Monday, March 11, 2013


One beautiful Saturday, 
seen mostly through the open windows of my apartment.
I made soup, read blogs, did hand laundry, and completed a journal entry for 'Sleep Speak', a work in progress.

Because a few friends have recently lost animal companions, because every loss like that reminds me of my own lost ones,
I searched for a poem by Wislaw Szymborska I'd read earlier this year, and found part of it at a N.Y. Times link. 
It's her eulogy for a friend who died, told from the cat's point of view.  “Cat in an Empty Apartment” as translated by Dr. Cavanagh and Mr. Baranczak, opens with these lines:

Die — You can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.
Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.
Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
  Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

I've been sneaking up on the springing-forward thing by moving one clock forward fifteen minutes a day starting Thursday.
I left my digital on the right time for reference, but didn't really need it.  Side effect?  Yes, I was early for a couple of days-
a benefit, and slightly off center-not unusual or fatal.

Some of you may know I share in a wide and varied yoga community, with practices that range from physical postures, through Sanskrit and Hindu chant, to Buddhist Meditation.
I travelled downtown to the Broome Street Temple.
Chants, prayers, food and flower garlands
adorned the celebration,
where I Stayed till
Walked home along the newly-sprouted clubland and boutique blocks on Bowery from Delancy past Houston Streets, weaving swiftly through mini-skirted, precariously high-heeled, clueless honeys, and their male counterparts flooding the sidewalk,  spilling out into the street, where black SUVs, and stretch limos blatantly double-parked, blocking even the bus stops.
Traffic was immovable.  Horns honked angrily.
Three girls emerging from a cab--
one, looking wildly at a map on her I Phone, says to the others
"I don't KNOW, but we're in New Yawk,
I know that!"
Two guys staggering toward a club--
guy one says "She's a bone-shrinker."  Guy two replies
"She'll end MY night."
I caught a bus at 8th Street for the last stretch,
arriving home at 3AM to welcome silence.
Sunday was stress less:
slept in, listened to the rebroadcast of 'Prairie Home Companion' at NPR, answered emails, took a stroll around the park, did some blog reading, and had several naps, ending with
 the final turn of both clocks.
Monday Morning


grace Forrest~Maestas said...

in keeping with the other conversation, this was/is wonderful. how while i read and looked here, and for some time after, and still, really, i am
transported to your world.
i WAS in New York once. but then
it was a blur. now, it is clear.
i can hear it through you.
and feel the relief too of Sunday.

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

the comment appears!!!!
giving me impetus to make MORE!!!
oh Wheeeee!

Nancy said...

It's amazing to me how full your days are. It makes me wonder what my days would look like in type!

Mo Crow said...

ah your post =reminded of a poem by Wislawa hat William Kentridge quoted in one of his amazing paitings at a show a few years back
Wislawa Szymborska
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

My apologies to chance for calling it necessity.
My apologies to necessity if I'm mistaken, after all.
Please, don't be angry, happiness, that I take you as my due.
May my dead be patient with the way my memories fade.
My apologies to time for all the world I overlook each second.
My apologies to past loves for thinking that the latest is the first.
Forgive me, distant wars, for bringing flowers home.
Forgive me, open wounds, for pricking my finger.
I apologize for my record of minuets to those who cry from the depths.
I apologize to those who wait in railway stations for being asleep today at five a.m.
Pardon me, hounded hope, for laughing from time to time.
Pardon me, deserts, that I don't rush to you bearing a spoonful of water.
And you, falcon, unchanging year after year, always in the same cage,
your gaze always fixed on the same point in space,
forgive me, even if it turns out you were stuffed.
My apologies to the felled tree for the table's four legs.
My apologies to great questions for small answers.
Truth, please don't pay me much attention.
Dignity, please be magnanimous.
Bear with me, O mystery of existence, as I pluck the occasional thread from your train.
Soul, don't take offense that I've only got you now and then.
My apologies to everything that I can't be everywhere at once.
My apologies to everyone that I can't be each woman and each man.
I know I won't be justified as long as I live,
since I myself stand in my own way.
Don't bear me ill will, speech, that I borrow weighty words,
then labor heavily so that they may seem light.
From Poems New and Collected 1957-1997, written by Wislawa Szymborska and translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. Copyright © 1997

Mo Crow said...

please excuse the typos in that first line!