Watercolour by RRieder

My Reader says I’ve been reading too much. Reading and listening to the daily news, overhearing conversations, listening to opinions from all sides, some aloud some silent but seen face-on just the same. There’s something to be said about that, but you won’t hear it directly from me nor My Reader.

There is something to be said, however, about long days in the garden, observing life in painterly images captured frame-by-frame and then imprinted in that designated space reserved for future use…in that silent world that some of us are plagued, or blessed with. Sometimes called the creative reserve or what My Reader refers to as “your silence is deafening” place.

Something happened yesterday…not exactly sure what. Maybe the changing of our Pacific Northwest seasons from long-awaited Sunflower yellow days and frog croaking nights, from open-airing doors and windows, into dull-wet days and slugs on the pavement? Maybe. We are coming into the anticipated slog of fall and winter’s wetness mode. Time to resign one’s self into resurrecting the woolly knee-highs and sentinel wellies and home-warming fireplace evenings.

Then there’s this: a timely offering from Maine poet Mr. Kestenbaum that evokes visions of next spring and summer… and hopeful thoughts that maybe the squirrels will share the figs on our fig tree.

Just maybe…

by Stuart Kestenbaum

It’s easy to ignore the moment we dwell in
the time when we should be our own choir.

shouting amen to every second that’s given us
but we forget and think only of the machinery

that’s driving our lives, the idling
engines of our day-to-day-day, the endless

tapping on the keyboards. Or else we’re waiting
for something better to come along, some

out-of-town engagement better than where we
are now. Life isn’t some film we can review again,

it’s live theater, and even if we could go back
what’s the point? Sitting in the darkened room

with the film ticking along and we reverse
the projector and see ourselves

returning in the car before we’ve ever left
walking backwards to our house

or leaping out of the water
we thought we were swimming in.

*Stuart Kestenbaum, poet laureate of Maine since 2016. His most recent book “How to Start Over”, published by Deerbrook Editions, 2019.

Credit: New York Times Magazine, issue 9.1.19, pg.12.