Monday, January 9, 2012

something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky

yesterday ingrid said she couldn't wait to get back to school so she could have anxiety about real things rather than what she called "freeform anxiety." i laughed, and knew what she meant. i've had my own bout with freeform anxiety this week. it seems so stupid, and so in the domain of a person who doesn't need to worry about her next meal or where she will lay her head at night. and yet it's difficult to talk oneself out of it.

i see it as a moral failing in my personal character as well as in my own social milieu. why the constant fretting over things as minute as paint color or ten extra pounds to things as big as your kid getting bullied or a cancer diagnosis? all with a similar amount of nervous energy? it needs to stop. a project.

but what deep solace i get from the poet. today i'm reading w.h. auden's musée des beaux arts. it's because of auden that i can maintain faith. no lie. i love that dude.

check this out:

About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood Its human position: how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

i recommend reading the whole poem if you have the winter blues, the mean reds, freeform anxiety, hysteria, the noonday demon, or if the black dog is chasing you. it seems ailments of the spirit are rampant in this new season. some readers might like cotton candy cheer, but me, i like to know that i'm not alone in my suffering, that most people in the world have most of the same feelings as most other people in the world, in one form or another.

while you're at it, william carlos williams has a poem about the same subject, landscape with the fall of icarus. i'm teaching both williams and auden for my ekphrasis class. i'm not as fond of the painter as i am of the poet, but i love how the works inform each other in remote collaboration.

(how i dealt with my freeform anxiety today was by wearing a pair of supportive black tights and a structured grey shift with a tiny houndstooth pattern, and black mary jane pumps. like i'm going to the office. i'm currently writing from the coffee pod. needed to get out of the freeform house. back in college a good friend taught me that when you're floundering, you should put on a structured outfit and leave the house. in other words, no sweatpants, yoga pants, or jeggings, and no hiding under the covers.)

p.s. don't you wish you could have heard julie's reading?

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the outfit you wore to write in! xoxo