Jane Hirshfield – The Promise

Rant all the way down …

1) Le Poème

One Hundred and Eighty One 10.24.16

Jane Hirshfield
The Promise

Stay, I said
to the cut flowers.
They bowed
their heads lower.

Stay, I said to the spider,
who fled.

Stay, leaf.
It reddened,
embarrassed for me and itself.

Stay, I said to my body.
It sat as a dog does,
obedient for a moment,
soon starting to tremble.

Stay, to the earth
of riverine valley meadows,
of fossiled escarpments,
of limestone and sandstone.
It looked back
with a changing expression, in silence.

Stay, I said to my loves.
Each answered,
Always.

2) Le Rant

So I started reading Anna Karenina (made my mother happy too) and oh my god..I kind of can’t stop reading it…what a beautiful and amazing book…If you don’t mind 900 pages…then highly recommended..(Attached a section of a chapter that I like.. My translation is a little different from this one, but the tone is still same and beautiful).

On the other news locked myself out of my house last night after I went for a walk to take the night in and to think about Anna… such a weird feeling to lock yourself out.. there was a moment I wished I lived with someone, with someone who would open the door for me, someone who would laugh at my forgetfulness. But I lived alone, and there was no one to let me in, well there’s my cat but he doesn’t really open doors. It was a nippy fall evening, and everything tasted like classical music and late 1800s Russia in my head … I left my house in a rush, which I did not have to, but I had the urge to go for walk at midnight. Night was calling and I was unable to say no. I also read sections of the little prince and was overjoyed by that childish lightness..I, too, was a child maybe 7 years old..
Because I was going on a short walk and because I left in a rush I left some lights on and of course left my keys inside..and did not become aware of this until I return to my door.
When I got back to my house, or to my street I should say, I put my hands in my pocket to realize that I have left my keys inside..Great! I got old! I got old in the instant my fingers crawled into the void and my pocket turn to a blackhole.. oh the disbelief.. such a strange feeling to be locked out of ones own house.. but I live there…I have rights to be there.. little prince where are you??

My bedroom windows look toward the street, and my cat, Jean-Luc Picard, was watching me sit outside on the stool that I have from those windows. Come to think of it, it’s a great stool.. I could see inside my house through the windows and entrance door due to the light I had left on and layout of my house. Lights on, keys hanging in the hanger, my dinner plate on the far side of the house on the table, and my cat looking at me with eyes saying you blew this one. I indeed did blew this one.. The image looked like a still image, a painting. And this painting made me feel utterly alone.. I was supposed to be in it, but I was not.. I felt sad.. not because I couldn’t get in my house and had to deal with the practical part of the matter, but because I felt like the painter left me out my own landscape purposefully.. I was left out in my own life. I sat there, enjoying the stool and had another smoke and reviewed my night and my walk…

Post couple of cigarettes and minutes of melodramatic thoughts about being locked out decided to be done with despair and disbelief and figure out what I should do next.. Knocking on my landlords door was out of question..it was past midnight and they go to bed on the early side. Mistake is mine, I will pay.
I thought about sleeping there and then on that thoughtfully made wooden stool. I thought about its near perfect curve on the seat part and how sturdy it was, it surly can make a good bed, and some monks do sleep sitting.. I was a wearing a tick enough jacket, had a hat, a scarf, and I wouldn’t be too cold. Besides, I live on a safe and quiet street with almost no traffic..I was sitting down, leaning back to my house, and there was car parked front of me so I would be somewhat out of sight..but I didn’t. I did not sleep outside. I thought what would my neighbors think if they see me in the morning and I thought about the whole small talk style explanation.. It didn’t look good and I was not up for the explanation.. Instead I went to a friend’s house and the got spare keys from my landlord in the morning. Now that I have access to my house once more, now that I am thinking about the stool and the silence of the night…maybe I should have slept outside..I feel like something wanted to speak to me, and maybe, just maybe, I refused to talk to them.. I feel sad for not doing so..but still grateful for the bed I was offered..

Anna 3.png

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