Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The List

If I knew where I was, certainly then I would know where I'm going. There'd be clues in the tall trees and the waving grasses. The wind would blow in an understandable pattern, spilling secrets I decipher with the Rosetta Stone inside my belly.

There is no grass here. No trees.

I take mid-life stock of the to-do list I made up some years ago. It's smudged in spots, and some words have slid from the page, but I can guess which ones they were. Funny, I don't recognize the writing of my youth. Long loops and wide D's that take up twice the space of the other letters. Straight up and down lines, while today I write with a slant; deep right, edging left, right again.

Ah, the list, right. What's on that blasted list. Interrupted ideas. Divorced homesteads. Long strides off the page. Summers of frustrated inaction. Deep winter scars like glaciers retreating. I meant to do none of these things, but I dig in my pockets and there's no other list.


Megan Sayer said...

I liked this. It made much sense, particularly over this last week or so.
There's a terrible irony though, and that's this:
One of the reasons I've been pulling my own washed-again-and-refolded list from the depths of my pocket and thinking about all my unfulfilled to-dos (apart from the obvious reason, ie I've just finished a book) is that I've been reading about other people's achievements a bit too much.
Sometimes not a good idea. But you find these things when you delve too deeply into internet archives. And you always find yourself feeling long on failure and short on achievement. Or at least I do.
The irony is this: it was always the same person who'd write (in dribs and drabs mind you...but I'm a fast reader) about something else she'd done or achieved or worked or reworked, to the point where I let myself feel like a failure in comparison. I know...stupid. Don't do that. Got to work hard to fix your perspective on yourself sometimes.
I don't think I'll read any of her stuff again. Some Canadian chick who writes for Novel Matters.
Nah...I'll give her a miss. I'll just read your stuff instead : P

Bonnie Grove said...

Good idea. Canadian chicks can't be trusted. :D