Monday, June 10, 2013
Do you know that song, a Richard Manuel/The Band plaintive cry? If you find me in a gloom, or catch me in a dream --
I hear that song in my head today as I scurry about, mailing packages, filling out forms, going to the grocery store, diapering and dressing Sophie, fixing her hair and putting her in the backyard swing where she'll sit just for a minute, while I write, I said, and I gave her, it, the swing, a shove, told the dog to stop barking and ran up the back steps into my room, inside my room, my lonely room, there is no in-between. What else comes to me but songs from other lives, that other life, that I penned in small spiral notebooks, in tinier script, even a poem in French that I picked out of a stack the other day, opened and read, remembered.
Pour la premiere fois
j'ai vu la Saturne
et je pense a toi
deux lunes autour d'une
I spent two weeks hiking in the wilderness of the Adirondacks one summer between my junior and senior years. I had Pascal in my head, read St. Augustine on a bus with a big girl named Cheryl, wrote character notes about moon-faced women and boys tripping on LSD, camp lantern lighting the page. Our instructor was bald and stooped, a leprauchan who knew the names of all the trees and plants, the rocky paths, the peaks. I came back thin, so thin, from twenty mile hikes, seventy, eighty miles in, a sixty-five pound backpack wrapped on my already small frame. I wore a blue cashmere sweater with cables, thin in spots, and when we climbed down and dispersed, I spent the night alone in a hotel room in Syracuse. I shaved my legs in a porcelain tub and sank, deep, into hot water. I ordered steak and a potato, had it delivered to my room and devoured it like a beast. The next day I flew back to school, was met at the airport, I think, by a boy, but I can't be sure. I can feel you standing there, but I don't see you anywhere -- I will wait until it all goes 'round -- With you in sight, the lost are found --