Thursday, November 13, 2014

Vast, Encompassing Circle

It's a strange thing to worry about writing with a newborn in the house. The baby sleeps, his brothers race and cavort, suffer and secret off into their room for secret fun. In the tub last night, Walt held out a plastic yellow cup to Sam, whispered, "Mug," and both broke into hysterics. This happened at least eight times in a row. Toward the end, Sam picked up a plastic brick and whacked it at Walt's head, which often signals the end to such fun. Except Walt didn't flinch. He offered the mug faster. Sam whacked harder. They both kept laughing. Being the oldest, Walt is easier to get out of the tub. We offer the new shiny carrot: bubblegum-flavored mouthwash. Still, Walt is heartbroken to leave the bath when Sam gets to stay a little longer. Sam is thrilled to stretch out in the tub, more than half its length now. Sam has a lower boiling point but he recovers from his heartaches faster. Such is the lot in life of the middle child toddler, I guess. I still don't think of Sam as the middle child, since only five weeks ago he was the younger boy and Walt was the older. Walt is older still, but of course, now he's the oldest. Now, Monty is the baby. He gets his own bath and bedtime, and hours upon hours of being held by the people who love him, which these last two weeks has included my parents visiting from Florida, showing up first thing in the morning to get us an extra hour of sleep, fold laundry, hang curtains, make meals, help with the preschool drop-offs and pick-ups. Cait and I have even gone out on a couple of afternoon dates. Tomorrow, we're off to JC Penny's to take a family portrait. Then it's back to the trenches, the wonderful pleasant trenches, to keep our heads down and the boys amused--stories, games, drawing, backyard LARP-ing--and at night, if the baby is sleeping and the boys are sleeping and Cait is sleeping, if there is any time leftover, I'm sitting down to try to work piecemeal through something that can become the next poem, essay, book. Which is its own kind of romantic worry, that there will be more time, but also, that such time is worth saving outside of the present moment, before it races past memory and into imagination; when, whatever else we feel, we feel very needed and alive. 



Poem Written in A Copy of Beowulf


At various times, I have asked myself what reasons
moved me to study, while my night came down,
without particular hope of satisfaction,
the language of the blunt-tongued Anglo-Saxons.

Used up by the years, my memory
loses its grip on words that I have vainly
repeated and repeated. My life in the same way
weaves and unweaves its weary history.

Then I tell myself: it must be that the soul
has some secret, sufficient way of knowing
that it is immortal, that its vast, encompassing
circle can take in all, can accomplish all.

Beyond my anxiety, beyond this writing,
the universe waits, inexhaustible, inviting.

― Jorge Luis Borges

1 comment:

gedesagus yudistira said...

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