Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cleaning & Forgetfulness



It's the dusk of Summer.  The Big Plans that seemed all possible when Summer dawned have, in part, been scrapped.  But there's always at least one Big Plan that still lurks, one that has been kicking around on the 3rd floor of our house for quite a few summers.  The Big Plan of Organization.   The 3rd floor is where most of my books reside, piled into bookcases, stacked on the floor in bookscrapers, leaning Pisa-like toward gravitational collapse.  The Ever-Loving Wife is, God Bless her, still in the frame of mind where change is possible.  I, yielding only centimeter by centimeter, have crouched behind my barricade of books upstairs wondering when the seige will end and an agreement will be reached.  I take on Billy Collins' "Forgetfulness" as a reason to keep all of the printed matter as "the memories (I) used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of (my) brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones". 

"The memory's definitely going but the books remain as vessels of the memory!", I shout out as a convoluted battle-cry.  The floor groans with the weight, the tome-dust flys in the heat of the room, settling down on books I most probably will not be picking up any time soon.

But which of the beloved ones do I let set sail?  Should there be a plan or do I simply let them slip down the stairs off to other homes where they will not be read?

"No wonder you rise in the middle of the night - Billy Collins


to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart."

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