Sunday, July 10, 2016

On the Verge

I was already dozing off in the shade, dreaming
that the rustling trees were my many selves
explaining themselves all at the same time so that
I could not make out a single word.  My life was
a beautiful mystery on the verge of understanding,
always on the verge!  Think of it!
—Charles Simic The World Doesn't End

This is, I think, where I am this morning.  Not dozing off, quite, but mulling in a barely conscious way (having a hard time spelling that).  The birds and trees have messages for me, but they are speaking in some opaque language that doesn't let light in.  One of those from my many travels (maybe the mixed-up one there in the borderlands between the long Italian valley and the high French Alps), or something never deciphered (Linear A) or gone extinct (Nahuatl) while I wasn't paying attention.  Two goldfinches drinking from the birdbath try to tell me what they think I ought to do, reading the ruffled surface of the water in a different kind of augury.  What they would do if they were me, or I, them—but of course we're not.

"It feels like each shade of color has its own story to tell."  Colors, too, are ready to help me, if I only had paid attention during evening classes to more than their easy, comforting murmurings. 

Serious stuff I've never mastered.  It's always been a matter of asking for a caffè Americano, or getting to le musée.  (Looking for the Impressionists, of course.)  I am so nearly there, so all but where I need to be, I sense with hopeless and tongue-tied frustration, I'll just sit a little while longer in this shady giardino, where the natives speak junco and oak and a deep purply-red, and wait until the water surface clears sufficientemente to find my bearings.

image:  Christie B. Cochrell, Collage with English Robin

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