After the Dust

The blackbirds returned this morning. I expect they are not done with me. Nor Emily.

#936, c. 1864

This Dust, and its Feature —
Accredited — Today —
Will in a second Future —
Cease to identify —

This Mind, and its measure —
A too minute Area
For its enlarged inspection’s
Comparison — appear —

This World, and its species
A too concluded show
For its absorbed Attention’s
Remotest scrutiny —

It’s Thursday. The god of the underworld pauses in his deliberations through a mountain of granite. We are being rained on constantly. Last night I listened to Obama trying to fix health care. Meanwhile people are dying because they can’t get the treatment they need. Because no one really wants to help.

We cling to this coat of flesh even as it turns to dust. The mind appears to have it all under control, even as it confronts the unknowable. The scramble for stuff on this plane seems so important in the moment, and then it all falls into nothing.

Today I am selling off a portion of my library. It was getting out of hand. I buy books faster than I can read them. Plus I still have books that I read when I was 12 years old. Either I had to buy more bookcases or prune back my collection. I realized as I went through the dusty shelves that so much of my library is there because it makes me feel more of who I am. And is that actually true? Or is that just an idea, a dusty idea, I hold onto in the absence of something else? Once I unclenched my grasp on these dusty books, it was relatively easy to let them go. Now I can’t wait to get rid of them. They are smothering me, all these pages. What are they there for really? I have loved them, and now it’s time to let them go.

It will be interesting to see what remains once the decks are emptied. My curiosity to see after the dust clears is stronger (right now) than the urge to hold on to things that at one time anchored an idea that might not be relevant any longer.

It’s a little exhilarating, and a little dangerous. In my tribe, getting rid of books is the closest thing to blasphemy there is. I like it. I’m going to do more of this.

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