Thursday, March 27, 2014
how i spend my time
by Louise Glück
You want to know how I spend my time?
I walk the front lawn, pretending
to be weeding. You ought to know
I'm never weeding, on my knees, pulling
clumps of clover from the flower beds: in fact
I'm looking for courage, for some evidence
my life will change, though
it takes forever, checking
each clump for the symbolic
leaf, and soon the summer is ending, already
the leaves turning, always the sick trees
going first, the dying turning
brilliant yellow, while a few dark birds perform
their curfew of music. You want to see my hands?
As empty now as at the first note.
Or was the point always
to continue without a sign?
Of course the point is to continue without a sign.....
Oh how this poems speaks to me. For I'm always looking for courage, looking for signs, for some evidence my life will change, for some evidence I'm on the right track, that I'm not mad. I can't say I've found a lot these past months.....
Soon the winter will end, the season that so effectively wipes out all the evidence, that symbolism. Snow again yesterday and overnight, so that when I looked out the back door, letting the dog out this morning, the bird is now almost completely buried. You can see wing tips peeking out.
"You want to know how I spend my time?"
I think when you're a writer, there's the feeling you constantly have that people are silently (or not so silently) asking you how on earth are you spending your time? What are you doing, alone, sitting, quiet, lazy, with nothing to show for it?
I can't say that I've ever yet found a proper answer.
These days I'm admiring the way dogs have an instinct for finding sunbeams, for claiming them, holding fast. No one would ask them why they spend their days the way they do.