Thursday, August 09, 2007
we've decided to make Walden Pond our go to place, it being convenient for said purpose. purchased a season ticket, even (good at all national parks. no reason really to consider it sanctified but the place is. sunday we decided to eat dinner there. well, the place was packed. in fact, it only just reopened when we arrived at 5:30: attendance at Walden's plush wateriness is strictly limited. so the only perch we could find was by the road to the boat ramp. a dusty place indeed. I took a dip and while doing so 2 pairs of mallards paddled close by. they moved purposefully toward I don't know what. not much after, they moved purposefully away. the sense of this idyllic postcard held fiercely in place (against the onslaught of blighty progress) is strong. but the sun, oh, it sinks into the trees to the west in spacious loveliness. I cannot tell you how uplifting it used to be to cycle by on my way home from work years ago. just that glimpse as I raced to the intersection with rt 2. yesterday we just swam. I don't really swim, to be honest. I never cottoned to the immediate collection of water in my ear. to be further honest, I am unnerved by the extent of nothingness below me when I go into deep water. fathomless death or some such. I think of Titanic and Perfect Storm and Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (I just refound that song, by Gordon Lightfoot. I'd assumed it was about some, say, 19th century disaster but in fact Lightfoot's song was tantamount to a news report, came out within a year of the sinking of the freighter on Lake Superior). so I don't swim so well. I took a movie recently of a swarm of swimmers plying their effort in a circumnavigation. nothing that Thoreau imagined, I wot. yesterday the water was like bathwater. mallards, 3 pair, were a mite annoyed at our appearance in their bailiwick. it is a poetry, you see, to see a place as a place, as a center, as something definitive. we live in a new place, as I have reported. it has a porch. the porch is all the world. when we first saw the porch, which looks onto the town green and the unavoidable Unitarian church, it was festooned with mock orange blossoms and a reliable sun-and-verdure motet. I'm not faking the poetry. we sit on the garden bench that I bought long ago, drink beer, and tune in to the traffic, the wrens and house sparrows in the mock orange and everywhere else, the failing sunlight, and gulping torrent of frog voices, etc: ferlies and marvels. is poetry a place? isn't Thoreau writing that poetry, as he rambles and preens about his wild land of theories? isn't Dickenson, in the flickering garden choices of her own written word? it is a blasting simplicity, and yet... I mean, even Faulkner, who could be a circus show, he does include that position of place within the structure of poetic response. yes, it all gets hokey, with Don Henley presiding over some vision of sanctified, and one wants to feel better than the eager touring parties who come merely to splash, yet that all goes beyond the point. the point is a drop of water. poetry, in that drop.