My whole life I have been the most myself when I am alone. How to be alone? My friends taught me. I watched them live, and it made my own way possible. They fly through my life quickly and then I'm at an in between space, like the poised absence of the creak before the creak occurs. I cannot go back to feel the reassuring presence washing all around me although I wish for it with all my my heart I feel as though they barely inhabit my world. So I am by myself comfortable in red and grey sensible plaid jammies, standing at the slump bricked window by the kitchen sink . The warm and yellow cascade of the morning sun all warms me rumpled fresh awake from some pecan dream. Arms akimbo wondering did I indeed put sugar in the fresh ground coffee, deciding I will have to wait to taste when it's done. Whirring onions in a tiny food processor with a missing foot, riveted to the counter pressing down with all my might so it didn't shimmy away. Putting the ham and pea soup on the stove to simmer.
After the coffee was tasted and sugared I read aloud from William Carlos Williams, Pastoral. Jumping up I heard an odd sound, it was ground squirrels. They criss crossed the driveway with cheeks full of seeds, determined for a nest of babies hidden in the prickely pear..... sparrows by the door front scold and chased them on their way. I laughed among the miles of tumbling smells because it was like some silly Disney movie--Fantasia -- laughed because the sparrows had sprung loose of the William Carlos Williams poem. Williams was in the air and they had to quarrel free!
His poem paints a picture of little sparrows in a specified time through their world and under this pictures lies a deeper meaning, of an older human being ordinary in everyday life. It's an experience between poet and reader, just as a painting is far more than the oil on the canvas, but an experience for the person who will look for it.
"You must remember I had a strong inclination all my life to be a painter. Under different circumstances I would rather have been a painter than to bother with these god-damn words. I never actually thought of myself as a poet but I knew I had to be an artist in some way. Becoming the poet was the way life arranged it."
Pay attention, says the poet as I approach the line, more majestic than
that of the Episcopal minister. The last line is sudden and clear, common language his ability to communicate in a fragmented society. Far removed from my wanting to understand the enigmatic parts of me, what my dreams mean, why am I afraid of wish bones, why do I think it's my age that makes people uncomfortable with what I write. In aloneness, I get the impression that I am moving along clear signs, my words are establishing something.....someday it will be oh so simply understood, then I will get 'it'.
Later on with the ham and pea soup for dinner there will be buttery cornbread and a fresh green salad with creamy picante dressing and sweaty glasses of sweet tea. My family will arrive home and scarf up great hunks of bread; plate after plate of soup until the heat of the day and the house shrinks down into small and glowing self contained worlds. They will bend toward the murmuring and I will retire to my room next to the small wooden bedside table and try to write my day down in my little spiral notebook and know. Listening and writing and listening again, that I am one of the privileged of the earth and how all these things astonish me beyond words.