Waiting Piles

Waiting Piles

4 June 2013
10:56 pm

T. —

So many things in my life are sitting in piles waiting for me. To pick them up. To take care of them. To do something. Too many lists, too many goals, too many thoughts and hopes and projections. The small things get missed. Some of the big things get missed too. I’m glad this day is over for both of us.

I’m sorry to hear about your morning. These questions are not easily answered. And it doesn’t help when that speculation/doubt comes externally. I just want to say to so many people, Leave it alone. It’s not your life.

I found out today that I didn’t get a promotion I had applied for. This is for the tutoring job I do. As Andrew pointed out, it’s not even a job I really enjoy. I had hoped the promotion might change that. But the part that felt worse was standing in the kitchen, asking, “What do I even do? What the hell am I doing?” Sometimes it’s so clear. Sometimes I have no clue at all.


I thought maybe we could both use some reminding:

Saint Francis and the Sow
Galway Kinnell

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.


Sometimes, I think too many people ask too much of us, and we are only too glad to give it to them. Sometimes, I think we forget that boundaries are important, that we are important, that our lives are our own. Sometimes, I think it is necessary t0 reteach the other side of happiness.


There Are Things I Tell to No One
Galway Kinnell


There are things I tell to no one.
Those close to me might think
I was sad, and try to comfort me, or become sad themselves.
At such times I go off alone, in silence, as if listening for God.


I say “God”; I believe,
rather, in a music of grace
that we hear, sometimes, playing to us
from the other side of happiness.
When we hear it, when it flows
through our bodies, it lets us live
these days lighted by their vanity
worshipping — as the other animals do,
who live and die in the spirit
of the end — that backward-spreading
brightness. And it speaks in notes struck
or caressed or blown or plucked
off our own bodies: remember
existence already remembers
the flush upon it you will have been,
you who have reached out ahead
and taken up some of the black dust
we become, souvenir
which glitters already in the bones of your hand.


In this spirit
and from this spirit, I have learned to speak
of these things, which once I brooded on in silence,
these wishes to live
and to die
in gratefulness, if in no other virtue.

For when the music sounds,
sometimes, late at night, its faint
clear breath blowing
through the thinning walls of darkness,
I do not feel sad, I do not miss the future or need to be comforted.

Yes, I want to live forever.
I am like everyone. But when I hear
that breath coming through the walls,
grace-notes blown
out of the wormed-out bones,
music that their memory of blood
plucks from the straitened arteries,
that the hard cock and soaked cunt
caressed from each other
in the holy days of their vanity,
that the two hearts drummed
out of their ribs together,
the hearts that know everything (and even
the little knowledge they can leave
stays, to be the light of this house),

then it is not so difficult
to go out, to turn and face
the spaces which gather into one sound, I know now, the singing
of mortal lives, waves of spent existence
which flow toward, and toward, and on which we flow
and grow drowsy and become fearless again.


The music of my own soul is singing me to sleep; I am riding the breath to grow drowsy and become fearless again.

Goodnight… tomorrow, let’s start again.



One thought on “Reteach

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