Oddments

In search of story


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November 23.20: Coping

Fear is served,

heaped, cold, on unseen platter

where empty table

speaks to us.

There was picnic once,

soda fizz

and bright mustard,

where now only air

teasing whispers from

dry grass.

In barren quiet

the words come:

what if I’m the only one?

 

 

In this country, dear reader, we enter Thanksgiving week torn. No: shredded. How do we celebrate isolation and dread? If we try to “count our blessings,” how are we not trivializing the losses among us?

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg for this poignant image.

 


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October 31.20: Coping

All Hallows’ Eve,

and my muse has gone astray.

When last seen, a bluebird,

most likely bat today.

I’ve written and deleted

a tome or two of late;

nothing’s any good —

I’ve just an addled pate.

Where are those perfect words

that say just what I mean?

Have they been scared away

by this looming Halloween?

I think it’s much more likely

my muse is somewhere stuck

among the fangs and broomsticks

of politics run amuck.

 

Thanks to photographer D.J. Berg,

and a salute to her complimentary Halloween bar.

 


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September 4.20: Coping

The world is too much with us,

so let us find some sticks,

and build us walls more sturdy

than paltry stone and bricks.

We’ll build a fort so mighty

that it will long endure,

then we can crawl inside

and all the mean abjure.

We’ll hug our knees and revel

in a world of let’s-pretend,

and make believe our hide-out

is where the rainbows end.

We’ll think of things so perfect

the world will be reborn,

and, while we’re at it, capture

and tame a unicorn.

 

With thanks to William Wordsworth,

to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Ritchey Woods, Fishers, IN.


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August 16.20: Coping

Discouragement abounds,

angst, depression, fears;

my pate completely addled,

my brains ooze out my ears.

I feel as though I’m squeezed

by vise of pointless tripe;

innuendo and conspiracy

spring up in endless hype.

And isolation never helped

the cause of sanity;

it gives the upper hand

to crazed inanity.

I look for logic, reason,

a sense of what should be;

I find it in the bakery

in sweet geometry.

 

 

I do not make light, dear reader, of those who have little food. Or none at all. I know how fortunate I am to think about desserts.

 

Many thanks to photographer S.W. Berg

and to the artist-bakers at la Madeleine.


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June 18.20: Coping

I see many references to isolation and aloneness these days. As an introvert, I’m comfortable with aloneness. Usually content with my own company, I do not crave the madding crowd. Aloneness isn’t always loneliness.

But I haven’t been with my family since March 6. No hugs for three months! There’s loneliness in that, as many elderly (and not-so-elderly) know.

It has recently occurred to me that there is another dimension to my aloneness. My close friends vary in age, but all of us have experienced family death in our parents’ generation. However, among my friends, I am the only one to have lost the sibling connection to the past; I’m the first to be The Last. This hit me as a revelation. Unaware, I’ve been grappling with a sense of aloneness among my friends.

I am an old single parent who is also The Last One of the family she grew up with — those are my particular circumstances — but I think most of us are grappling with some kind of aloneness, and maybe loneliness too, at this time. It doesn’t mean we have the same life experiences, only that we are in the same human condition. Human, but dangerously corrosive, all the more so swirled as it is with anger.

As I’ve said before, I think writers write about two things: what is, and what could be. Sometimes we can’t write about what could be until we write about what is. For me, this is what is.