Archive for the ‘whims & whelms’ Category

red eye red sky

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nighttime eastward flight

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opposite earth’s rotation

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sunrise comes sooner

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2010, gone by in a flash

it’s amazing how time just keeps going. or maybe it isn’t; the Earth’s angular momentum all but guarantees it. what’s amazing I suppose is how the lives of our tiny human selves ever feel important enough that time should stop for us. it never does, after all.

2010 comprised, for me, more transition than revelation, more solitude than attachment. the last year of my 20s and the first point in my life, I think, where I’ve felt the exact age that I am. I look at my students and am grateful for the years that have grown my prefrontal cortex. I look at the sky and am comforted by the inevitability of our orbit, our tilt, and our inertia.

happy new year.

my favorite poem this week

these days, the poems are the only part of the new yorker I reliably read all the way through, no matter what. I used to be too stubborn to give up in the middle of an article or a novel or even a column, but now I guess my time is worth more than that. a poem, though, might turn on its last line from nothing into something special. plus they’re usually short.

this poem, by david st. john, is kind of like that. it was humming along, a little more sparse and clipped than I think of david st. john being on a typical day, but moving smoothly from one line to the next–more of an academic reading than anything else–until the ending came out of nowhere and destroyed me.

without mercy, the rains continued

There had been
A microphone hidden

Beneath the bed
Of course I didn’t realize it

At the time & in fact
Didn’t know for years

Until one day a standard
Khaki book mailer

Arrived & within it
An old

Stained casette tape
Simply labeled in black marker

“Him / Me / September, 1975”
& as I listened I knew something

Had been asked of me
Across the years & loneliness

To which I simply responded
With the same barely audible

Silence that I had chosen then.