Graffiti on a Montreal wall...
6) June 4: War is Sin - thinking about Obama's speech in Cairo, and a look at the cost of war from a spiritual perspective.
War is always about betrayal. It is about betrayal of the young by the old, of cynics by idealists, and of soldiers and Marines by politicians. Society’s institutions, including our religious institutions, which mold us into compliant citizens, are unmasked. This betrayal is so deep that many never find their way back to faith in the nation or in any god.
--Chris Hedges, "War is Sin."
J.'s old ski boots in our nearly-empty Vermont attic.
7) July 13: Ghosts - unexpected visitations just before we moved away from our Vermont home of thirty years:
It started today with my father-in-law's groaning ascent of the stairs as I made the morning coffee. I even turned around to watch him climb up, smiling, making exaggerated sounds with each raising of a knee...
Reading on the metro.
8) September 22: How We Read - thinking about how we choose the next book to read:
I wonder if those of us who grew up in libraries have markedly different reading habits than the online generation. That search through the shelves for something new, with nothing in particular in mind when we start, isn't something that can be replicated in a bookstore-less, library-less existence - or can it? And then there's the pleasure of confronting a whole shelf of a particular author's work and knowing that you can read from one end to the other, burrowing through the pages like a real bookworm, until that sad day when you emerge out the other end into empty air, suddenly hungry again.
...and back in Montreal, for the plumage of fall.
9) November 1: All the Many-Colored Saints - thoughts about All Saints' Day:
The baristas speak Arabic behind bottles of colored Italian syrup with French labels: rhum, gingembre, pamplemousse. I often come to this cafe for a quiet half hour before the rehearsal for Evensong; they recognize me now and are very kind, and I like listening to their voices. The coffee is always good, the chairs are comfortable, and I find can write or read calmly in the company of these sympathetic semi-strangers. I’ve begun to wonder, too, if this place represents a sort of way-station between my identities: the Anglican and very English choir-singer, and the girl who’s always been drawn to cultures other than her own.
Delancey Street, Philadelphia.
10) November 6: Meeting Hafez on the Road to Ottawa - if I had to pick just one of the micropoems from this year, maybe this would be it:
Writing Farsi script
on the page of the sky
in graceful dots and curves
then fly off all at once
like a poem