Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fixing a porch light

S.S. Atlantus, decaying in the Delaware Bay
The porch light sways oddly in a breeze, hanging by two wires

One of its panes is broken, and has been for years. We did not notice until a sparrow took shelter inside the lamp one cold winter evening, the curly fluorescent bulb warm, not hot. The sparrow returned on the coldest nights for three winters, then we never saw it again.

I had not noticed the lamp housing had come loose until the flickering started, the usual rhythmic ebb and flow of electrons breaking into syncopated staccato, an unnatural light, created by humans, repaired by humans.

I am now at an age where things fall apart faster than I can put them together again, an age when I lose words faster than I find new ones.

I will fix the porch light this week. Leslie will remind me, kindly, that we can pay someone to do it, and I will remind her, less kindly, that I can do it. Rage, rage against the dying of the porch light....

I see things I did not see before. Under this porch there is land that has been here a long, long time, with people on it, a long, long time, and it will remain here a long, long time. I used to see it when I was a child, imagining what people, what critters, walked where I walk now.

I stopped along the way. Chances are you did, too.

We are surrounded by the cycling dance of detritus and the living, disorder to order then to disorder again, the the sun casting the same clay into quahogs, grackles, dogfish, and humans.

I will fix the light soon, but first I must see the edge of the sea again.



We live, we glow, we flicker, and then back to clay to be resurrected again. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A June prayer

It's June again, always good news.

I am sitting in the sun, the dying flowers of a paper birch tree raining down on me (there are seven on my keyboard at the moment).


We see what we see when we see it, and no one else does. No one. The rush of the wind, the aromas of slight decay in the jubilance of June, the warmth of a sun that remembered to come back.

A tiny green aphid is casting a shadow on the back of my hand, impossibly busy.

Our brains do what they can, dependent on the senses we've evolved to get to this point, here, now, and in June, our guard is down. Light and food  abound. June is good for mammals.

Because we are each living in a singular universe, we are easily fooled. June is a time to get grounded again, sit outside, watch critters who care nothing for you, gaze at the shifting shadows, feel the mortality sitting in the shadows,

This whole thing is ridiculous, of course, and words only make it more so.


We are in trouble, again. We like to listen to the noise of our own making. We cling to hate, to fear, to the abstract.

But outside the world continues to be the world, a handful of good dirt still draws me in, and the beans and the peas and the basil continue to give and give and give.

Someday I am going to miss this (or maybe that's just conceit--I cannot miss what I will not know), but I trust a few of us will remember to go outside, grab some dirt, and remind the rest of us what matters.





June....