Monday, May 11, 2020

Meditation 55

11 May 2020

To grieve, to air one’s grievances, to grieve a layoff. To mourn, to feel distress. To be aggrieved. Take the word’s quickening pulse. I asked my students how to find anger in someone’s face; behind a mask, we might never be angry. The president doesn't wear a mask; he’s all expression without cause, needing to be televised. I took down yesterday’s meditation as too personal to another, even if the personal can’t be contained in parking lot conversations or mutterings in grocery stores. Lines crossed, as if roads were all intersection. The prisoner always manages to escape but is thrust back in the village. There, he meets the woman he talked to the day before in London. A band of kazoos marches around the town center, as the show breaks for commercial. We’re living in history, and history self-isolates, eating from cupboards, lining up when the food bank comes to the otherwise empty mall. The poetry of witness is easier to justify at second-hand. If a reporter tells a story, I follow without ethical inhibition. If she tells me her sorrows in our parking lot beside the green dumpster, I return my words to draft. Don't be grief’s first taker, but take your place in line, six feet from the last source. If her story intersected yours, then tell yours, again. Echoes are the private rendered public. Take down what you had taken down. It’s the verb that tells the story you’d otherwise take up. Directions were important to Hart Crane, walking back and forth upon the earth, launched from the bridge of a dentist’s chair. A white woman in Silicon Valley crossed a small bridge in her SUV to confront a black teen babysitter. The mother and her babysitter grieved together. It was not the first time. A young black man walked through a house under construction before a father and son shot him in cold blood. My mother used to do that, dreaming of a house’s elusive mothering. She began to talk, late in life, about early trauma, but there was no talking back, to her or her childhood. Anger married grief, kept its vows. The compass needle comes to a point. The point is sharp, precise, locked within a marked circle. I carry her memories, breathe them out in public places. Contact tracing won’t be easy.

No comments: