I have missed writing for pleasure the past few weeks. Usually, living in the present is what brings the rhyme or reason to write a word or two each day; however, I’ve fallen under the curse of the Day-timer and Day-runner and they have come like a thief in the night to rob me of the precious now.
I’m supposed to be retired.
Instead, I’ve gotten myself into a bundle of trouble doing things that I only feel I should do, like judging piano auditions out of town for the next five weeks, I’ve also got to get my little package to the IRS, go to DC for my daughter’s graduation, have an MRI and lab work done, pay bills, finish editing a dissertation, arrange for my animals to be taken care of while I’m away, and renew my driver’s license and passport. It’s quite enough to make me lie down on the sofa and put a cold compress on my head.
So, in a desperate attempt to regain my center and fatten up my spirit before the famine comes, I’m writing this afternoon (just to make sure I still know my way around a keyboard, if for no other reason). It would be so easy to write a pity party given the state of my calendarial affairs; but instead, I am opting for a kinder meditation on the topic of time through the stunning words of poet Mark Strand. Were it not for the economy of poetry, indeed, I probably would be bankrupt in terms of material for meditation.
Strand’s HOUR has been my spiritual tether for the past 10 days and will continue to be for at least 16 more days. Since April1, and knowing I’ve sacrificed my present to do other things and meet obligations, I’ve taken one line per day of HOUR as a prompt for peacefulness and an affirmation of the now. I’ve responded to HOUR with hourly thoughts of my own…the hour between the pages of a worn-out book…the last hour of the last day of the last week of the last year…the bottle-necked hour given to nothingness…the sweet hour of baby’s breath on my shoulder…
The extra hour given back to eternity
The hour gained by travelling west
The hour of the imagined empire
The deepest hour of the darkest sea
The guilty hour that precedes catastrophe
The hour that it takes to go from here to there
The haunted hour of the knowledge of death
The hour in which the moon darkens
The hour that moves through the mind like cloud shadow
The blue hour that rests on the roof of the house
The hour that is the mother of minutes and grandmother of seconds
The swollen hour of pain, enough, enough
The hour when mice run in the walls
The bronze hour of electrical weather
The cloistered hour of the nun’s great moment
The necklace of hours the widow wears
The numbing hours of a night in Nome
The sound of hours in the breathing of plants
The central hour that exists without you
The hour in which the universe begins to die
The hallucinatory hour that hangs forever
The hour of excess that equals two of self-examination
The hour that flashed on the skin
The hour of final music
The hour of painless solitude
The hour of moonlight upon her body