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February 16, 2020: Moving to Keep Things Whole

Moving to Keep Things Whole is a title of a poem by poet Mark Strand. It follows:

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

Alys and Hrimmi stand ready to make an agility video
Alys and Hrimmi stand ready to make an agility video

I don’t have to offer an interpretation of this poem. I do like the simplicity, the lack of adornment, the focus on movement. He must have written this poem and realized that he would never, ever write anything better. It is sort of like Delamore Swartz, who at 21 wrote “In Dreams Begin Responsibility.” Forever after, he was most likely only the guy who wrote this short story – and knew that his writerly fate was sealed.

The Strand poem, it is a celebration of movement and mindfulness both. Even the spaces between the stanzas are important – they are the air that move in to fill the spaces where his body has been.

I thought of this poem today as I was out walking Tinni. It was sunny out, the temperature around O F. The sky was a robin’s egg blue. Getting up and out the door was a Herculean effort for me this morning – If I did not have this horse, I would have stayed put. And if I’d stayed put, my life may have taken a differing turn. Indeed, I was moving to keep things whole.

And in moving to keep things whole, I was again made whole.

Yesterday was a tough day. I thought the Bright Lights Book Project sale could have gone better. I didn’t spend any time upstairs, and so I didn’t get to meet the one author who came to display her books. Bill didn’t have his books on display, and neither did I. And because two of the Mountain Waxwing band members were sick, there was no music. And because of a lack of time, the kid’s area wasn’t complete.

And downstairs – the front end loader and baler noise (!) was kept to a minimum, but there were at times heavy metal type sounds. It really wasn’t a good atmosphere for a sale; although, I must say, those who entered the sorting and distribution area were extremely focused book shoppers.

So I sorted. And at the end of the day I realized that, yes, I am now being taken advantage of. It has gotten to the point in which I need some form of compensation for my hard work.

It was in walking Tinni that the air parted. It then occurred to me that those books, i.e., the commodity, are a goldmine, and I am sitting on this goldmine. I may be the only one who realizes this because I have handled all the gold.

I briefly considered scooping up the gold and running; specifically, finding my own space and starting my own store. Then I foresaw that I would get no assistance – and I’d have to keep banker’s hours.

So what to do? I will, upon my return home from my trip, ask to be paid for the books I sell. I’ll also ask for a percentage of the e-bay sales.

We all have our reasons,
For moving,
I move,
To keep things whole.

Next: 48. 2/17/20: Snow Day

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