rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Muddle of Distracted Thoughts

When I'm anxious about something, I compulsively tidy up. It's something that doesn't demand much concentration. Tonight I removed some newspapers that had accumulated. I don't know why I keep them. I'll see an article that looks interesting, but which I haven't the time to read, and even though I know from experience that I'll probably never get around to it, I set it aside for later. The stack invariably grows.

As I peeled away at the stack blocking the stacks of books (most of which are probably destined to remain unread as well) blocking the long-overflowed bookcase itself, I glanced briefly at a few of the papers. Seeing the headlines of a year or more of events, I was struck by how transient it all is. All these things that were of sufficient importance to be published, and which caught my attention at the time, now are superceded by their consequences, or have turned out to have no lasting significance. At the moment, I don't feel like one of those people who can gather public history and hold it in their consciousness. Whatever impact these events have on reality -- undeniably a great deal, in many cases -- they inevitably slip from my mind.

I must acknowledge that the things I find most important are the daily occurrences of my own life and of the immediate world that I can see and touch. To some extent I can keep track of the course of those events which move the world, but I don't care for them. What I care for is the ordinary and everyday, and for the rare and beautiful. All the moving and shaking fails to move or shake me until it is distilled by some art capable of making it as real to me as the woods and flowers and bird songs I encounter each day. When the actions of the powerful or the mass have become the subject of fiction or poetry or painting, then they take on real meaning for me. Until then, despite the fact that their consequences effect me every day, they are like these dusty and yellowing piles of newsprint all destined for the recycler. I might choose to keep them around for a while, but there will come a moment when I will be eager to discard them. Behind them, I might find something such as this:


by William Carlos Williams

Flowers through the window
lavender and yellow

changed by white curtains--
Smell of cleanliness--

Sunshine of late afternoon--
On the glass tray

a glass pitcher, the tumbler
turned down, by which

a key is lying-- And the
immaculate white bed.

That, I intend to keep.

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