I have about five different writing projects I should be working on. It’s a bit like battling a hydra–I’m busy chopping off heads and they’re growing back twice as fast and twice as many. It makes me a touch surly as I sit here and stare out the window at the sun and the patches of bare ground here and there.
Today’s my day to work, though, so I will work. But while I work, I’m thinking about an Allen Ginsberg poem, Sunflower Sutra. More specifically, these lines:
“Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a once powerful mad American locomotive?
You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!”
Why? Because I am. Because sometimes something sticks in your head and you must think about it until you’ve reached whatever conclusion your mind is hellbent on finding. For those interested, the complete text can be found here.
There’s a packet of sunflower seeds on my desk. For planting, not eating. They are surrounded by bills, and envelopes, and old cards, and embroidery floss (?), and spoons for stirring tea, and books I’ve not read, and notes, and a little clay tablet made by my son that says “Mom the book writer.” In case you are imagining a very large desk–it’s not. It’s that cluttered.
The walls around it are a bit better, but not much. A card from a former client, and one I bought myself because I liked the quote; a paper bag puppet strumming a guitar; some paintings from my daughter; a piece of blue paper neatly pinned up that once held a certificate, but the certificate fell behind the computer, and now I stare at the piece of blue paper; and the back section of an old pair of kid pants that have nice pockets for storing stamps and index cards and such.
Through the window in front of me I can see the big pines in the backyard. This time of day during this time of year, I can just make out their shadows. Come summer, I’ll be able to watch the young barred owls sitting on the branches, and hear their calls well into the night.
The sunflowers promise the summer will come again. The pines tell me that things continue, that sometimes you hunch beneath the weight of snow, and sometimes you risk a lightning strike, but much of the time you just live.
It’s a good place to sit.