There’s a place I spend too much time, no one is happy there. I almost went this morning, out of habit, or maybe duty, but I went to Twitter instead and ended up reading a poem by George Szirtes. Uncle Zoltán and the Exotic. I don’t know George Szirtes, not the way I know some of the people in my Twitter. We follow each other, but we don’t talk to each other. We’re like two friendly strangers that ride the same train.
I was going to tell you something this morning, but I’m avoiding my email because if I open it, I’ll just get sucked in, and I put my phone down somewhere and now I can’t find it and I can’t call it to locate it because I can’t find it.
It’s better this way, peaceful. The weight of unhappiness, other people’s, sometimes presses on me until the act of repelling it becomes its own garment. To spend a few quiet hours unarmored is regenesis. I think you’d like George Szirtes if you read him; he puts moments of beauty into the world. I think it’s better to read poems than it is to wear other people’s unhappiness.
It’s dark in my kitchen, lit only by the cool white LEDs of electric ljusstakar that look nothing like flames. I would stand up to turn on the light, but there’s a warm-footed cat asleep on my lap and I’m reading George Szirte’s blog, a diary of his visit in Malaysia, and remembering the Buddhist temples I visited in China, the smell of the incense, and understanding what he means when he says ‘I find it both comprehensible and incomprehensible: comprehensible in totality, incomprehensible in detail, or, if not incomprehensible, part of a cosmology that is located in another part of my personal psychic architecture.’
When the cat wakes up, I’m going to walk in the snow.