Last week, in a mail to I, I wrote: “I’ve spent too much money replacing lost or broken things this year.” Since I sent that, I’ve thought about the sentence sans ‘money’. At the time, I was writing about my lost internet modem, but I could have been speaking about everything else. I’ve lost friends, lost opportunities, lost time. I used to sing Time Is On My Side with confidence after watching Fallen as kid. Not anymore. Now I tell myself time’s a goon and it’s coming for me. These days, someone is always reminding me that I’m not growing any younger. (Today it was WordPress telling me it’s been four years since I registered on the site.) Life would be bleak if everything was logged in the loss column. I’ve gained a lot too—friends, opportunities, almost as much as I’ve lost. But I’m not sure gaining time is what I’m aiming for anymore. I really just want to ‘jump off the calendar’. So, here’s Jim Harrison:
Back in the blue chair in front of the green studio
another year has passed, or so they say, but calendars lie.
They’re a kind of cosmic business machine like
their cousin clocks but break down at inoppormne times.
Fifty years ago I learned to jump off the calendar
but I kept getting drawn back on for reasons
of greed and my imperishable stupidity.
Of late I’ve escaped those fatal squares
with their razor-sharp numbers for longer and longer.
I had to become the moving water I already am,
falling back into the human shape in order
not to frighten my children, grandchildren, dogs and friends.
Our old cat doesn’t care. He laps the water where my face used to be.
Featured Image: Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, via About.com