Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2: Poet of the Week, Robert Hass, "Basho: A Departure," "Ives" Dip, Off the Top of My Head

I do not have much time this evening to be reflective.  In a little over an hour, I have to meet my wife and attend a performance given by my daughter's dance studio.  It's an annual event that usually takes place right after Halloween.  So, I am feeling a little rushed at the moment.

However, I did have time to choose the next Poet of the Week.  Robert Hass.  I chose him simply because I love the following poem from his collection Field Guide:

Basho:  A Departure

by:  Robert Hass

     Summer is over and
we part, like eyelids,
     like clams opening.

First, I love haiku.  Second, I love the longing and loss in these three really short lines.  It's a poem that really captures autumn in all its letting-go-ness.  October and November are letting-go months.  Summer lets go.  Leaves let go.  Light lets go.  It's a season of parting.

I am not going to get all morose on you tonight.  I did that in yesterday's post.  In fact, in the days leading up to the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I have decided to give thanks for something in every post.  This task may sound easy, but I am a perpetual pessimist.  Some people see the glass as half-full, and some see it as half-empty.  I see the glass as a petri dish of virulent bacteria.

So, setting aside my normal tendencies, today I give thanks for . . . my daughter's dance performance.  It's something to which I look forward every year.  The music is good, and I get to see my daughter doing something she loves.  Plus, for an hour or so, I don't worry about bills to pay or papers to grade.  It's a great escape.

That wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be.

It is also time for my weekly Ives dip.  There's only one question really pressing on my mind this evening:

Will I be able to afford to get the brakes on my car fixed soon?

And the answer:

Then they were silent.  They walked up a stretch of the block, across the way from the projects, a nerve-racking experience, even with a guard in a booth, because people were always getting held up, sometimes stabbed on that street.  They had reached Broadway when Robert added:  "You know, sometimes I think about what it would be like to be dead.  All I know is that He will be waiting.  It scared me for a long time, but you know what, Pop?  It doesn't anymore."

I suppose that response could mean that I don't really have to worry.  Robert isn't afraid of death anymore because he knows that God is going to be there for him.  Maybe I should stop fretting about my brakes because God is already working on a solution.

Saint Marty just has to trust.  Have faith.  Give thanks.

Off the Top of My Head

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