Thursday, June 17, 2004

Rivers of Slurry

Tired and worn. Cobwebs of unease settle on my face. They whisper to me that I am forgetting something important. They have lied to me before, but -- how can you ever know that you have not forgotten anything important? They might be telling the truth this time.

Rivers of slurry, eddies of doubt. My mind is full of faint accusatory whispers. Fat chance of confronting these witnesses. They don't seem to have heard of the sixth amendment in there.

Yesterday I sat on the low wall by an empty but well-kept up building, surrounded by flourishing oaks and pines. I watched the wind toss swirls of glossy green oak leaves, which skittered like the sun on the sea. Behind them were dull, gray-green sprays of pine needles. And behind them again the high blue sky. I ate my can of tuna in splendid solitude, sitting cross-legged on a sidewalk that can never have been used much, even when the building was not empty: it's not an obvious track from anything to anything. Now it's littered with crunchy gall-shales.

So this morning I picked up my Chinese books and learned my first forty characters over again. I don't know why I ever study Chinese. It drains out of my head almost as fast as I learn it. I'm so good with Western languages that it seems like I ought to be at least adequate with Eastern ones, but I'm awful with them. But I keep coming back to Chinese, because I love the characters, even if they won't stay in my head. Once every couple years I have to spend six months with them.

Yu, fish, I am learning for the umpteenth time. A little head on top of a tian on top of the "four-dots" for an animal. Terribly satisfying. Why? No clue. Not the most powerful imagination in the world could make this figure into a picture of a fish. But it is a fish. That delights me.

Okay. Enough! -- or too much. Good night. xoxoxo.

No comments: