I am sitting at my desk looking out at the swirling white butterflies on the flowers and the scraps of arbutus bark falling in the breeze. There is a late summer softness to the light, the air, and even the water this morning felt velvety as I swam back and forth, parallel (mostly) to the shore. A few feathers on the surface, a few leaves. In these soft hours, you could almost forget that these are such difficult times in so many ways, for so many of us.
Just now I heard a song on satellite radio—I like folk roots when I’m cleaning and it’s that kind of day: washing kitchen floor, sorting laundry, wiping surfaces with grapefruit cleaner—so anyway, a song that I found myself listening to because it was surely Eliza Gilkyson? And was she quoting Robert Frost? Yes, and yes. It turns out she has a new album, 2020 (and isn’t that inspired?), and now I’ve heard several of the cuts and I have to say that she’s worth listening to again. (I’ve always thought her song, “The Party’s Over”, was a fiercely perfect comment on my generation’s complicity in peak capitalism.)
“I worry about us having disaster fatigue and being depressed and feeling hopeless, so I think my job is to remind people to stay sentient, stay aware and continue to gather and work through the emotions of this volatile time period and keep finding a grounded place.” –from an interview in Billboard.
So soft air, Eliza Gilkyson, and the beauty of tree frogs everywhere, even one chirping a rain song on the front deck, tucked into the grapevines knitted over the lattice. A day to try to do an accumulation of chores and to listen to music while doing them. And listening, I am hoping for a message to soothe my anxiety and fears for all of us. I’d like to share this interview about my papers now settled in happily at the University of Victoria’s Special Collections. If you read it, you’ll understand why that particular collection is the perfect place for my boxes of drafts, correspondence, and assorted ephemera. A homecoming in many ways, and a sense that the years have not been wasted. I was young in that place, opening boxes of newly-arrived papers from poets when I was trying to find my own voice as a poet, and I hope that someone else will have the same experience with my own materials.
I’ve been hoping there’ll be some way through
And all of our loved ones will be fine
No one knows what it’ll come down to
So I’m just looking for a sign.
Me too. Looking for a sign.