Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Sitting at lunch, unsettled, the pen took hold of my hand and wrote this on the inside of the top of my take away lunchbox:

It all feels unstable at times;
at times, the best you can do is write
those thoughts, the recurring human experience
of life's ambiguity, the obscure messages
of all the noise in the world
beeping, flowing, chuckling, chattering, thrumming --
You don't get it.
At times, the best I can do is write it
on a disposable box
and throw it into the trash,
like a penny into a fountain,
a wish to become other than I;

the crow cries, a sharp among flats,
and takes flight into all the blueness

Life is not bleak, but I couldn't throw away the words. The box, I obviously disposed of, the remains of my nachos untouched for satiated appetite. The day was beautiful; I sat there by the fountain watching the ordinary with amazement.
I find that happens sometimes -- looking at something completely ordinary, I suddenly have things about it jump out at me, grab me, unwilling to be remain ignored.
It happened yesterday at a fast food place in South Pasadena. I had a tray with two burgers in hand and I almost ran into a lady. I stepped aside and she smiled and as soon as she smiled, I saw it -- the almost caricaturistic (if that's a word) grin, the hat pulled over her silvery white hair, the plump form filling her gaudy green and blue dress in a cheery almost comical way, her thick glasses magnifying her eyes and by virtue of that her smile--it was like I had seen her before somewhere. I told Kathleen I wished I had an ability for sketching; standing in front of me I had had an archetype in the flesh, I felt.
So by the fountain today, the ordinary grabbed me -- so recognizable, yet so...bookish. Maybe that's what drove me to momentary insanity. Trust me, I don't make a habit of throwing away words. Insanity or no, I'm back to "normal" now, whatever that is. The cubicle is dulling to the senses after the orchestra beyond.