Monday, January 01, 2007

When New Time Folds Up

This post's title courtesy of a book of poems by that name by Kathleen Fraser. I had the privilege of meeting the poet once, when I was in my twenties and living in Oregon. She had come to where I was working and had given a reading, and I remember getting slightly lost, but finally finding, the house-on-a-hill-in-the-rain where she was staying, with a sister or cousin, I think. All by way of saying that, at the time, I found the title of the collection abstract. My mind kept seeing Brancusi's Bird in Flight, but I could not imagine, outside of that image conjuring itself, what it meant. I was so young.

Now, a few minutes before the New Year officially comes into being, here I am: I have pondered that phrase since at least March Nineteenth, when I started a post of ths same title and hung it up out of fatigue. When new time folds up: I have deliberately not looked at the poems, which I still have, autographed and slightly brittled. How absurdly unabstract, I now think in my forties. New time, once so infinite, once so renewable, moves faster now; the years fold in upon themselves, curiously more moebic (as in moebius strip) than the linearity of the journey stretched before one. Coincidentally, at The Cassandra Pages , Cassandra writes that blogging seems a youthful mode of activity, the feeling of all possibilities open; time, as she puts it, as her younger self experienced it: that she used to sew, knit, cook, etc., and, as she writes, "when I turned forty I decided time was up, that I'd better concentrate on something." Exactly, O Prophetess. (Hmmm... my neighbors are cheering early. The ball is dropping.)

Perhaps we do simply grow more tired, need longer to feel still, to create. Happy New Year, All. New Year's Day is really the day I savor: time has no folds, dinner cooks all day, a warm house with guests begins the year. A day out of time to rest easy in as I, as we, all plunge ahead. I, too, have a book coming out (much more technical than Cassandra's, to be sure) that will mark, I hope, some kind of turning point, whereafter I shall not have to write that my legs are tired, my chest tight, my spirit discouraged, and ambition unfulfilled, as I feared I would keep chanting if I kept writing this blog last year.

How do we do the dishes, do our jobs, read good books, have time to write ? I leave you tonight in the new year, my dishes undone, the fruit for tomorrow's fruitcake not yet soaking in its bath of Cointreau; the cats are asleep, the revelers are still cheering; time yet to fill the dishwasher, chop the fruit, and begin again.

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