I Think of the Sun

Sometimes it feels as if I am at work on a giant mural, and that I am rushing from place to place across a rickety scaffold to paint this or that scene, in the brave hope that someday, somehow, the entire picture will make sense.

While much remains to be done, the approach seems to be working. In this strange painting, the past and present have become friends. As such, they are learning to rely on each other, and to give each other encouragement and insight when and where they are needed. In this way, a poem becomes more than a poem, and an isolated memory burns like a candle in what was once a dark and lonely room.

How strange it is, and how glorious, that a tiny event can be retrieved from the mind and examined, and that it can shed light on the moment as well. How inspiring it is to watch a handful of words blossom on the page, despite one�s best efforts to render them important, useful, or grand.

I think of hands � the hands of my mother and father, and of their parents and grandparents. I think of wooden handles worn smooth by labor and care. I think of old stoves and wheels and dented pots and pans. I think of wash tubs, flat irons, and running boards. I think of lonesome country roads.

I think of people striving, suffering, lifting up their heads.

I think of the sun, and the way it warms old gravestones.

I am a man, and that is all I am. I never saw it coming, but now that it is here, now that I am here, I find it is a rare and common thing indeed. The boy I was, I also am. The dreams I had, I still do dream. I place them here, upon my table, and savor them, one by one.

April 25, 2006

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