Sunday, August 19, 2007

Beautiful reading in The Sun this month and I really respect Sy Safransky, the editor—everything flows smoothly, yet diverse enough to still be interesting. He wrote me a note once when I first started writing and all I sent him was crap, he didn’t like it but he was very kind. He was human.

I love the idea of this journal, little bits of everything and I read it front to back and now I am reading it again. My favorite by Harriet Brown:

At 43

Awake in the dark, again,
I want each looming thing—

night table, dresser, chair—
to set its demons free,

settle for being ordinary.
Beside me, my husband

grinds his teeth,
damned like the rest of us

with the curse of breathing.
What I didn’t understand

On the other side of 40:
Despair, too, is something

to hold on to. I’ve got
my dead: a ribbon’s worth

of rabbit-soft gray fur
from the cat who was

my best friend through my 20’s
her name the first word

both my daughters said.
We buried her last winter,

Boiling pot after pot of water
from the frozen ground,

trying to dig deep enough.
We did.

5 comments:

LKD said...

Thank you for posting this here.

I'm edging up on my 43rd year (unbelievably). October, October.

I don't feel 42 going on 43.

But then, I don't know what 43 is supposed to feel like.

I needed to read this.

It feels like a gift, an early birthday gift.

Or a piece of grace, stumbled upon.

Merci, amie.

It will be a long time before those pots of boiling water loose themselves from me.

(Happy belated to you, btw---when was your roaring birthday, Leo girl?)

early hours of sky said...

Oh see I gave you a birthday present and I didnt even have to wrap it:) I was 40 at the end of July and we had an amazing party.

Yes, it is true about the pots--mine are still hanging around...T

LKD said...

40.

Wow.

I think of you as being...

30.

Seriously.

How was it?

I mean...was it a big deal for you?

People try to make a big deal out of that number.

40 didn't feel any different than 30 or 20.

Okay, so 20 was a big deal for me for reason I won't get into here because it'd sound to melodramatic.

But 30 was termed by a foreign correspondent I used to exchange loveley long letters via snail mail with (ah, I still miss real live honest to god letters that you pull out of an envelope and unfold and hold in your hands) as "turning the sharp corner."

It didn't feel like a sharp corner for me.

Nor did 40.

The only birthday that really freaked my mother out and kind of depressed her was 60. Something about that number really undid her. She called it her unbirthday.

early hours of sky said...

Being 40 made me happy. I felt like I deserved it, liked I had been through so many things and finally I got to be my age.

Harriet Brown said...

Thanks for the shout out. Now that I'm approaching 50, I think back on 43 with kindness. :-)