Today as I walked around watering things in the shade, transplanting white impatiens from a broken pot into broken ground, and just gazing at the beauty of summer coming in, I thought, "I used to need down time, and now I live in down time. I changed my life!" True, the follow-up thought--as artists are constantly wracked by self-doubt-- was, "Maybe I actually need a little up time." But, no. I let that go.
Outside, I was reading poetry, Echo, by Christina Lovin, toward a review; re-reading The Language Archive, a play by Julia Cho, toward a fall production; and writing, always writing. Some of it was note-taking. For instance, I noted from a poem in The New Yorker, "Kale," by Jordan Davis, the exact gardening information needed by my friend Kristi in Michigan: "If you cut a butterfly bush / down to nothing, it grows back / the next year twice as high." (I must remember to send that to her, or maybe she'll read it in this blog!) I love learning stuff from poems.
Yes, I love the way I live now. And it's also a Random Coinciday, as the latest book review up at EIL, by Seana Graham, is about The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope. That's one I saw first in its film version, as a fabulous mini-series. I hope I get to read it some day, perhaps in some down time. Watching the series, I felt the terrible pertinence to our times noted by Graham in her book review. Sigh.... It's as if we're Trapped in the Mirror, the title of this photo by Bourret!
And I love this bench, titled The Seat of the Soul. All those circles.
I sit on a bench-like glider, once the shade finds it, to do my outdoor back yard reading. No circles, just weathered slats and rusted screws, but it still glides...
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.