Fractured Time

Distances in Time and Age

After a New Sentences column by Sam Anderson in the NYT: 9.9.18

“We all host younger selves inside us…a multitude of nonsychronous selves.”
~Sam Anderson

The distance between our birth
and today is fractured into a host
of younger nonsynchronous-selves.
To wit—I will always be the skinned-knee
gangly clumsy bookish girl reading
about others changing the world;
the protesting hippie college-dropout
out to charge change into the world;
the youthful but serious nursery-worker-
let’s-break-this-occupational-barrier woman
out to change the local landscape;
the menopausal haiku poet out
to change the world one syllable at a time;
The artist/painter out to change
the world from the inside out.

I am now sixty-six years old.
The skin-kneed girl is still six years old.
The hippie is eternally eighteen.
The nurserywoman is forever twenty-two.
The haiku poet is evermore fifty-four.
And the artist-painter–ageless.

Despite all of this and worthy of it all:

busy day
if not for the wild phlox
this moment lost  

ag

 

 

The Unfinished Poem

Yesterday morning, over a breakfast quesadilla and too hot hot sauce– a discussion took place on sadness, particularly how it looked on my face. 2018 was particularly sad year in terms of loss. So I turned to one of my favorite sages on this and other wisdom– Kahlil Gibran in his seminal work: The Prophet. Thus his writing on joy and sorrow:

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”.

I confess to really not understanding this. How can sadness be contingent on joy or vice versa? And yet I do understand–the greater the love–the deeper its response (sorrow) when that joyful love is perceptively lost. Perception is the key.

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The takeaway here is that sadness is truly an act of love–damn that it just doesn’t feel that way. So I’m learning not to push it away, and instead invite it in for conversation.

walking with sorrow
around the corner
a begrudging friendship
~
long after
the after
lingers on
~
if not for sorrow
the unfinished
poem

 

 

How To Wear Melancholy

How To Wear Melancholy

A palimpsest on Picture of a Soul  ~  by Elizabeth Spires

A sweatshirt I inherited.
I sleep in it. Or it folds into my midnight poetry.
Pale blue, of course.

A wearied sag,
Stained with every tear
and slowly fading into rain.

It should be a rag
discarded yesterday, today, tomorrow,
still it ripens every autumn.

Here, can you feel it?
Stretch marks
once round and perky.

On the doorknob
In the closet. Waiting.
Leaves falling fast.

© Andrea Grillo 2018

 

 

 

So What?

Just This

after Ongoing by Jenny Xie

So what…the heartaches and headaches she collected like paper cuts over the years? Her early twenties—the twin beds of naiveté and wanderlust lay between book covers, on movie screens and in ballads along with all the angst of tragic heroism. Mood swings hitched-hiked in her Volkswagen Beetle over potholed backroads and the Parkway bound for revolutions on salty ferris wheels tottering on piers along the Jersey shore. Still, there was hope. Inside poems and under the canopy of trees. Work championed her thirties and forties until the prefixes of peri- and meno- attached themselves to the huge pause that followed many false starts and ambivalences. Books no longer satisfied and workmanship dulled into duty. Paint brushes and solvents hued the corners of her fifties and sixties. Self-Doubt trashed canvasses and shrink-wrapped perspective and poetry offering proposals of a loveless marriage or spinsterhood—what difference anyway? Until composition and compassion, juxtaposition and abstraction and other -itions emerged. New frames started to replace stale views of filtered servitude. With charcoal under her fingertips, she labored hard for beyond the so-whats and the for-whats, graying ever-so-lightly lightly into just this.

Just Download It – It’s Easy They Say…

Sometimes I really feel like I don’t belong on this planet. Sometimes I just feel so stupidignorant is the better/correct word but stupid is the feeling. Also frustrated and angry at the computer, cellphone, apps, multiple user names, complicated passwords and everything else that is supposed to be so easy breezy and yet not. I don’t have any young version of me around who gets this stuff and can show me. I have wonderful and patient friends here and there who are better than me, but mostly in the same boat as they rely on their offspring or offspring-in-laws. And while I’m on this rant – I may as well throw in that I hate keys and all that they represent – a necessary burden in a rather sad state of human affairs. What a colossal waste of time and energy to lug around these weighty  metal objects that supposedly protect us by locking out uninvited visitors, and yes I know – I know, soon-to-be-outdated-if-not-already-in-place by more of the same easy breezy cell phone and computer apps/lock/unlock programs that require even more stringent passwords and are even heavier than keys in the literal and figurative sense.

This is really not a rant about technology or progress, but actually the lack of it in my mind, of human systems and values keeping pace. Or is it, as some of you would suggest, just an outcry on aging. Probably all of the above. I’m going out for a long walk.

~

vinyl yet another word for the generation gap to define

~

what password would the rain offer?

img_1238

 

A Blue Door

Ode to Diane’s Barn

 

I saw a blue door today.
It was painted shut on a
purple barn with touches of
pink and green on the roof.
Despite a graying azure sky,
this barn settles into comfort.
The surrounding meadow is
cheddar with a reflection of
sapphire and a hint of almond
floating around its foundation.
It stands thoughtfully alone.

The weathered barn looks so serene
in washes of toasty sun and quiet
shade with a committee of trees
tinting the background. I would like
to step inside its blue door to inhale
the sweet hay and linger in the leftover
heat at day’s end. That of a farm life
breathing in the slow decay of rusty
tools, rafters of swearing, laughter,
tears and prayer in the purple barn
with a pink and green roof.