Monday, April 12, 2010
Okay - here’s the thing. I walk the morning to exercise my body and mind. I don’t expect divine intervention. But should my spirit be moved, I would, of course, have the absolute experience.
Today, as the slant sun made giant shadows of my moving body, I memorized the final lines of Billy Collins’ Introduction to Poetry:
“I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with a rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.”
I thought - Dear, dear Billy, I need meaning to enjoy!
As I have told the Author Above time after time. Meaning, I say, is necessary. Meaning is my navigational star, my compass. The beginning and the end.
Simultaneously my dear son’s words echo in my inner ear: You don’t need to understand the insides of a computer to make a word file. You don’t have to be a software designer to send a mail.
So. Billy, as William, as the Author Above are all trying to teach me the same lesson - to relax. To accept. Understanding pistons and spark plugs is definitely not a prerequisite to operate a car. Or enjoy the beauty of a passing scenery.
Now - I don’t normally pick up things from the street.
Let me first tell you that I always keep a neatly folded A-4 paper and a pencil in my pocket, for notes.
And there, right in front of me, on the pavement, is a folded A-4 paper, suspiciously similar to one of mine. I immediately feel blood rushing - Did I drop it while out walking yesterday? Has anyone seen it? Read it? My notes are as private as my journal. Or words to a trusted friend.
So I bend down. Pick up the piece. Reluctantly. With my gloves on. Though the paper is pristine and white. Not even a heel impression, or the mark of a dirt paw.
I unfold the note, study the back and the front, baffled. The paper is not mine. It is not filled with illegible scribbles shaped by the hand of a moving body. Instead there are three words in the top left corner. Printed. Yes. The Very Words. And only those.
For a few seconds I just stand there, wanting to tie the moment to a chair and beat a confession out of it. I want to know what it really means.
Then I decide to exercise my spirit. I waterski across the surface of the incident. “Nice touch!” I say, waving at the Author on the shores of the vast seas Above.
(Ps. I know the story sounds constructed. Made up. Forced. Yet I’m telling the truth. I have no means to convince you. And photos can lie, I know.)