Starts today. From a list of things not to do, such as get up without saying thank you for waking up first. Or finish a chapter before falling asleep without leaving myself curious. Or listen to music without turning up the volume. There by the grace of God.
Life without a project is enjoyable, but only for a short while. Now is that while.
So, this morning, I woke up, said my thank yous, went back to unfinished chapters, now listening to my favourite piece of music, volume up, Friday morning, coffee in bed, no project, no need, not just yet. Bliss. I want to be where I am.
ealu-scop, es; m. One who recites poetry where there is drinking (http://www.bosworthtoller.com/043365)
Friend sent me this on whatsapp:
Woke up after a short night of long unsettling dreams not exactly turned into a giant cockroach, but feeling heavy and low as if I were carrying the world’s exoskeleton on my back. Thoughts in quick succession, get up, no get up, turn over (did – didn’t help), no sleep, no read, so wallow in misery maybe. I wallowed for a while, got bored, got dressed, got myself outside into the sunlight. Walked, marvelling at the pigeons, wet grass, green dates hanging loose on palm branches like multiple little bollocks. My walk slowly straightened out, became more like a dance. Music from my pink ipod imposed an irresistible rhythm.
Looking around, I realised I wasn’t alone. People were already working there, polishing fancy night lights, wiping benches, picking up discarded plastic water bottles and chocolate wrappers. It seemed seamless somehow. Purposeful moves. Park getting tidier by the minute, ready for the next onslaught by unruly messy crowds. A fuzzy cloud of cheerful fatalism enveloped me – we all had a place in life, even if limited by impossibility. My overdraft, health anxieties, family feuds, work issues, unfinished writings, un-annotated readings, uncooked dinners – all folded into a ball of fluff. The universe shrunk and became a moment in time, in the lush garden, all of us toiling in our own way, some wondering, some not, but all alive, just this once.
Searching for a morning poem, found one by Milton, appropriately titled Song on May Morning:
Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
As for days, there are long ones and short ones. Not sure which ones are better. Sometimes a short day drags on forever as I hop from one dark hour to another, with hundreds of minutes in between and thousands of seconds in each minute. The same monotonous tune, the ticking of the clock.
January 2018, resolution 3:
Relocate source of happiness from outside to inside. Warmer there and safer, more chance for survival.
1 January 1965
BY JOSEPH BRODSKY
TRANSLATED BY GEORGE L. KLINE
The Wise Men will unlearn your name.
Above your head no star will flame.
One weary sound will be the same—
the hoarse roar of the gale.
The shadows fall from your tired eyes
as your lone bedside candle dies,
for here the calendar breeds nights
till stores of candles fail.
What prompts this melancholy key?
A long familiar melody.
It sounds again. So let it be.
Let it sound from this night.
Let it sound in my hour of death—
as gratefulness of eyes and lips
for that which sometimes makes us lift
our gaze to the far sky.
You glare in silence at the wall.
Your stocking gapes: no gifts at all.
It’s clear that you are now too old
to trust in good Saint Nick;
that it’s too late for miracles.
—But suddenly, lifting your eyes
to heaven’s light, you realize:
your life is a sheer gift.
Today, I got an email from a long-unseen-unheard-of friend in America, Debbie, with a message of happiness and good wishes for Hanukkah and holidays:
happiness and hope
to you and yours!
Debbie is an artist and also sent me this with her message:
This thought has been with me for some time, but if we celebrated each other’s holy days, the world would be a much better place. Plus, there would be so much more time off work…
And what a story.
My own humble hummous also contains garlic, is less than smooth and has a secret ingredient. It is a healthy and optimistic kind of food, starts a party, aids conversations, invites company, slows down time, brings back good memories.
Served with Arabic bread, cut into triangles and crisped-up in the oven, it is the ultimate zakuska. My Arab friends like it, so I must be getting something right.
Should make some hummous again soon.