Sunday, December 1, 2013

Season the Day

Sunday, 11/24

It's the beginning of Thanksgiving week! A landing party of Christmas trees has mobilized in the parking lot of Walgreen's! (They're not early; Thanksgiving's late, even colliding with Chanukah in a vaguely patronizing dual identity called Thanksgivukah that made both days a kind of Jabberwocky.)

Sunday regards this week with amused tolerance, bowing to Thursday, of all days, with Wednesday and Friday in supporting roles.

Let this be the unfurling of the half-baked radio station (another contribution from the little inner voice, who takes no responsibility for meaning)! Over to you, Monday.


Monday anagram poems

Oy. Damn!


A dew-key
waked ye,
eked way:
yak weed.

So you wake up feeling like yak weed. Maybe you blame it on Monday, but this time Monday's wearing the same white coat that Sunday had on—labeled TWC, Thanksgiving Week Caterers. Not that Monday's doing much work, but it still gets to wear that silly chef's toque, and still has deniability, don't look at me, Thursday's calling the shots this week.

Ever feel like you're in a pre-launch mode that's lasting forever, not that it's without aspiration. It's like this slow, rhythmic nodding I sometimes get into when I'm writing or listening intently—yesyesyes—a kind of assent to an ascent. Without doing much actual climbing.

i need to (aha!) seize the day. But the day is a hard thing to seize, being time, akin to air, or thought, or sound waves.

You can seize a thought, like that aha! moment in the last paragraph, maybe write it down, and discover it is a handhold on the day, giving the day that meaning you were looking for. Carpe diem or substantia nigra (the "dark matter" of the brain)? Choose a direction. Spin the dial—diem—day.

Tuesday, 11/26

How to seize a day.
Not so easy. Does a day like to be seized? Would I?
Depends. Seized by an inspiration, yes. Seized by a desire, probably. Seized by an orangutan? Probably not.          
It gets at how you see a day. As a microcosm, a small cube of life? Or just the dawn-to-dusk arc that appears to be the sun's motion, but is really ours? Trying to seize planetary motion would be, well, unnecessary. We're each born to the reins. No one falls off, not even the upside-down people who live in the southern hemisphere. Let the great world spin.

Back to seizing the idea—the art of mental grabbing. (Maybe you even carpe the diem with the substantia nigra.) You wake up. It's a new day. What do you do? Just lie in bed, existing, not being asleep, attending to whatever hypnopompic colors float across the mental bubble? Maybe.  Is that seizing? Or do you have to get out of bed and exert yourself? Tasks suggest themselves, things that need to be done. You choose one: getting up to pee. Other choices are not so compelling, except maybe going back to bed. Let's say seizing the day should be bolder than that, more like the orangutan grabbing you to its red hairy chest, an affectionate display of alpha ownership. You are mine, baby. 

So, like, boldly going back to bed? 


Odin's day. Anything-can-happen day on the Mickey Mouse Club. "Wed-nez-day," as it's jokingly mispronounced. Mercredi in French, very dashing. Mittwoch in German. Very functional—mid-week. And certain Wednesdays are distinguished, like today, the Wednesday before the biggest Thursday; a half-workday or half-schoolday. I've written about this Wednesday before, back in '09—called it Uncle Wally—but the fact is, a day is mainly defined by what it's filled with, especially the routines (in my case, a Tai Chi class, maybe the Wednesday Times crossword, the customary availability of my father-in-law's car...)

My date is getting bored. She's looking round for someone else to leave with. Seize the day, man! says the bartender, meaning what? Take her in my arms, orangutan-style, plant a big wet one on her mouth? Emulate weird Wednesday, the little girl in the Addams Family? Avoid the usual. Do one odd thing a day, or maybe three odd things. But what if you don't want to? Odd for the sake of odd is even, man!
Anyway, I gotta go. But what about...caress the day? Befriend the day? Write an entry a day. Entry!
Entrance! Entrance the day!

Wednesday proceeds. I am warming to the idea of seizing the day by writing about it. Grabbing it by the tailcoat, like the ancient mariner nabbing the wedding-guest—"Hey Wed! Not so fast! Lemme tell you shtory! 'There was a ship!'" quoth he. But to what end? To confer an identity on the day before it disappears? To write a "Kilroy was here" on the smooth wall of the day to validate your own existence? At the end of the day: to assert some control.

Life is like a sheet of graph paper (I'm writing on). All these little squares so easily blend together. They're so easy to write over. The vertical lines kind of cancel out the row lines, but I need them both. A blank sheet would be scarier: no structure at all? Give me a structure I can ignore. Or disregard.

So thanks, Wed, for your morning, afternoon, and evening, even though I wish you didn't get dark so soon. I wish I didn't feel I had to cram my life into your hours. I wish I didn't like two to three better than five to six. It's possible to like the possibilities of time but resent the containment. To admire the generosity and art of the clock and calendar but feel constrained by the tick-tock, the chime, and the impatience of the SMTWTFS—the Smith-Whitfords.  Slow it down! Walk the day! Stroll the day. Amble the day. Season the day. A walk in progress.

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