Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20: Continuous Loop, M. C,. Escher, Terry Godbey, "The One With Violets in Her Lap"

Time is the continuous loop, the snakeskin with scales endlessly overlapping without beginning or end, or time is an ascending spiral if you will, like a child's toy Slinky.  Of course we have no idea which arc on the loop is our time, let alone where the loop itself is, so to speak, or down whose loft flight of stairs the Slinky so uncannily walks.

Dillard describes time as this M. C. Escher image, an eternal loop, rising and falling at the same time.  A snake eating itself.  A hand drawing itself.  A Slinky climbing and descending at the same time.  A blogger blogging about a blogger blogging.  A mother who's a daughter who's a mother.  A fluid thing, advancing and retreating at the same time.

I apologize for my absence last night.  I attended a basketball game to hear my daughter play in the pep band, and then I beguiled the rest of the evening preparing lesson plans and handouts.  I got done around midnight and had no energy for even the simplest of posts.  (If you're keeping track, this is a paragraph about a blogger blogging about a blogger blogging.)

Tonight, I am pretty spent, as well.  I worked all day, taught all afternoon and evening.  My brain is simply an uncoiling spring.  A Slinky, if you will, both ascending and descending toward exhaustion.  I am trying to string together coherent thoughts, but my mind keeps disappearing down rabbit holes of thought about baked ham and stoning and artichokes and steroids.  Sing with me:
It’s Slinky; it’s Slinky.
For fun it’s a wonderful toy.
What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs
And makes a slinkety sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing!
Everyone knows it’s Slinky.
It’s Slinky; it’s Slinky.
For fun it’s a wonderful toy.
It’s fun for a girl and a boy.
You get my point.  Or you don't.  Terry Godbey would get it.  She understands the mercurial state of time, both solid and liquid, present and past, daughter and mother.
Saint Marty is both awake and asleep and awake now.

The One with Violets in Her Lap

by:  Terry Godbey

     after a Sappho fragment

The one with violets in her lap
is my mother at six,
staring at her many braided selves
in the bay window.
No one notices
her new blooms
so one by one she upends
the pink and purple Africans
on which her mother lavishes
attention.  Their delicate stems crush
in an instant; potting mix soils
the easy chair, collects in the lacy
trim of her anklets.

Her mother, who's run
next door for a cup of sugar,
will be back any minute,
furious.  The girl watches
and waits, rehearses
piano scales of grief,
practices for more disappointment.
Soon enough she'll get her turn
to be an imperfect mother,
that tired, old refrain
passed down
along with thick ankles,
unruly hair, and inability
to sing on key.

This is a caption about not having a caption

No comments:

Post a Comment