I wrote all day

I wrote all day,
lofty thoughts and speeches,
messages and ways to change the world.
I wrote all day
and now I have very little left to say,
except I wish I could show you
all that I wrote today.

 

It may seem that I am, at day 17, starting to run out of things to post. In fact, my mind is swarming with ideas, I just don’t have the time to think them through and write them down. But I am holding on tight to my own personal challenge to post every day this month. And, as the poem says, after a day of writing, it can be difficult to come home and write some more, especially after dinner and book time and discussions about the day’s events and making lunches – all the things that are bigger than me, bigger than my writing challenge.

Still, here I am, sharing my thoughts with you. Because that is still important, too.

And I do wish I could show you some of what I wrote today. I’m proud of my work, I love what I do, even more-so now that everything is touched with our special, Canadian #sunnyways.

From today to tomorrow

Not today;

today I have few words

and less time.

The sun has set –

a green glow still lingers in the west

but another day has rolled past.

We all keep going, though,

gathering speed as we twirl 

through the darkness

trusting that tomorrow

the sun will rise, 

hoping that tomorrow

we might pause for breath,

believing that tomorrow

the light will return

once more.

Shards of Memory

They’re putting coins down a hole in the house foundation, my husband and son, for the future – either their future when they think to dig them up again, decades from now, or for some unknown future, for some unknown people.

The coins, this shared moment, all our shared moments, are the shards of memory we hold onto, shards that, like light, cut through dark times – ours and the world’s. 

They are monuments to the present, to who we are now, to who we think we’ll be in the future. They tell our future selves, “this is who we were then,” and they ask, “remember?”

They are the light we shine into the uncertain future, a piece of ourselves we send forward in time.

These monuments, these bits of the present which will become memories, will remain unchanged while we, we will change in unknown and uncertain but surely vast ways. 

They are changeless while the world and those of us in it embody change.

This point in time may be remembered differently by each of us – my husband may remember this as the day he cleaned out the hole in the floor, the time he and my son bonded over a common interest; my son will remember the rusty nails that came out of the hole and may think about how he and my husband agreed to put coins in the hole, about how for a few minutes he stopped thinking about missing his first dad; I will remember it as the weekend of the Paris attacks, the first time in years my son spent a whole day with his dad, and how safe and surreal and happy everything felt at home this morning – but though we all have different perspectives, the memory and the coins will always be part of our shared identity, our shared moment.

They are among the bright shards of light cutting through our family’s complex narrative.

Some days it’s all a bit too much

The cold settled into my bones and in the grim grey light, I pondered the Fates – how they decide which innocents to steal, whose time is up. I suppose they’ve been at it long enough to know.

Some days there is too much to say. Too much, and yet the words won’t come.

When I feel so deeply, my thoughts tie themselves in knots, my words strangle themselves in my throat, and I fall silent. I feel dissatisfied no matter how much I try to write it out. Even music – all music – seems discordant. I move from chair to chair, never quite feeling comfortable. I can’t be with people. I can’t focus on reading.

When nothing else works, I sit alone in silence. I let my mind wander where it will, I don’t try to escape or entertain or distract.

Today, I thought about the Fates.

At the end of this restless day, I went out to pick up my son from his friend’s place. As I drove down a busy, well-lit city street cocooned in my silence, I happened to look up between the streetlights and see the thin, red, low-slung crescent of a new moon. It was large and otherworldly. Beautiful.

For a moment I imagined I was on a different planet.

Then, I turned on the radio and belted out songs until I had thoroughly shattered my carefully constructed silence.

The future is unwritten, tenuous, and we are all pulled along into it, day after day. All we can do is find whatever we need in the moment to keep us going.

Is this Progress?

Photo credit: Dee Chenier

Is this progress?
The bricks and mortar of our past
crumble before modern steel
and shards of glass –
welcome to the modern age.

Glimpses into rooms once used
(carpeted silent, upholstered bare)
reveal whispers, ghosts, of lives gone by.
Today, darkened spaces, once windows, stare;
no signs of life.

Passing people skim these streets,
blind to history suspended overhead.
Unholy skeletons unseen,
left standing to witness our retreat;
the past is hanging by a thread.

.

I was inspired this week by a photograph my mother took – the last of old Yorkville – and knew it was only a matter of time before a poem formed around it.