Newspaper + Marker = Poetry. Buy the book.
A few hours after I made this blackout, my mom texted me something my grandma said to her earlier today: “Being old is terrible, but I sure had a lot of fun getting here.”
“Books are frozen voices, in the same way that musical scores are frozen music. The score is a way of transmitting the music to someone who can play it, releasing it into the air where it can once more be heard. And the black alphabet marks on the page represent words that were once spoken, if only in the writer’s head. They lie there inert until a reader comes along and transforms the letters into living sounds. The reader is the musician of the book: each reader may read the same text, just as each violinist plays the same piece, but each interpretation is different.”
It’s March 15, the Ides of March. Last night my brother-in-law tweeted, “Tbh in my life the Ides of March have historically been excellent days sorry Caesar.” I got to thinking about it, and yeah, historically, for about the past decade this has been a pretty excellent time for me, too. I usually have something going on at SXSW, most of my books came out in the early spring, my youngest son was born March 11, etc.
I checked in with my ol’ pal Thoreau, and on March 15, 1852, he is celebrating the arrival of spring in his journal: “This afternoon I throw off my outside coat.” At this point the year is 20% over, but Thoreau doesn’t seem at all worried about March 15. If he’s thinking about it at all, it’s only in the way the Romans marked it as a deadline for settling debts. Thoreau is 34 years old, same age as me, and he wants to be worthy of this life he’s been given:
I wish to begin this summer well; to do something in it worthy of it and of me… I pray that the life of this spring and summer may lie fair in my memory. May I dare as I have never done! […] I am eager to report the glory of the universe; may I be worthy to do it…. It is reasonable that a man should be something worthier at the end of the year than he was at the beginning.
I feel much like Thoreau. I’m cooking on this new thing, spring has come to Texas, and I want to be worthy of my life and all I’ve been given. I know I don’t deserve it, but I want to work in a way deserving of it.
Still — always? — thinking about seasons.