Thursday, April 4, 2019

Holm & Klages Rock the Boat--& the World

Here's a little colored-pencil on a placemat picture.
A self portrait on a foundation of House-In-Order.

I've recently read many brilliant words (& a bunch of so-so words) from a variety of authors, courtesy of the fact that I am reading a short story, an essay, & a poem every day after I do my morning pages. (Part of the Bradbury Challenge.) Okay, so sometimes I cheat on the essays & read part of a nonfiction book. I did that with Walden, by my beloved Henry David Thoreau, breaking it into bite-sized chunks. & I always read more than one poem a day...

I have quotes from two sources to share today.

First from Bill Holm, from the book Coming Home Crazy: an Alphabet of China Essays. Bill Holm was a good friend of my good friend, John Calvin Rezmerski, aka Rez. (R.I.P.) Rez may even have given me this copy of the book. Here is the quote that spoke to me this morning: "Beware the single idea. There is a loaded gun in it, anywhere on earth, pointed directly at your head." In context, he was talking about the translation of a collection of British literature, slashed & burned & reinterpreted & annotated to support the political stance of a particular time in China. But anything will do, if it is the sole guiding force that attempts to force all there is into its own image.

The second is from another good friend, Ellen Klages, from the title story of her collection Portable Childhoods. I reread the book a few months ago & was enchanted anew. But one paragraph stopped me in my tracks, a mother thinking of her beloved child & also of the child she used to be & of the never ending dance of parenting, of life. "Baggage left unattended will be confiscated. Oh, if only that were true."

Wow. I say again, Wow. It isn't automatically confiscated & checked for bombs or dangerous drugs. No, we get the chance, over & over, to see the baggage we've been carrying around, intentionally or not, & unpack it & sort through it &--if we're wise & strong--to actually discard parts of it. Then maybe we can have room for things that actually enhance our lives & the lives of those we love.

Blog alternative:
327. Look through your "baggage" & see if there's something you can get rid of. Perhaps the single idea?