Hello darling, I wonder where you are, are you traveling again? It's a cool gray day, with periods of rain, much welcome for the garden, and for the birds, since I've neglected to fill the bird bath. I've been feeling achey today - due to the humidity? I really don't know. But maybe because the rain was falling in a soothing way, and my room was dark, and the house was quiet (as always), when I lay down for a nap, I fell fast asleep and for longer than usual, got up about an hour later. And it did invigorate me, and I set about to hanging up clothes, folded in a pile from the laundry, steaming cauliflower, running outside to snap a few pictures, and doing a workout.
I'm thinking about how I'm having very pleasant email exchanges with someone who works 60 hours a week, and he seems to cheerfully (?) admit, that he's done so for the last 30 years. And here I am, not working, puttering around, feeling achey, taking naps, not weeding. Trying to refer to, or think of myself as an artist -- well who needs that label, no not even I -- and yet what do I produce other than this blog? Is this blog enough? Someone else asked me today, in an email, "so you're a Professional Poet?" No, amateur poet, professional layabout...
Ah, I'm being hard on myself. I just read a thoughtful couple of essays by a super-intelligent, extremely well-educated twenty-something-year-old, who is feeling - despite all his achievements, and the support of his boomer-generation parents, that he's facing a different world altogether -- the world of the 1 percent calling the shots over the 99 percent. And he is worried (at least that was the subtext anxiety I got) that despite his intelligence -- it simply won't be valued in this new economy, this new iteration of an age of robber barons -- these ones faceless [despite Facebook!] and corporate -- that his very mind, his powerful intellect, his judgment as he grows more mature -- all of that, in this new economy, will be viewed - by the Masters - as redundant, expendable. In the name of efficiency, which hasn't reduced hours-per-week worked by most Americans, including the very most intelligent, creative, educated, vibrant ones -- who might have something other to show for their time -- all sorts of creative pursuits! -- other than logging in endless hours.
I think of this in light too, of how the landscape around here is so paved over. It's been hardscaped so much over the last 100 years -- I can hardly imagine what the next 100 will bring. The New Economy absolutely relies on lack of collective memory. Does anyone remember today, how the skies of this region used to darken with vast huge absolutely teeming flocks of birds -- aerial crowds of them, like moveable and doubtless noisy clouds? No -- these birds were, in fairly short order, shot out of the sky -- clearcut, in that fashion, which decimated their populations, rendered species extinct, and made it hospitable, possibly, for perhaps the scrappier of species, which - these days, outside my kitchen window - include blackbirds of some sort, tiny sparrows and finches... and I'm overjoyed always, if I see a rather desperately hungry-looking single tiny dramatically colored (black with red, yellow, and white markings) grosbeak managing to salvage the last few seeds from the very bottom, which bigger birds can't quite get...
No, I'm not a professional poet, or even really a poet at all, not in formal sense anyway. I sit down at the end of every day and come up with written "snapshot" of my day -- I do these in letter-form to my "male muse" (a friend of mine -- but we're completely unavailable to each other, due to geographic distance, committed marriage (on his part), etc. -- but we stay in touch in this fashion, with my daily little online notes to him, that often end up being quite poetic. Hence I think of myself as a writer - of poetic letters.***
We're the rare grosbeaks, some of us around my age in my generation, who didn't quite, for whatever reason, 'fit in'.... and that young man, and many others, of his up and coming one...
60 hours a week -- is that between your two jobs (the second being coyote-catcher) or the main one? That is a lot of hours -- but you seem okay with it -- those kind of hours were always too much for me... I know what you mean about the momentum. When I was working I just kept working... you put your feet to the floor, you show up, and you do it again the next day, and it's not so bad, and you (that is, I) don't have to think about it too much -- it's just what you do. When I moved up here and didn't have a job -- I really had to go through a long period of mental restructuring to deal with that. For at least a year or two, I felt very guilty and inadequate about it -- I mean, this is a world, and maybe our country especially with its culturally ingrained 'work ethic' -- in which everyone works. But I did finally manage to adjust to my new situation --- and now the momentum of working, of course, is gone, though I feel better about myself about it. I also wonder if part of my strange inertia might be cultural, in the sense that I'm first-generation Polish-American. My mother, who came from a very aristocratic family in Warsaw, raised me to be very cultured, educated, musical -- taught me refined tastes, but little if anything at all in terms of anything practical or common-sense. Which was hard for me -- since I wasn't going through childhood (let alone eventual adulthood) in pre-war Poland ... but rather in suburban Connecticut in the 70s!***
Also, I'm very grateful to D that he found time to do a bit of mowing yesterday evening. The grass was so overgrown - nearly waist-high - I couldn't even bear to look at the garden -- and so I retreat here. But I stepped out this morning, and was blown away to see how the trees we (he) had planted six-seven years ago, are finally 'looking like something,' grown, substantial -- it is turning into a beautifully landscaped garden, after all. I think that once he -- or some vastly more powerful masculine or machine energy than me can mow the lawn -- maybe it wouldn't be so hard for me to push the gas mower around, and keep the lawn trimmed. Oh, who am I kidding? I have a hard time getting to the vacuum cleaner, dragging it out from where it's currently stashed right up here, on the other side of the stairwell. Ah, maybe I can let it go for this week, why not. Big major house/Brooklyn apartment swap slated for next week... I will be super-motivated - as the day (next Tuesday) draws near -- to swipe, vacuum, dust, everything in sight!
Oh, and there's just now, as I'm getting ready to hit 'publish post', a gentle rain falling...
many kisses, sweetheart, wherever you are
hope everything is well with you
or as well as can be expected, in your generation
and in that - older, and older still
and of that younger --
and even way younger, teenily so - still
you are such a comfort to me
oh the rain is falling a bit harder now
the loveliest patter with the windows open
so many kisses