The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Billy Collins, from Forgetfulness
At the cafe I talked to the ever-elegant Carmen and her friend, and had just taken a sip of my cafe latte and a bite of the coffee-flavored cake – which was light and delicious – when Ester and her friend Lindsay entered. I thought “forget fullness.” I hadn’t seen Ester in more than a year and now I’ve seen her twice in five days.
She saw that I was scribbling and wanted to know what I was up to, so I showed her my matrix, almost a daily exercise I use to plot the future, like others use tea leaves or palm readings. She voiced her opinion most gleefully, promising a visit should I move to Budapest. Lindsay had lived in all the Cleveland neighborhoods that I was considering, but her knowledge was from years ago, from her two years at Case Western.
Tom Rosiello spoke about mazes at the UUs on Sunday: on the surface I think his sermon didn’t help me work my way through my own maze of opposing elements: lower expenses abroad vs. higher monetary costs and higher satisfaction of having the remnants of past lives surround me, adventure vs. complexity of that adventure, simplicity of communication vs. words of another language. He did have a key image: a bridge that looked out over the maze. Can I see the maze in its entirety? His talk this coming Sunday is on fear: I wonder if it will offer more illumination.