Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Start of the Season

It's the start of the season, December First. My brother's birthday. My other brother's anniversary. The beginning of my Picture the Holiday class and the first day of the last month of the year. It's also the last day of my week vacation and the day my sister left town to head back home after the Thanksgiving holiday.

I never feel like I get enough time with her when she comes to visit. I've learned to not plan too much or have too many expectations, but it's hard to share her with so many others.

For my last day of vacation, it was a good day, starting with an early breakfast to celebrate Greg's birthday. It's always fun to find a new breakfast place, even if it's not especially close to home. I ordered 7-grain pancakes topped with fresh fruit and Vermont Syrup. The Vermont Syrup was the reason I ordered the pancakes, but the fruit and the 7-grains are what made them so tasty.

After breakfast, JJ, Brie, mom and I made a quick stop at the Farmer's Market two blocks away. It was smaller than I expected, but the walk was refreshing. I really need to start exercising more. I feel as though I'm losing my muscle tone, but that's another story.

As we were walking back to the car, I spotted a woman sitting at a little lone table, with a sign which read The Poem Corner. On her table sat a portable manual typewriter, a little dictionary and a stack of 2-1/2 x 4 card stock ready for the striking of the keys against the ribbon as a poem is created in a matter of minutes.

After reading Writing Down the Bones, where Natalie Goldberg writes about creating poems on-demand at a Farmer's Market, I was intrigued. So I decided to pay for a poem. I asked for a poem about Joy.

The poet took a piece of card stock out and rolled it into the typewriter, paused for a moment and began typing away. She typed quickly at first, until she came to the last part of the poem. Then she paused again, the typewriter silent, a few letters were struck and then silence again. A few more and then silence again and then the last lines flowed quickly as the beginning.

She pulled the kraft paper out of the typewriter and read me her poem. I loved how she called joy a fleeting creature, as it often can be…fleeting…if we search for joy in the wrong places. The places she wrote of where we can find it was filled with perception, as though she knew who I was. I walked away glad that I took the time to buy a poem. It was the perfect way to start the season.

Her poem reads as follows:


so that when we are journey-
ing downy his slop of line,
sometimes out of tune with
the forces that be, we can
grab hold of this sometimes
fleeting creature. as we grab
hold of it and contort it to
our needs, finding that its
residency is in places such
closer to home. in a simple
smile, in a first cup of
coffee, in a family bond root-
ed in time and strengthened
with its unfurling. so that
we always know the place to
look when the road
is overtaken with

topacio althaus
December 1, 2013

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