Day 350: Absorption

Ferlinghetti, seen in 1982 in San Francisco, rejects the term ‘memoir’ for his new book. Photograph: Chris Felver/Getty Images

“…and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead…”

-“I am Waiting” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, (b. 1919- d. 2021) 

Something funny happened to me the other day.  First off I had a bad day.  Nothing too extreme, just your normal run-of-the-mill bummer of a day.  I was feeling inadequate at work and falling behind in some personal goals.  My little apartment is my sanctuary.  Pulling into my parking space, sitting in the car for a moment to collect myself, the weight of the day became known.  Dang, what a day!

Walked in to set my stuff in the house. Got the mail key. Went out to grabbed the day’s mail. Went back inside. Looked through it at my desk.  It’s Tuesday so grocery flyer day. A bunch of recycling from one box to another. One letter caught my attention immediately—no mistaking it, it was a check.  Inside was a letter from the local book store along with a check for the sale of ten of my poetry books, approximately $65.  The letter explained the 4th quarter payments are late due to accounting circumstances. I was bummed thinking nothing sold last quarter, but, apparently, somethings sold. So, this is good news.  But…I stared at the check and the letter with no exclamation or acknowledgment.  I was still processing my crappy day.  I needed to process my crappy day. I wanted to turn the key from sad to glad right away but instead, I said, “I’ll celebrate tomorrow, or Saturday.”  A voice replied, “Did you just schedule HAPPINESS?” 



Words Under My Skin

Can the lines of a book or poem hug you?  Yes.  Comfort comes in many forms and during this freakin’ pandemic I would guess many of us are seeking comfort in any form we can get it.  I sure am.

A shift that has started in my writing is absorption.  For the previous decade, poems came to me, loudly, processing through my mind and body and shooting out my fingertips to the page.  I appreciated the clarity of the thought.  What’s happening now is I hear the poem and just friggin’ savor it.  I’m keeping the words within me. Like a dissolving lozenge, the flavor slowly works its way through my soul, feeding my very essence.  Sounds dramatic?  It is.  A bit of a mini-drama.  My knee jerks to hurry up and capture the thought on paper, my throat wanting to continue the precious perception, says gently, simply, NO.

Writers have a natural progression, you get an idea you write, or you need to form an idea so you write.  Writers write.  The stanzas coming to me throughout my day and dream time should be placed onto the page. Perhaps the moments are attempts of my psyche to heal the mind and body, acknowledge and absorb the beauty around me, helping me to recover from a bad day.  Maybe I’m just being lazy.  Fresh words and stories come by for a visit and I talk with them and keep them in my heart.

Perhaps we can force another Age of Enlightenment onto the planet? Let’s keep creating and loving each other and see what happens. Have a good day wherever you are. -Shannon

P.S. I was looking forward to perhaps some aliens landing, or a break down of society completely but it looks like the vaccine is coming out and masks are coming off in September (my guess for Bellingham, WA.) *sigh* no fun.

Breakfast at Harris’s

photo credit: Trip Advisor
photo credit: Trip Advisor

Happy moments.  They show up in the most surprising places, such as a window seat  Harris Avenue Café in Fairhaven.  I’m an inventory taker.  Every so often I take a look at my life and take inventory, see how I’m doing in relationship to my goals.  The last two years have been disappointing on many fronts.  At the same time, however, many personal breakthroughs have accumulated new ground.  Navel gazing at its best.

So, I’m treating myself to breakfast.  There’s no food in my kitchen and I haven’t eaten since Thursday afternoon.  This week I had two successful poetry performances and, well, I’m taking myself out to celebrate.  The plate arrives.  Eggs Toulouse with smoked salmon, Harris’s special spin on Eggs Benedict.  I order with fruit in place of potatoes.  Sitting pretty on the plate, red strawberries, green kiwi, yellow pineapple, orange melon sliced and arranged like they want to be painted.  My only brush, knife and fork. This is nothing I would make for myself and I don’t mind paying for someone else to put it all together.

The art of eating.

Enjoying the presentation.

Pausing for appreciation.

I seldom eat out.  I am thankful.

Picture 391 Harris CafeI have my 16 ounce mocha to my right. It sits there asking to be stirred.  I imagine a dark heavy layer of chocolate below the shots and milk. What a beautiful drink.  A book I’m three chapters in lays open on the left. Brightly painted tourist in sandals, slacks or khaki shorts and golf visors walk around looking for a nibble.  Groups of them walk in all asking for a table “outside in the garden.”  I’m inside, sitting in the window.  It’s almost nine, the sun is still behind 17th avenue; I’m safe for another two hours.

Breathing in the atmosphere, the happiness almost knocks me over—My God, I’m HAPPY.  I’m so freakin’ happy!  What a magical place this is.

This table, this view, this town, this moment—right now—just right now. I’ve always dreamed of doing this day in Europe.  Now I challenge France to come up with a better day.

Benny’s at dawn!

Whoever’s been praying for me, thank you.  This morning a portion of joy has manifest.

***

Harris Avenue Cafe  http://www.harrisavecafe.com/