Sunday, April 1, 2012


New York is good, but home is amazing.  I woke up on a mattress on a floor this morning in a part of Brooklyn whose name I cannot remember.  I had been at birthday party in another part of Brooklyn whose name I cannot remember, and before that I was in Manhattan, on the lower East side, and the blossoming pear trees looked amazing for a moment as their petals fell through the mist.  Earlier in the day I was reading haiku in an apartment in still another part of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and the pear blossoms seemed perfect in the cold.

But there are no pear blossoms on the Williamsburg bridge.  Not unless you carry them across yourself.  Which I am sure someone has done before.  I like to think about that someone, and to whom they are taking those blossoms.  And why.  Why are you taking those blossoms across the bridge and where are you going?  There are a lot of people in New York city, but there is only steel and sky in this picture.  Steel and sky and tremendous shadows.  To cross a pink and blue bridge on foot is amazing, but it is not a garden.  To go out of town to spend time with good company and then to go home again is sweet.  I am always happy to see my garden after a spell away from it.  Sometimes I return with a new set of fond memories, and sometimes I don't.  This time I did.  

This life of writing makes my path cross the paths of a lot of great people.  Naturally, there are great people in every field—no, I take that back—there are some professions that are bound to attract sordid types, but poetry is generally not one of them.  This is something worth remembering.  I found my garden greener and taller when I came home.  Four days can seem like a lot more than four days for a busy human, but plants I think have no sense of time.  They only grow and die back in response to the weather and the season.  I did a lot of responding to the weather in New York.  When it rained, I moved under the awning.  When I got cold, I pulled my hood over my head and wondered about my chives.  A couple purple flower buds formed while I was away.

The alfalfa shot up a lot, too, while I was away.  When you are away, your life is in two places.  Your life is wherever you are and the home where you are not.  We could naturally extend this idea and say that our lives are in all the places where the people we love and who love us think about us.  My life, then, is here by this alfalfa, but also in Brooklyn and Chicago, California and New Mexico.  The logical conclusion is that all of us are in a lot of places.  This, perhaps, is why home is so important and such a comfort to return to.  One or two Johnny Jump-Ups also started flowering while I was away. 

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