Monday (A Quiet Office in the Morning) Musings

This weekend was beautiful. The temperature was about 80 degrees and the sun was out in full force. We had a nice weekend with lots of social engagements with friends. I think the highlight was Saturday night when we had a true “call of the wild” moment in our friends backyard. We took Kweli over to run around in their fenced in backyard while we fired up the grill. About 9:30, I see Kwe bolt from one corner of the yard to other. I didn’t think much of it at first because he can’t really see anything and we all know he’s a touch neurotic. However, when my eyes caught up with what he had seen, I realized that it wasn’t a shadow or a tree branch. It was a oppossum. Kweli managed to grab it by the neck and drag it out to the middle of the yard before we could call him off. I figured the animal was dead. To be on the safe side, we took the dogs inside and watched the seemingly dead corpse from the dining room window. About 5 minutes later, it lifts its head, slowly as if coming out of a deep sleep, stood up, shook itself, and took off under the fence.

I’ve never see a opossum play dead. The few encounters I’ve had with them they’ve always been on the move, so I was impressed with this show of survival.
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In Knowledge of Young Boys

i knew you before you had a mother,
when you were newtlike, swimming,
a horrible brain in water.
i knew you when your connections
belonged only to yourself,
when you had no history
to hook on to,
barnacle,
when you had no sustenance of metal
when you had no boat to travel
when you stayed in the same
place, treading the question;
i knew you when you were all
eyes and a cocktail,
blank as the sky of a mind,
a root, neither ground nor placental;
not yet
red with the cut nor astonished
by pain, one terrible eye
open in the center of your head
to night, turning, and the stars
blinked like a cat. we swam
in the last trickle of champagne
before we knew breastmilk—we
shared the night of the closet,
the parasitic
closing on our thumbprint,
we were smudged in a yellow book.

son, we were oak without
mouth, uncut, we were
brave before memory.

Toi Derricotte

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley
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I read The Year of Magical Thinking last year and it broke my heart:

When it was announced in the winter of 2005 that “Magical Thinking” — the very model of an internal piece of emotional art — was going to be adapted for the stage, a lot of people thought that was a very bad idea, and Ms. Didion was one of them.

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