Monthly Archives: August 2010

September’s Poem Early and Maybe I Can Actually Learn This One

Here is what my brain downloads as I type the date: My sweet, slightly grumpy son turned 22 on Friday, (his girl friend, whom we adore, and has been a long-time family friend, made him a party and baked him a cake). I got the country house back from the wonderful magical renters, (they left flowers, candles, children’s art on the fridge, and a chocolate cake. Did they rent or did I give it to them?? ) We rented the apartment to more family friends and the cute seniors in college are moving in. She had me from I would love to learn more about gardening and could help. ) Then I think about my lack of job. My children have jobs, the grown-ups do not. Then I ponder how much I would hate having to live full time in the country because it relies on cars. Then I think I am a spoiled, hateful creature, who should shut up and find my grateful bone. Here I stop because I came  to confess to my lack of learning poetry during July and August.

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Humbled by the YouTube Tot

Humbled, that is how I feel after seeing this video of a three-year-old reciting a Billy Collins poem http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVu4Me_n91Y

Maybe I should be emboldened to believe that it is a human need to learn and recite poems, rather than some weird, exotic tick taking me over in my sixth decade. I tend of late to veer to the negative. Oh I have moments aplenty where my natural ebullience bubbles to the surface, but keeping my breath, thoughts and steps on the positive path has been a challenge.

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OOOPS no new learning so a return to the old standards

The fallen Catholic in me always wants to apologize for not writing, not being enough, forgive me for I have sinned. It will never leave me. The Jesuits say, Give me a child until they are seven and he is mine for a lifetime. Of course they say he, who back then would want a girl child, and yet we got inculcated with the same doctrines.

So here I am nudging up on 60 still berating  myself for every poorly done task or missed opportunity. I spent the morning repotting plants straining at the edges of pots too small. I wrote real letter to old folks, I entertained a new German friend returning to Berlin and bringing a small bag of fall clothes to my daughter living overseas for the next two years.

I am not learning the new Whitman poem, all I know is I am limitless and perhaps that is all I need to know as I move into a new decade and fling about in an attempt to find full time work, work that pays well, with interesting colleagues and benefits. I say this to myself all the time. It is my mantra suggested to me by the life/job coach, but here is the truth: I don’t believe it yet. But rather I try it on like a wig. How would I be as a blond, as a fully employed, excited about work out and about woman once again?

Here’s what I know; I would be more than fine, I would be thriving. So since I am sure of that I will move toward believing my mantra. And perhaps this pushing for croyance in my mantra of good job, good pay, and good folks has taken up the band-with I assigned to learning poetry. This is in fact a good excuse for why I have near to no new lines of Whitman in my head.

And although I have tried to review the poems from the past months in my fitful late night, tempest-tossed inner life; I am having a heck of a time recalling all but the first one. And even the John Donne is erasing without strict practice. The other poems are palimpsests, where lines and words from one morph over the other and I see them swimming in my head as I grasp for the words as I walk or attempt to access them as a calming meditation. Now they too berate me for not keeping them polished and shiny in my brain. I allowed them to tarnish. I allowed it. I am the one who is slack, or does too little, misses the boat, or disappoints children, myself and the world around me. So I printed out February, March and April poems again on one page and am dedicating myself to a review in the next two weeks.

Here is what has happened in the last ten days, in no special order, no that is not true, it is in the order my brain spits out right now. I went to Florida and did a consulting job with a wonderful old friend, to help her start-up a dream of having an exercise studio. I swam in the Atlantic ocean down there and when I came back I drove up to Maine and back in one day to help my son’s sweet, sweetheart move to NYC. So I swam in the north and south of the Atlantic in one week.  I walked on occasion, I took lots of Pilates and rowing classes, I applied for jobs, I went on interviews, I fretted, I consoled my husband who is doing the same. I cooked, and read some and rode my bike.  I watched movies and the cats tussle with equal interest. I didn’t write here and for that I am, again to quote the catholic past, I am heartily sorry.