Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Orleans 24.9.1990: Elephant Ears and Rotting Sheds

I’m sitting outside in the afternoon sun, a clump of elephant ears beside me, a congeries of exceedingly tall canna lilies at a little distance, next to a white althea we transplanted a year ago, and which now thrives and blossoms. All are in soil we worked up and added manure and compost to. I have a rocker from the house and am beneath the remnants of a shed we’ve begun to tear down. There are only rotting rafters above my head, and the afternoon sun is at its most intense. Steve has perched an umbrella on one rafter, but this parasol only barely keeps the sun off.

I’m reading Richard Rorty’s Consequences of Pragmatism, and thinking many thoughts. These thoughts aren’t necessarily sparked by the book. I’m thinking of some of the prevailing metaphors of my life now—of depths, subterranean currents, the choir of my dream last night, sunbursts of color. This feels like a time in which something creative and new is on the horizon, about to break through.

Yet I write this over and over, and nothing comes. Am I deluding myself, whistling (as we all do, all the time) in the face of death?

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