Friday, December 05, 2014

"Staples and Scraps of Paper"

Ms. Wood Duck is patiently awaiting cracked corn.
In this best of all possible worlds, she will get some soon!

                                     [first unnumbered section, December]

You've seen those telephone poles upon which hundreds of notices have been posted and then torn away: the lost, the found, the evenings' events, the faces of those who disappeared and then whose pictures vanished, too, leaving staples and scraps of paper. All of us think our lives unique, those pages that have been stapled up to tell the world of us, but this morning, all along the street, the old poles stand warming themselves, some leaning a little, holding up one side to the sun, wrapped in our tattered life stories, every one alike, and coated with a frost of staples.

Ted Kooser

The Wheeling Year: a Poet's Field Book, 
University of Nebraska Press, 2014, page 77.

This is a lovely book--a true treasure. It would make a swell Christmas Gift. It speaks from the heartland of American life directly to my heart. Once again, I want to find a quiet place with one of those lined notebooks (with the mottled black-and-white stiff cardboard covers) and a Pilot Pen in my right hand, And then really think about ordinary things, memories, dreams, , ,and write it down.  

A few night's ago I put a picture of my mother's whole family in 1934 on Facebook, and my cousins noticed things. My grandfather, for instance, never looks at the camera when being photographed; and in the picture, all the women's dresses are very nearly the same length, Cousins went on from there to talk about my Uncle Karl, and how he held himself. Most of these are my western cousins, whose families stayed in Arizona, while my parents came east and my father was very proud of working for General Electric, which corporation now seems to be getting a reputation as an evil non-taxpaying environmental disaster. But no matter, that is the life I've lived. And it is wonderful to think about the now-all-gone family I might have known if my parents had stayed in Arizona.

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