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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Oh Yes


Ode to Things
by Pablo Neruda

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors.
I love
cups,
rings,
and bowls –
not to speak, of course,
of hats.
I love all things,
not just the grandest,
also the infinite-
ly
small –
thimbles,
spurs,
plates,
and flower vases.

Oh yes,
the planet
is sublime!
It’s full of
pipes
weaving
hand-held
through tobacco smoke,
and keys
and salt shakers –
everything,
I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man, every little thing:
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
eyeglasses,
carpenter’s nails,
brushes,
clocks, compasses,
coins, and the so-soft
softness of chairs.

Mankind has
built
oh so many
perfect
things!
Built them of wool
and of wood,
of glass and
of rope:
remarkable
tables,
ships, and stairways.

I love
all
things,
not because they are
passionate
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
because
this ocean is yours,
and mine:
these buttons
and wheels
and little
forgotten
treasures,
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms,
glasses, knives and
scissors –
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
lost
in the depths of forgetfulness.

I pause in houses,
streets and
elevators,
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet:
this one because it rings,
that one because
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.

O irrevocable
river
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
only
fish,
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved
only
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.



"Oh yes, the planet is sublime!"  I read that this morning and thought it would fit so nicely on this crazy blog of mine.  I woke up, dead awake, at 5am.  On Thursday, it's back to school for C., and the writing rituals will resume.  It was impossible to write for most of the summer, though there were a few weeks (praise the inventors of summer day camps) that were somewhat productive.  I'm surprised, in a way, at just how much I did write, all things considered.  So, Thursday.  The 5am writing stints continue.

Well, here is a story, though, about how things get away from us.  Ideas, creative moments.  I had bought the above balloons because I had wanted to shoot the birdcage and the balloons outside, and then after that I wanted to have C. run around with them in her pretty blue floral dress.  So I snapped a couple shots of them inside, and then took the cage with the balloons tied onto the top out onto the front lawn.  Excellent.  I was adjusting my settings on the camera, when a big gust of wind came up and before I knew it the balloons were half way to Albuquerque. I wasn't even quick enough to snap their departure.

So, I've been looking rather mournfully at the above shots for a couple of weeks.  They weren't at all what I was after.  I guess this morning, I can see the ridiculousness of the whole enterprise and be amused by myself.


1 comment:

  1. Who doesn't love to watch balloons drift away and wonder where they will end up? Too bad you weren't expecting this, and had other ideas about the balloons' future. It would have been a perfectly lovely moment to photograph. Now you have that snapshot in your head and a sweet story to attach it to. Well done.

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