Wednesday, July 4, 2012

kneel to life

Reading Neruda on a rooftop city garden...
Can't believe how fine it oasis amidst a bustling noisy world a few steps away. I love the open vastness of northern New Mexico, the mountains, the drop dead sunsets. I also know how much I love a good city. And San Francisco is one of the best.
I haven't quite gotten down to work yet. Today is actually my first full day alone and it will take time to settle into new realities. Find my own routine. Establish work and leisure based on my body rhythms. I'm writing. Rather, scribbling in notebooks -- the warming up, the release of pressure to make room for whatever is coming (hopefully, something!). I walk and get a total body workout on sidewalks that go up and down hills and nearly kill me as I slowly try to adjust. This isn't park walking, this is my beloved sidewalk walking, but it would be nice if they were flat! I walk for my groceries, to the Bay (the way back is uphill), to the cafe for a cappuccino and a bite to eat.
Will any poems come out of this? Or a story? An essay? Can I actually work on editing what I brought with me? Pages that seem somewhat stale and dreary in this cool windy atmosphere of sea-washed air and city noises? We'll see. Meanwhile I wrap a scarf around my neck (it's chilly) and keep my notebook and pen nearby because there won't be a warning when the muse finally strikes. While I'm waiting I'll read and knit the sock that is growing out of the yarn my friend left for me. I watched four episodes of Downton Abbey last night and knit, knit, knit.
This yarn is so delicious I'm sure it's Opal, but there's no label. It reminds me of chocolate chips and summer fruit. Watermelon and apricots and grapes. Neruda said:

...the hands' work is a destiny
and life shapes itself to their scars

I love that quote. My own hands, slightly gnarled and painful sometimes, are still capable of knitting socks so beautiful that Neruda would have been inspired once again to write a poem to them, perhaps called, An Ode to 21st Century Sox: lori lori brought me a pair of socks that she knitted with her own two hands...
Neruda reflected, the world does not really belong to the poet: perhaps the poet is not totally a child of this earth. Isolate, spacey, reflective, he is only "a child of the moon."
              (from the intro to Pablo Neruda: Late and Posthumous Poems (Manuel Duran)

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