Poetry Friday is hosted by Karen at Karen Edmisten
We are at that stage of weeding out, when every spare moment is spent sorting through some forgotten closet or rummaging through boxes tucked into the furthest reaches of the attic a long time ago. So. Much. Stuff.
And, in the process of weighing what can stay and what must go, I am making some discoveries. It turns out, for instance, that we have collected an inordinate number of clocks: wind up, battery operated, plug in, sit-by-the-bedside, or hang-on-the-wall…we have versions (in triplicate) of them all. For most of my adult life, it would appear, I have believed that it was important to be conscious of the passage of time no matter in which room of our house I happened to be.
At some point, judging from the fact that so many have been boxed away or have ceased to work, I stopped actually looking at all these time pieces, too. How to mark time and how to spend time, these seem to have shifted for me. I think I’ve become more mindful of how I want to view time, and choosier about how I want to spend it. Perhaps this is all just the natural course of things – as we get older, we get wiser about knowing what to do with the time we have…and all the clocks we no longer need.
The Art of Disappearing
When they say Don’t I know you?
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone is telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
Naomi Shihab Nye, from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems (Far Corner Books, 1995)