What's In My Journal by William Stafford
|Bowie's pretty over it too|
It’s a long path to recovery, for both my leg as well as the rest of the world it seems. Neither Bryan nor I (nor the rest of America) is very good staying still. As I mentioned before, we’re all trying to come up with novel ways to cope with being confined. Bryan’s quite proud of the new skill he’s picked up during quarantine - making martinis. We both like them with Tito’s vodka, lots of olive juice, and just a splash of vermouth. Shaken not stirred, of course. He’s getting quite good at it, so we may actually have to buy grownup barware. We’ve also been doing loads of puzzles. I’ve ordered them from all over the US - these two stationery stores - Rock Paper Scissors out of Michigan and Steel Petal Press out of Chicago - have quite a few puzzles in stock as well as other fun things to keep your hands and mind busy.
Typically, I’ll throw on a podcast while we’re puzzling (I’ve been able to rope Bryan into puzzling with me). We found a new one called Phoebe Reads a Mystery, where Phoebe Judge of Criminal fame reads old mystery novels (so basically an audiobook). So far we’ve listened to The Mysterious Affair at Styles (not Agatha Christie’s best but it was her first Hercule Poirot book) and The Hound of the Baskervilles. It’s quite soothing and proven much more popular than the Bill Bryson audiobook that we had tried from the library.
I’ve also been getting back into poetry as it’s been a few years since I've read a poetry collection. Good ol’ Garrison Keillor has never steered me wrong with his collections and he had one quite appropriate for the time that I picked up used: Good Poems for Hard Times. I plan to share my favourites over the next few weeks. The one below by William Stafford seems to reflect what I’ve been writing in my journals ever since I started keeping one in elementary school.
What’s In My Journal by William Stafford
Odd things, like a button drawer. Mean
Thing, fishhooks, barbs in your hand.
But marbles too. A genius for being agreeable.
Junkyard crucifixes, voluptuous
discards. Space for knickknacks, and for
Alaska. Evidence to hang me, or to beatify.
Clues that lead nowhere, that never connected
anyway. Deliberate obfuscation, the kind
that takes genius. Chasms in character.
Loud omissions. Mornings that yawn above
a new grave. Pages you know exist
but you can’t find them. Someone’s terribly
inevitable life story, maybe mine.