Thursday, July 16

The Yellow Light Shining

I sometimes find myself wondering, What if I had not married? What if I had no Critter? My mind then turns to lines from one of Linda Gregg's poems, "Staying After":
Women have houses now, and children.
I live alone in a kind of luxury.
I wake when I feel like it,
read what Rilke wrote to Tsvetaeva.
How I sometimes long for that luxury: a large quiet space for my thoughts, for language, for poetry. While fetching a washcloth for the Critter's face one morning, I marveled at how busy I once thought I was. These days, I am lucky to jot a line or two in my journal, lucky to get to bed before midnight. And far too often my mind is like a puddle and my energy like dead leaves scattered and turning to mud in the puddle. Writes Gregg,
... And even now
I love the yellow light shining
down on the dirty brick wall.
Yes! That's what I want: not to look at the world as though through a muddy puddle, but rather to see the yellow light shining!

But. When I am tempted to wish that my life were otherwise, it is because I have forgotten who I really am. The truth is that in the long years before I met my love, I spent far too many hours wallowing in the muddy puddle of depressed self-pity. And the truth is that I once thought I was busy because I really was too, too busy at a job I did not much like. And the truth is that with or without a large, quiet space for my thoughts &etc., I've actually written my best poetry since shortly after I became pregnant. The yellow light is in fact shining all around me: on the sweaty, napping baby; on the piles of dirty laundry; on the unmade bed.

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