Sunday, May 03, 2009

I'd hate to do this for the rest of my life...

When I was a kid in school, I'd get blue on Sundays. The start of the Monday routine would slide into the day and taint it a bit. Too often I'd put off the paper due Monday morning and find my self writing against the clock. I was 16 or 17 and the big world was just outside my door as I hunkered down over the old smith corona and tapped out paper after paper. No word-processors back then, just inked ribbons and white out and a great English teacher who enforced a 3 errors and you flunk rule.

I clearly remember thinking:"I'd hate to do this for the rest of my life."

And, here I've gone and done it. Not that I hate it. I love it really, but writing (and the nagging sense of endless deadlines can wear you out.)

Now the line between Sunday & Monday is blurry. Work is 7 days a week and unless I wrestle with myself I think of little else.

Today (a Sunday) I forced my mind away from all of the writing deadlines that loom and what did I do? Write of course.

Kyle, Spring 2009, Which Island is this?

I wrote my son Kyle, part of an ongoing discussion on thinking and growing. He's in Greece, on an Island, thinking... and growing. 8-) I'm grateful for the chance to write to him, it helps me get the real stuff down on the digital paper.

An now, with midnight rolling up, I remember the fleeting thought about spending my life on the keyboard and recall Gary Snyder's poem Hay for the Horses:

Hay for the Horses
He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous Mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the
sweaty shirt and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
---The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds---
"I'm sixty-eight" he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would hate to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done."

From Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder, published by North Point Press. Copyright © 1958,
1959, 1965 Gary Snyder. Online Source