl's judgment - for the priest's ears. I'd be sent off to kneel at the altar to recite a few Hail Mary's and Acts of Contrition, nothing too major, and I'd clutch my rosary beads, which I had no idea really what to do with but which I liked, and I'd fervently as I could recite the prayers - not unlike being punished (on extremely rare occasion) in school by having to write some phrase over and over again on a blackboard until it became - what, ingrained - or meaningless? And then, not really feeling absolved, but then again perhaps not strongly feeling that I had sinned either (though guilt often gnawed at me), I'd leave the incense-heavy gloom of the still, dark chapel, row after row of empty pews like reproachful parishioners, and make my way to the back of the church, beneath the handsome stained glass rose window, high up right in front of which was an enticing wood-raftered treehouse-like rose-window backdropped secret, 'members-only' space from which some Sundays at the ten o'clock mass, or maybe the 11:15, a clutch of elderly sopranos exuberantly caterwauled from on high, their voices trickling down through shimmering dustmoted air onto the congregation below. Anyway - after Saturday afternoon confession I'd just about run through the dimly lit church and burst open the massive oak doors and stand at the top of the hill in golden sun, because confessions were scheduled at four, close to the verge of the most beautiful light of the day, which I knew beforehand, and was perhaps an enticement, the reward, for me to come and say my piece.

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