Dear Friends and readers,
I can no longer keep up the disciplined schedule I once did. I used to do a lot of literary work, study films, write to an inner schedule consonant with promised papers, reviews, coming teaching, and yet participate in reading for listservs and beyond that read or watch movies for pleasure. Now I don’t get started on my projects until well after noon.
From my translated poetry out of Vittoria Colonna:
Gone brightness from the air, a light I knew,
gone from the sun and his sister, the moon,
gone from earth; gone Venus silvery star,
gaily whirling rings of shimmering light.
Gone his brave heart, hardened by endurance,
gone the chivalric soul, its beauty and
integrity with all his virtues gone;
the trees are bare, the fields without flowers.
I see troubled waters and air like pitch;
fire has no warmth, the wind lacks freshness;
all things have lost their purpose and meaning.
Since he I love is gone into the earth,
nature’s laws are confused–or else my grief
is such reality is gone from me.
Gone the gentle colors of the earth’s spring,
gone from her new-born flowers and green leaves,
the lovely scarlet dawn pale, faded, leaves
the serene star-filled sky faintly glimmering …
I find I like sleep — at some point in my 40s I began to see it not as a waste of time, but as a longed-for retreat. I’d cover my head with the blankets and sink back to rest; one day I told my beloved that I felt that tired of life I was beginning to understand how death was a release. I remember he didn’t quite like that. Now sleep is something like oblivion. While I sleep I lose consciousness, and most of the time do not remember my dreams. Each night I dip into a bottle of pills; when trazadone does not work, there’s temazepam.
When I go to bed I hug my body
my arms crossed tight. There is not a minute
in daytime I’m not aware you are not here.
In the gym talking, hearing these women.
Gone from me your presence which lent me peace.
In this silence you’re not coming back from.
The dart inflicts the wound that cannot heal,
it widens as the years come and go: spreads,
blood seeping into the skin.
Death, with her savage wild dart, hurt herself
So, angry at me, she picked up her dart,
but saw I’d take the bitter blow silently,
so she gives no more: and I live with her.
I learn what war of life is,
what strange troubles haunt us. She invents
absurd unheard-of pitiless getting
back –abandons me–a life bereft–
Each day I manage around 4 hours of what I call my work. Usually after noon and before 5 when the hard hours arrive. I do find myself looking forward to Yvette’s return. I know I should go for a walk, but do not. Sometimes I can read more, but it must be a genuinely true directly felt text. Need not be a novel. Criticism will do, nowadays especially of film. Poetry by women, occasionally by a man, and Jim’s favorites. I am grateful each time I find a woman’s novel that can absorb me. I got myself Jhumpa Lahiri’s Lowland ….
The inner strength, inner-motivated
gone from me. So I stumble along lurch
from and to this and that. Wishing I could,
waiting until I, stop altogether.
I do a little, when absorbed my mind
forgets, it’s as useful as sleep that way
I’m unaware of time passing I look
up and the clock says you’ve gone though
four more hours. I feel Clary clutching
at my sweater, pants, her paw is outstretched
while I bond with Anna Maxwell Martin
inhabiting Elizabeth Bennet
and as Susan in The Bletchley Circle
Wondering when I will get there at last
Join him by simply being what I’m
Part of this three week’s routine at Dance Fusion Workshop: