Friday, February 13, 2015


All the foundations of the World are out of course. If asked to watch a basketball passed from player to player, you're likely to miss the man in the gorilla suit. Paul ValĂ©ry: “to see is to forget the name of what one sees.” Practice tonglen, a friend says; don't stick a name on your enemy, breathe his pain in. I cough as if I'd inhaled a tablespoon of Saigon cinnamon. My students had a hard time with the no-name tree outside our window (the one only I could see). To abstract the tree from its school bus yellow is to lose it. One student said she always gives leaves high fives. Another touches the serrated wall each time back to the kitchen. Don't look in your heart and write; see the stain on the wall and start there. Necessity without attachment, a flock of Brazilian cardinals skittering on the lanai.

--12 February 2015

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