A Shady Boon for Simple Sheep
July 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
I haven’t had the creative energy to write here since Delilah’s wedding. Too much work, exhaustion…how the days do pass. I learn a lot from editing, though it does make me itch to write my own fiction. But I don’t think this hiatus is a bad thing. My creative voice, which got polluted with…stuff…is airing out, hung on a line in the afternoon sun, eyed by squirrels and robins, ghosts and beetles.
I want to write a story with beetles in it, beetles spilling out of a desk drawer, a manila envelope, the bodice of a woman with dark-red lips…and maybe a claw-foot bathtub in the woods where the drunken man sleeps when his wife is angry at him. And in the sky, bothering no one, a talking sheep talking a lot. Yes, the images and characters are there; they always are.
Charles has a gig, subbing, playing with Sol Yagid, legendary clarinetist from the Benny Goodman era. Yagid’s over 90 and apparently cussed—unfortunate because Charles feels inadequate to play swing. It won’t be fun for him, I guess, but such experiences are always worth it. He’s in the other room now, practicing, practicing. He sounds great to me!
He doesn’t know enough of the songs, he says. He reminds me of a guitarist he met, used to play with Peggy Lee, who told him that one night he was busy and asked Joe Pass to sub for him. When Pass got to the club and heard the line-up of tunes, he said, “I’m not going to play that shit,” thereby losing the original guitarist his job.
“Just be polite,” I said.
I have to go meet a client later, then back for more editing and fractured thoughts of my unfinished novels, which will, I assure you, benefit from time passing. As long as I don’t drop dead, that is. The heat, the clamoring cats. I tell them it’s too hot and they’re too furry to sprawl on my melting body, but do they listen? They ignore my weak rejections, coming back and back until I give in. Charles thinks Mouchette is losing weight but he doesn’t have to spend heartwarming July afternoons underneath her.
At any given time, I feel like half a person (CFS); it’s a good thing I’m overqualified for most of what I do, although not in the organization department, nor housekeeping, nor memory. Charles and I need an overqualified wife.
Btw, as a wife I get points for not nagging. That’s easy, Sugar. Nagging is way too much work.
You remember the first line of this, but do you remember any more of it?
Endymion, Book I
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple’s self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o’ercast,
They alway must be with us, or we die.