Saturday, April 25, 2015

Inch Sixty (Five Feet!): Sticking a Net Into Time

Sometimes there are too many topics, potential blog posts all, rushing through my head. There are only six days of National Poetry Month left, counting today, and I spend a great deal of time mentally and physically selecting my favorite poems to offer on Facebook.

What an idea! My favorite poems? I might as well walk outside at night, stare up at the sky, and select my favorite stars. Or stand under the Bradford pear in the backyard and choose my favorite blossom of the hundreds on the tree.

But the stars and the blossoms: there's the thread on which I will hang today's post.

I have noticed a difference in recent months. I have an increased awareness of time slipping through my fingers. I am like a child trying to grasp a handful of water or sand, unable to stop its draining out no matter how tight I hold my fist.

Ben and Alise and Ramona gave me the gift of writing this past Christmas: a box of notecards, a Decomposition book, and a bound journal with a magnetic clasp and a silvery, ornate cover. Recently I started using the journal. I am not journaling in the traditional sense of noting my thoughts or the events of the day. Instead, I find myself writing observations of the outdoors: the thin, silvery sliver of a new moon, the icy coating on a rudbeckia leaf when it frosted earlier this week,  a chilly morning walk yesterday and gazing at the sky so intensely blue that it hurt my heart to look at it. This is what I am capturing in my journal: the small moments of time and the world.

Annie Dillard, in Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, wrote "I want to stick my net into time and say 'now' as men plant flags on the ice and snow and say 'here.'" I have been carrying that quote around with me for almost three decades.

My journal notes are my net and my "now." They are my flag and my "here."


see you there! said...

You must be capturing some great moments in your journal. That Annie Dilliard book is one of my favorite books of all time.


Anne said...

Emily's "Goodbye World" speech in Our Town always makes me cry. This too, apparently!

Jenny Woolf said...

It is very good to write down observations. I find it can help me discover what I am thinking. (I am obviously not observant enough to notice otherwise!
Thank you so much for commenting on my blog and it is nice to reopen the conversation!