When in doubt, thrown in a sunset shot
Oh, lord, am I the only one who noticed Henry Paulson's left hand shaking as he was being fruitlessly grilled by George Stephanopolos? That crooked little finger, the hoarse voice, the slight shake (ominously, on the left side of his body) -- it's foreboding. My Friday giddiness has worn off along with the burnishing pleasures of the Verget du Sud, and today, vestigial remains of my Ohio Protestant childhood sweating out of my pores, I'm, like, PRAYING.
And what, exactly, WILL happen? Nobody -- Paulson, white coiffed Chris Dodd, scarily blue-eyed John Boehner -- nobody seems to know what, exactly, was said in that meeting where "all the oxygen left the room," as Dodd keeps saying. All the oxygen left the room? What does this mean?
Meanwhile, George W. Bush, who has essentially taken Rome down in the worst presidency of my lifetime, looks like a drowned rat, a whipped dog, in his brief pathetic appearances, limply whimpering, "it's gonna work." My interpretation of W's affect is: deeply depressed. Exhausted. Joi de vivre kaput. Hooverish, as others have said. Will he make it to Jan. 21 when he'll get to clear brush once again?
I take a long deep breath. Still oxygen in this room, at least for the time being. What could I live without? Is it time to buy a gun and a generator? What will happen to the birds? Will there still be poetry?
Perhaps elegy, cried out from the fetid ruins of Galveston, from the smoky remains of the Marriott in Islamabad, from the graves of the 62 U.S. military who have committed suicide so far this year.
I breathe again, grateful in the moment for whatever grace this Sunday morning affords: finding an old poem in a dusty folder, sipping a cup of strong English breakfast tea, a hot shower and a clean black teeshirt that says "art" in 40 languages.
Here's the poem I found, at least 15 years old:
This is a difficult season, dense
with hue. Is it true we have just
so many heartbeats? Profligate old
bootmaker, my heart pumps on,
ragged with hope and regret,
while the earth tries to settle,
all that rot a smile toward spring
all that sweet cessation and giving up.
The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago