In Lowland, the Jhumpa Lahiri book I just finished, Gauri seems to have been born with a sixth sense about the movement of time, an awareness of how time moves into the future and into the past. And preparing for tonight’s poetry reading, I have gone back through most of my poems from the past year and a half, and I am realizing how much my own writing deals with my relationship to time, to living in the moment and letting time sort of slip around me. As I think about Gauri and her incredible philosophical grasp of time, of Stephen Hawking and his scientific understanding of time, I realize we need Jhumpa Lahiri to complete the triangle–you need the emotional perspective, too, to study the psychological and spiritual implications of time. Philosopher, scientist, artist. All three.
1. Hummingbird is back in the hollow. Last night while we were finishing up that tuna noodle casserole, she came and closely inspected the dining room window, maybe trying to get to Ellis’ red shirt. “Maybe she’ll bring the rain,” I said. As we were going to the car a little later, it was drizzling. “Thank you, Hummingbird!” yelled Ellis.
2. This one probably ought to be a secret, but groundhogs. I love the way they stand up on their hind legs with their hands over their hearts, looking around at the landscape, like farmers. Only that’s why this needs to be a secret. Because farmers.
3. Singing hymns. After the reading tonight, Freiman Stoltzfus said that if there were so many Mennonites in the gallery at once, we might as well sing some hymns together. So satisfying.
4. Channeling Mary Poppins. I read a poem this evening about remembering how to fly. As I was leaving, someone pointed out that I was carrying a carpet bag and a duck-headed umbrella. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
5. Sleep. I am only an occasional insomniac, but since the birth of children, I have become an incredibly light sleeper, so a nine-hour night like last night is a rare pleasure.
May we walk in Beauty!