Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Lake-Sunk Stars Were Ringing

Swinging between Suzuki and Le Guin, one is apt to get a little unhinged.

Nine times the nine white heavens
call the things that creep, run, fly.
Come to the fish-meal, eat from the tympani,
drink from the chasing cymbals.


We say, "When the night is here, the dawn comes." It means there is no gap between the dawn and the night.

Today, I cleaned my room, because as I sat in the middle of dusty chaos and read about the socio-economic benefits of highways, I found I could not, no I could not, go another minute, minute! with these dusty windows, with my broken bed (how broken, I would need to lift the mattress and find out), unaired mattress, cupboard overflowing with clothes smushed in, floor scattered with the ruins of reports - torn papers, dust, oh my god, dust, dust, all that dust, choking up my windpipe, silencing me effectively.

So yes. After learning however many billion dollars we saved by having one highway, I started to fold some of the scattered clothes on my bed. But stuffing them into that overflowing cupboard was beyond me. I started to pull out the clothes, cast them on the floor, fold them up again...and it was like dropping a tiny pebble from atop a mountain.

It unleashed in me an avalanche of cleaning. I swept and sweated and cursed and sneezed and organized and dusted and found things I had lost (one beautiful bookmark a friend had given me as a present), Cocktail Time by PG Wodehouse which I read in one sitting when I was supposed to be reading or writing about highways - just a few days under the bed and it was covered in dust and old cobwebs.

Under my bed is where dreams go to die. Which is why every time I aim a broom at it it turns on me, snarls, hisses, bites.

The curtains heavy with the dust of years. Years! Maybe decades. Well one decade, at least. I pulled them down. I soaked them in bleach. I will leave them there for a while. And then run them through the machine.

And all the while, at back of my mind, the sad, ponderous clanging of the work I'm supposed to be doing.

Go away!


Go away!


So I sit here, meekly, sorting through the torn sheets, reading through pages, making notes, and soon, very soon, I will start the next piece.

And finish it.

And reward myself with...

Something. Only I don't know what.

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